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I am getting told that I am too High! Let me tell you what I do. I custom install GRC, no factory 90's used. All custom bent. I design the systems, and cad them, and install them. We fab most, if not all of our own bracing and racking. We carry a Bobcat 225g around with us. My electricians are welders as well as electricians. All out of town work. Mostly west Texas, and South Texas. In the Shales, mostly Oil field support facilities. My profit margin on this hovers around 20%. I mark up my materials 10% and my labor 35%. I feel like I'm under paying my help. My top Journeyman makes 24.00 per hour. They get around 40.00 per day perdiem. Double bunking in rooms. Ect... I think I am cheap! to the point, someone might call me cutthroat! I don't want to be called that. But, I want to be fair to my customers. Or, is it just the customers trying to keep me down? Seems they all are like that. I haven't had any problems picking up work. So, I don't think we are too high. If any thing, I think I'm too low. Some might think I'm foolish putting all this out there. But, I don't care, I just want to be fair. Any thoughts?
Oh, Texas,
Land of the rich and getting richer. Anti worker state.
I say double your rates...
 

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The problem with a national license some jamook from Florida will travel to Boston charge the Boston rate - 10% to get the work. Pay his lackies 15 bux an hour and cut out the locals.
I say raise your rates and stay in Texas!
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
The problem with a national license some jamook from Florida will travel to Boston charge the Boston rate - 10% to get the work. Pay his lackies 15 bux an hour and cut out the locals.
I say raise your rates and stay in Texas!
I will try that on some bids, and see how much couch time me and the boys get. Lol. Problem here is population of electricians. Or so called electricians.
 

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There is a lot of unlicensed work goin on in Texas. Not very well regulated.
I was constantly told I was 30-40% higher than other bids. But, the other "contractors" couldn't provide a certificate of coverage to the customer, couldn't show licenses, or trucks, etc. Having the same phone # for over ten years, and the phone is answered 24/7. I did not apologize for my pricing.
If you think you're too cheap, and your constantly busy with lots of work on the books; perhaps you are leaving some $'s on the table. I think your margins are pretty tight, but we had to have slim profits when the times were tough. Maybe you could add a little to your material and see how the bids go?
Good luck and never apologize for running an honest to goodness business.
 

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Have you asked your guys how they feel about gambling together?

Ask if they are okay with you raising your rates to the end user, and also raising your pay scale. Let them know that this may backfire and you may loose work, and have to cut their hours.

I have asked my guys more than once if they are willing to hold firm on price with the risk of loosing work. Not once were they willing to loose work, and they have accepted reduced travel rates when we had to negotiate on price. On the other hand, when I make extra, I throw them a bonus.

I guess it comes down to motivation, and the company culture. Open communication works well with guys that want to work.
 

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Estwing magic
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Something is wrong here. If this is a solid industrial crew geared up and ready to go, knows how to weld and knows motor control, you shouldn't be working for crumbs. Somebody is putting YOUR money in HIS jeans. Are you subcontracting to the wrong guys? Maybe you need to move up the food chain. Follow the money.
 

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The world is full of people whose default response is, "That's too much! It needs to be lower."

I swear, if I offered to sell them a $100 bill for $60, they'd bitch n moan that that's too much, and want it for $50.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Have you asked your guys how they feel about gambling together?

Ask if they are okay with you raising your rates to the end user, and also raising your pay scale. Let them know that this may backfire and you may loose work, and have to cut their hours.

I have asked my guys more than once if they are willing to hold firm on price with the risk of loosing work. Not once were they willing to loose work, and they have accepted reduced travel rates when we had to negotiate on price. On the other hand, when I make extra, I throw them a bonus.

I guess it comes down to motivation, and the company culture. Open communication works well with guys that want to work.
I have talked to them about this. We are going up on some, too see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Something is wrong here. If this is a solid industrial crew geared up and ready to go, knows how to weld and knows motor control, you shouldn't be working for crumbs. Somebody is putting YOUR money in HIS jeans. Are you subcontracting to the wrong guys? Maybe you need to move up the food chain. Follow the money.
That's what I am thinking. But, just getting started, so I have been taking what I can get. Until I get our name out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Twenty four bucks an hour and forty bucks LOA. Around here that buys a monkey and a couple of bananas. Forty bucks buys breakfast, lunch and a burger. Guys don't like sleeping in the truck.
I do think the pay is too cheap. The 40 bucks is just for food. I am paying the hotel. And we don't stay in roach motels. I wouldn't expect anyone making me money to sleep where I wouldn't. I am moving towards paying perdiem by the location, dependant on costs of area hotels, and such.
 

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That's what I am thinking. But, just getting started, so I have been taking what I can get. Until I get our name out there.
What's your exit strategy for working so cheap? This is something to consider as I don't think that your manpower will stay on long enough for you to grow. They have tallent is seems and once they talk to a few others, they will jump ship.

Just my $0.02
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
What's your exit strategy for working so cheap? This is something to consider as I don't think that your manpower will stay on long enough for you to grow. They have tallent is seems and once they talk to a few others, they will jump ship.

Just my $0.02
One guy I have cut in like a partner, but only in profits. I've known him all his life. He's like a brother, he won't leave. He's sticking around, because he knows it's gonna go good, given time. One of the other guys is my son, he is looking into the future too. It's an opportunity for him. Then we hire others as needed, usually helper scale. We split to form 3 crews, when needed. We pay ourselves wages, then we all get a peice of the profits. Leaving a good amount in the kitty, for growth of course. So far we stay pretty busy, and just taking baby steps to grow. I don't forsee needing an exit strategy. I hope! Lol.
 
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