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Old 04-03-2013, 10:50 AM   #1
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Default Small jobs

The other day I had a new customer call me about painting her two front doors. She told me to stop by when I was in the area, and we roughed in an appointment for the following week. I said I would touch base with her a couple days before. Mind you she is also the mother of a customer who has recommended my name a lot and given me a good bit of work himself.

I got busy working on a kitchen and managing my mothers estate and never touched base with the lady last week. I called her yesterday to see if I could schedule something solid for this week. In a very very disappointing tone she told me she was looking for me last wednesday and now she wasn't sure. She informed me she was big on people keeping their word. I agreed on being big with people keeping their word, and tried my best not to make an excuse by simple saying I got super busy last week. I also told her I should have called and apologized for not doing so. In the end we scheduled for an estimate at 4pm today.

I felt like an ass. I have the preconceived notion this job is very small. It could turn out to be bigger or she may need more work than she realizes and I can bundle a few thing to make it worth while.

How important do you think this job is? I'm just going to do my best to show my professionalism with her from this point forward and hope for the best.

Also do you find small job to be important? Because a lot of the time they turn into bigger jobs. That's what I have found. Customers with small jobs also seem to continue giving you set amounts of work over the next year or so in my experience. When it's a decent bit a couple times a year it's very nice work flow.

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Old 04-03-2013, 11:14 AM   #2
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I hate nickel and dime jobs and the chance of a small job getting bigger is slim for what I am experienced with. since this is the.daughter of a good customer I would take care of her for that reason alone.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:26 AM   #3
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Sully,

In this wallcovering business, I get many many small jobs. Accent walls, murals, small powders, etc. Why last fall I papered a desk top.

First thing I make sure is that they pay my minimum half day.

many of these jobs are for decorators, so you know I do all I can to accommodate.

And not only do I always follow up, but make sure I know what kind of time schedule they are on. The desk top was able to wait until I had another job 1/8 mile away (in the city) so I was able to NOT charge 280 for 20 minutes of work.

Do these small jobs turn into larger projects? Not always, but I do not mind being paid a half day for three hours. And communication is a big factor in keeping ones name unsullied (sorry, just HAD to use that word )

I hope you are successful in regaining this person's confidence.

Now yesterday, I did TWO small jobs. One was four strips in a "frame" on a wall (107" x 55") the other was four minutes away at the decorator's home. An accent wall and a MDF surround for the TV. NOTHING went as planned. What I had planned on being an easy seven hour day turned into a nine hour fight. Some days the bear eats you.



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Old 04-03-2013, 12:16 PM   #4
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We try not to say no to small jobs like this, it may or may not turn into more work, you said it was her doors she wants painted, to me this means her neighbors will see the color change and you may or may not get calls from them. We have been lucky and our small jobs help land bigger jobs in the neighborhoods. It's a tough call to make.
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:50 PM   #5
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Minimum charge as in half day. If I had a nickel for everyone who ever mentioned to me that if I treated them right they would have more work, I would have a lot of dimes. I find little jobs are a pain. See if you can find a handyman or a painter who works solo and pawn it off to them

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Old 04-03-2013, 06:21 PM   #6
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I like small jobs.I price them so they are worth doing and it's quick turn around/quick money and yes they do often lead to more work either by add on or referral.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:58 PM   #7
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I price every job too, those jobs are a rarityand evey time I do get one I walk away saying if I only get so many a month life would be good. they are great when you are paid right for it. overall there just a pain in tje azz.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:42 PM   #8
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Estimate went great! She has 3 doors and I pointed out that her weather stripping had been painted and that's what caused chips to flake off and become embedded in the corners of the door. I sold her on having the weather stripping replaced by me. Also priced out the garage doors and trim as well as two porch posts.

She showed me her screen porch out back which had pine boards on the interior all stained very nice. towards the bottom she had a moisture problem, which she corrected. she'd now like to have those boards stained. She also showed me the living room which is in dire need of repainting and minor repairs.

She's big on referring people, just like her son has been on referring me so the job is worth my time for sure. She also told me she doesn't mind shelling out the cash for the work. She wasn't too upset with me not coming by last week, she just wanted to make sure she could get on my schedule when the nice weather happens and I get busy. I saw the simply fix and told her that no matter how busy I become I will complete her project when the time is right and convenient for her. It's a days worth of work.

Also looked at a clean house that needs to be pressure washed. Customer has it done once a year. After that went on to look at 10 doors 4 windows and two walls. Lot of carpentry work for me to refer to my friend on that one too.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:27 PM   #9
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I don't like jobs that only take up to a half day. But we will still take them. I love one full day jobs though. Always very profitable, quick and easy.
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:50 AM   #10
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If u are able to sell half day jobs at a full day minimum charge then half days are great. My line to the customer is always this: I understand it sounds expensive to do your job for x amount but im losing a full day even if it takes me 4 hours . I have to charge what I'd normally make in a day. Let's see if we can add something and make it more valuable to you.

Most understand that and usually we can bundle a little more work in or they pay the day rate for half days work.

Bill I like your half day pricing. It's fair in the customers eyes. Are you paying half your over head for that day though?
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:27 AM   #11
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As a professional painting service that lends itself to serving the best interest of the customer, regardless of the scope of work, who really should determine the importance of the job, the homeowner or the contractor?
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CApainter View Post
As a professional painting service that lends itself to serving the best interest of the customer, regardless of the scope of work, who really should determine the importance of the job, the homeowner or the contractor?
If you don't want to send a potential customer looking for another contractor, then itshould be important to you. Sometimes I'll reccomend a guy I know that works alone if I'm not interested or can't meet their deadline. My business is rock solid now after 11 years, so I really don't care about bending over for customers anymore.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sully View Post
Bill I like your half day pricing. It's fair in the customers eyes. Are you paying half your over head for that day though?
That's the rub. Yes it covers overhead, but then obviously the hourly diminishes. But, my body is starting to take a beating, I'm beginning to not mind the half days as long as I am netting enough for my coffee



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Old 04-04-2013, 07:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdpainting View Post
We try not to say no to small jobs like this, it may or may not turn into more work, you said it was her doors she wants painted, to me this means her neighbors will see the color change and you may or may not get calls from them. We have been lucky and our small jobs help land bigger jobs in the neighborhoods. It's a tough call to make.
Thats called getting your foot in the door!
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daArch View Post
That's the rub. Yes it covers overhead, but then obviously the hourly diminishes. But, my body is starting to take a beating, I'm beginning to not mind the half days as long as I am netting enough for my coffee

I thought all old guys that hang wallpaper work for coffee.
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