New Client Requested That I Charge 600 More


#1

So I was advertising in my local area on a Facebook page for my services. The owner of a construction company just finished building a 3 story motel, and gave me a call. I was completely transparent, told her that I’m just starting out, and that I really need the work, and that she wouldn’t be disappointed. She had me send an estimate for 47 small windows, in and out, with track cleaning of course. I ended up estimating the job at 210. I know that’s a bit low, but I wanted the job bad, and she can give me extra work in the future.

She ended calling me, and asking to make the estimate for 800! She told me that I should never undercut myself as a business owner, and that 800 is in the range of other cleaners she has worked with.

This job is really big, and I think it might take a day or two all by myself, but I still can’t believe the request for an increase by the client!


#2

Your pricing must be consistent and realistic.

I don’t think you ever should sell yourself short by underbidding jobs or by expressing to a customer that you don’t know what you’re doing.

You gain nothing by making $200 in a day, even worse 2 days of work.


#3

@Windowmen

  • Does your insurance have CCC?
  • Have you done your research on removing paint and stucco etc from glass and frames?
  • How Are going to access the 3 story Windows for the construction clean? (Ladder,lift etc)

Never under price yourself to gain work.

Do not let your prices be affected by someone offering more “work”…


#4

Wow. No offense but you really don’t have a clue as to what you are doing, do you?

210 for a 3 story construction clean? And you thought it would take you 2 days to get it done?

I know that sounds harsh, but what are you really trying to accomplish here? Your pricing isn’t sustainable. You go off pricing something silly cheap (WAY underpriced), not only have you diluted your market, you have devalued yourself and people will have a very hard time ever seeing your value.

IMO, you have put the cart before the horse. You have no idea what you should be pricing at. I’m sure there are a lot of aspects you don’t understand either, and in the long run, it could ruin your shot at this. Maybe you should slow down and learn what you need to know, FIRST, before going out there and making big mistakes like this.

I don’t care if you own a business, work for someone else, or what the situation is. When you ruin yourself financially, it’s extremely hard to recover from. Making decisions like the one you did, WILL ruin you financially, unless you are really wealthy to begin with, and this is nothing more than something to pass the time.


#5

I should start charging by the hours to stay consistent then.

And no on the CCC, I’m contacting my insurance agent today before I start this job.

And I did do some research on paint removal from frames.


#6

1 You likely will never get work in this situation by charging by the hour. It’s a bid, so they need a flat price, not an open ended contract.
2 You should have had a CCC policy to begin with. Liability doesn’t cover most stuff you might do in the process of doing your work.
3 You don’t have enough education yet to be doing CC work. What about cement, paint, drywall mud, or ten thousand other things that can be on the glass? You are getting in sticky territory just starting out, then trying to tackle a big CC job.


#7

@Windowmen

What @HoosierSqueegee said above is spot on.

Please do more research before you take on a job of this scope, I would hate to hear a horror story.


#8

I know I have more to learn, and I’m trying to do this while checking off all checkboxes needed to do it right.

I’m adding CCC to my policy as of right now.

I understand the concerns, and do appreciate the feedback. I’ll go research alot more before taking on this job.

EDIT: As for the bidding I initially set, I was basing it off pictures alone. I’m on my way to the property in question to better gauge what will be needed. Based off what the owner told me, all the Window exteriors can be cleaned from the interior.


#9

I understand you are trying, and no one fault you for that. But you are ALL OVER the place with pricing and don’t seem to understand what or how to price. The other day you priced a storefront at 250 for 20 panes of glass. Today you are pricing a construction clean 3 story hotel at 210.

I’m sure there are all kinds of problems with your business at this point. Stop jumping all over and do ONE thing to start. Pick one… Store front, residential, or commercial. Do ONE of them not all of them. Learn to price them and learn how to get the job done. You have so many thing going on you are flinging crap at the wall and hoping something sticks. You aren’t concentrating on anything and are just flopping around like a fish out of water.

Stay AWAY from CC until you are confident and experienced at this. CC should pay more than residential, so you should be shooting for over 100 an hour for the jobs. 800 for two days is crap.

I know you are hungry for work. It WILL come eventually. Just concentrate your efforts on ONE thing and work the hell out of it.


#10

Yeah it’s probably going to be difficult to capitulate, but I think passing on a Construction clean is best for you right now. Research only gets you so far. You need more time on the glass before getting comfortable with the decisions a CCU job will force you to make.

Strefront work has generally the lowest barrier to entry from an equipment and experience standpoint. Then comes residential. Then comes commercial/CCU work. Heck, I have experience, and still I am never 100% comfortable taking on a construction clean.


#11

Good post Samuel.

Time on glass is such an important factor.


#12

Fair enough, thanks guys.

I still want to see the potential job in person, and I’ll definitely keep you posted after visiting the property since I haven’t even seen it yet.


#13

Yeah, I can see what you’re all telling me a little more clearly now that I’m looking at the job in person. The job wouldn’t be the entire building, but this one side that they finished:

The owner wants these 46 windows cleaned and the tracks cleaned of course.


#14

Prefacing an offensive statement with this doesn’t make it less offensive.

The argument could be made that you have no idea how to impart advice thus you have no business giving it.


#15

With all due respect and no offense meant but offense probably wasn’t meant. Just hard love. Or maybe not.

ccus can eat the lunch of an experienced cleaner. And 800 is closer to the amount I’d charge but I might want more depending on the condition.

210 is suicide.


#16

Yeah, when I quoted 210, I honestly wasn’t given enough information and was told it was 47 windows, without ladder access, so I bid at 4 dollars per window in/out.

My fault for estimating with actually seeing the job in person.

After seeing the property today, the windows in fact can be cleaned from the inside in and out, it’s just alot of stair climbing, but definitely is an 800 dollar job


#17

Mmmmmmmm… Lunch


#18

The Argument could be made, that I really don’t care what you think. I run a business. I am here to converse with others in the business, and help people where I choose to. I am not here trying to win a popularity contest or pimp/promote something. I help people because I sympathize with their situation.

If you don’t find value in what I have to say, whoopty do. I just don’t care.

The world is full of people that would take advantage of you if they can. If you don’t look out for you, no one else is going to either. If your business tanks, no one cares. No one is going to save you, or dg you out of the hole you’ll end up in.

So if you don’t like what I have to say, because I don’t paint the world with unicorn farts and rainbows, tough.


#19

That is a pretty big job. Not 3 stories like you thought before too.

I personally ALWAYS, do quotes in person. I never give a price over the phone for new work. This is a prime example of why.

Every window has stickers on it. If it’s tempered, you’ll need to use chems for the glue and not a blade. More expense, more time.


#20