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Hello fellow electricians,
I have been an electrician for 18 years now. I started in the union and now I have my own small business. The hardest part for me is pricing the jobs. My question to you all out there is do you have specific price guides you go by and if so would it be possible for you to share them with me? I tend to price each job different but for the most part I keep some things the same like hanging light fixtures or adding a fan box in a room, but I think I am selling myself short and not pricing jobs right. I started doing it differently by asking for the customers email and writing up the estimate at home and emailing it to them because I always use to have a price in my head and once I looked at the customer I always said something lower.
I wrote this question in this forum because I have been really impressed with you electricians out there and the knowledge you have. This is a really great web site for people like me and I have gotten very good advice from it!! Thank you for your time!!
Dan
D E O Electric
Lockport, Illinois :thumbup:
 

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Im the same way and have the same problem and while starting a small shop i do not have the clients to afford the $99 a month pricing guide. I found also getting there emails helps. This gives me the time to sit down and really think about it before I tell them. This also helps because I can get everything I need sorted out ahead of time.
 

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Avoid giving prices in the field at all costs. Refocus the discussion on what the customer wants. If you know how much you charge per recp or to hang a fan, that's fine but it's always better to sit down with penile and paper and work out the costs, you are less likely to forget to charge for something that you are contracted to do.
 

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Hang around and do some searches. You will soon find that many believe you have a higher percentage of closing the deal on the initial visit if you can provide a price on the spot and get a signature for approval.
 

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Head Grunt
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I try not to give an overall number to a customer until i have sat down at the puter and figured the job up. If they insist on a quick number i tally the boxes, approx cost of other items and i add at least another $500-$1k for anything missed or problems. More often than not i am just under that quick figure when i get it in hard numbers.

Otherwise such as a dollar per box you will need to figure out your expenses, your overhead and desired profit margin to make that price profitable. I either do T&M, new construction box or remodel box. Most anytime i have chosen to do a job T&M i will still compare the job cost to what it would have been by the box and i am usually very close to it so i believe i have my estimated job times figured well. Does not hurt to check around to see what competitors are charging. I know my old boss and i are dead nuts in pricing and i only caught on to how he was charging 16yrs ago. So with the methods i learned from him we have kept within a few dollars of each other through the yrs. I only learned we were the same a couple weeks ago when we sat down for coffee and were talking about a couple other competitors here in Town and what to do about them. The one used to bounce around working for all of us at one point and has started his own business and is now bad mouthing all of us to get work. The other guy has managed to convince HO's to purchase all material and is only charging $25 per box. Because his box price is so much cheaper the customers are dropping us like flies and he is buried with work. It is a good business strategy on his part but man it sure has us a little tweaked.
 

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Electron Pathway Engineer
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Hang around and do some searches. You will soon find that many believe you have a higher percentage of closing the deal on the initial visit if you can provide a price on the spot and get a signature for approval.
I have read that if you leave without giving an estimate you have a 30% chance of closing. If you give one before leaving it increase up to a 70% of closing. I will take my chances and give one before I leave, that's why we carry our price books with us.:thumbsup: (Hint: learn microsoft excel or any spreadsheet software and you'll be off to the races OPENOFFICE is free)

If you're that worried that you really have to think about it after, you may want to generate your own pricebooks in advance instead of having to go "check some prices".

ES2 is a nice system, I liked it. But as stated it is a bit of an expense when first starting up. Maybe just spend the $99 and try it for a month, it has great support.

Look at flyboys post on costs of doing buisness to get you started.

:thumbsup:
 
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