Join Date: Nov 2013
Thanked 55 Times in 32 Posts
Over time you'll get comfortable bidding different things, it really all comes down to a few things:
1) How long is this going to take? and what do I need to make per hour or per day? - Don't sell yourself short, while working at Mc D's making 7.50/hr and now you think 15/hr is great, there are so many hidden costs to being self employed - imo, 20/hr is low for a guy simply dumping trash cans. You have to sit back and figure ALL of your overhead out and generally figure out what it takes you to survive per week, divide that by how many days per week you want to work and that plus 20% becomes your get outa bed price.
2) What materials do I need and how much do I mark them up? - Even the biggest of jobs just get broken down into small units, pencil and paper out every step from start to finish and figure what you need to complete it, count every nail and screw. Mark up covers the cost of getting stuff, handling stuff and the cost of your money or relationship with your CC or vendor account.
3) Are there any hidden or added costs, ie dump fees, permits, equipment etc... and how much do I mark them up? If you own a dump trailer or skid steer and you are using it for a job, you need to charge for that piece of equipment.
4) Does the job require special skill sets that should up the hourly/daily rate? A guy repairing vinyl siding 20' off the ground is worth more than the guy filling a trash. Removing a tree limb dangling over a garage is worth more per hour than filling a trash can.
5) Most importantly - what are they willing to pay? This only comes from experience - someone here recently was asking about a bid for this downed tree/limb, someone commented that it was worth 6-700, I agreed. That same tree/limb, if it was at one of my commercial or residential properties is only worth 2-300. Two entirely different markets, one priced 100% higher than the other, to survive, you have to squeeze every possible penny out of every job.
So many folks will fail in this or any business because they can't realize what it costs them to get out of bed every day. People will go to work and haul debris for 10/cy just to get that check 45 days later, not understanding that they could have worked at Mc D's for more net per hour.
Whole house painting, for our experience, we tried to keep the total under 3-4 grand, that seemed to be a sweet spot with less questions. I'd add up what it was worth, if it came out cheaper, the price was jacked up. When it came out to high, we'd see what corners could be cut and see if we could make the job fit the number, sometimes we could, sometimes we couldn't.