Had to drop my rates to an all time low.

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
Well, you asked for it.
If the days of 150/hr for a service call are gone, why aren't the days of 4 trillion government budget gone? We're all expected to tighten our belts except our government. NO, our government needs MORE, and MORE, and MORE money. I don't see my fees dropping. Everything cost more nowadays, and what the government takes it's not small change. No offense, but (coming from a "public employee"), sounds like you're advising us to "eat cake".
I mean all forms of government have an easy solution:"RAISE TAXES, RAISE FEES". But we're supposed to just pay more and charge less.
Let's see, house remodel, electrical +/- 15K, around thousand dollar for the electrical permit. That's for...let's say 1-2 hrs clerical, 3 hrs for 3 inspections(rough, service, final) and 2-3 hrs plan review(took me 4 hrs to do the drawings, can't be more than 2-3 hrs to do plan review). So, a thousand dollars for 6-8 hrs: 125-155/hr.
But hey, it's ok for the government to charge 120-150 an hr, we're just supposed to eat cake.
You might want to research how many jurisdictions are cutting their permit fees. We're one of them, in fact the council has considered that we don't charge any fee's for new business that comes to town or any new TI's. Well that's a great idea, why don't we then have the local taxpayers pay for you to open a new business in town or for that matter other businesses would be helping pay for your new enterprise. Oh why you ask? Because building and safety is supposed to be a self sustaining department, everything from our salaries to our supplies are supposed to be paid out of those fees and not the general fund which is tax based.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
The utility has all the same problems every business has their operating and overhead expense are up every year, so they have to pass them on to the customers, or run the utility into the ground, the utility stock holders will not give the utility the equity they need to grow and continue in business if they n't make a profit, but even utilities have to cut back in tough times, but with the green people pushing to shut down on carbon emissions, cost will skyrocket for all the utility companies, yes John, I also find it difficult to budget for all my bills.
Oh I'm not really crying the blues, I've gotten past that point. I'm almost $1000 a month upside down and I know that there are a lot of people way worse off than I am. My wife and I are just looking at it as a big adventure, and our 17 year old son doesn't care as long as we don't leave town, but I still have to find a home large enough since my mother-in-law lives with us.

I'm just trying to say that cutting your prices to stay in business is not the end of the world. Working for $55 an hour or working for $0 an hour, doesn't take an engineer to figure out. One of the best concrete guys I know and I'm talking artist here, was working for someone else making $500 a day, now he's making maybe $150 a day and thrilled to get it after sitting home for a year.

Times are hard, things change, life goes on. I care more about spending time with my family than I do about making money these days.
 

KVA

Senior Member
Location
United States
Oh I'm not really crying the blues, I've gotten past that point. I'm almost $1000 a month upside down and I know that there are a lot of people way worse off than I am. My wife and I are just looking at it as a big adventure, and our 17 year old son doesn't care as long as we don't leave town, but I still have to find a home large enough since my mother-in-law lives with us.

I'm just trying to say that cutting your prices to stay in business is not the end of the world. Working for $55 an hour or working for $0 an hour, doesn't take an engineer to figure out. One of the best concrete guys I know and I'm talking artist here, was working for someone else making $500 a day, now he's making maybe $150 a day and thrilled to get it after sitting home for a year.

Times are hard, things change, life goes on. I care more about spending time with my family than I do about making money these days.
I'd never drop my rates. If someone can afford a 100k+ home they can afford to pay $2500 for a service upgrade (just an example). Also it's not a constant expense for the homeowner to have electric work done. If they hire the right person a service upgrade will last them decades. I find that most HO's bs about not being able to afford it. Meanwhile I glance around their home and see the new laminate floor, granite counter tops, stainless appliances, new gigantic flat screens in multiple rooms, pool out back, multiple cars in the driveway etc...

People have the money it's all a game like poker you need to know how to read a bluff.
 

Strife

Senior Member
I'm just trying to say that cutting your prices to stay in business is not the end of the world. Working for $55 an hour or working for $0 an hour, doesn't take an engineer to figure out.
It doesn't take an engineer when you're guaranteed a certain # of hrs.
It does take more than an engineer when you have to find those jobs even at 55.
I'd be glad to do EVERY JOB at 40 dollars an hr, IF, every call was a sale. HECK, I could probably go as low as 35/hr.
But it doesn't work that way. Just last week I spent 16 hrs putting together a job for a customer. Money is not an issue for this particular customer, but when he saw the price he's having second thoughts if it's worth doing it. Two months ago, I spent well over 20 hrs and several 30 miles trips for a job that the customer can't do because the city doesn't let him do it(The city owns the right of way, the customer maintains it, BUT I HAD to put in all the time and the trips before I could present it to the city to shut it down). A lot of times there's a lot of resources involved before I can even give a price.
A lot of times, even when you're the lowest price, you don't get the job because the customer doesn't want to do it when it cost THAT much(again, even being the lowest price). A lot of times people think it'll be 100-200 to add 20 hihats, and when they find out the hi hats alone cost 400 dollars, they're suddenly in no rush to do it anymore. Meanwhile I still spent the time and gas to look at the job.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
I'd never drop my rates. If someone can afford a 100k+ home they can afford to pay $2500 for a service upgrade (just an example). Also it's not a constant expense for the homeowner to have electric work done. If they hire the right person a service upgrade will last them decades. I find that most HO's bs about not being able to afford it. Meanwhile I glance around their home and see the new laminate floor, granite counter tops, stainless appliances, new gigantic flat screens in multiple rooms, pool out back, multiple cars in the driveway etc...

People have the money it's all a game like poker you need to know how to read a bluff.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, material things don't mean they have cash, it simply means they at the least have good credit. Like the line in the song says "....I've got a car that's mine alone, that me and the finance company own...."
 

KVA

Senior Member
Location
United States
I've said it before and I'll say it again, material things don't mean they have cash, it simply means they at the least have good credit. Like the line in the song says "....I've got a car that's mine alone, that me and the finance company own...."
That's ok i accept credit cards:thumbsup:
 

Strife

Senior Member
I'd never drop my rates. If someone can afford a 100k+ home they can afford to pay $2500 for a service upgrade (just an example). Also it's not a constant expense for the homeowner to have electric work done. If they hire the right person a service upgrade will last them decades. I find that most HO's bs about not being able to afford it. Meanwhile I glance around their home and see the new laminate floor, granite counter tops, stainless appliances, new gigantic flat screens in multiple rooms, pool out back, multiple cars in the driveway etc...

People have the money it's all a game like poker you need to know how to read a bluff.
True and NOT true.
People have a certain number in mind and they won't go over it.
People will have no problem paying half a mill for a car, but NO ONE will be willing to pay 100 dollars for a burger at Burger King. WHY? you think they don't have the money? NO, the perceived value for that burger is 2-3 dollars, NO ONE will pay 100 dollars just because they have money. Sure, you take them to see the prezz, and they're willing to pay 50K for a burger. Because that's the perceived value to eat a burger and sit next to the president.
 

KVA

Senior Member
Location
United States
It doesn't take an engineer when you're guaranteed a certain # of hrs.
It does take more than an engineer when you have to find those jobs even at 55.
I'd be glad to do EVERY JOB at 40 dollars an hr, IF, every call was a sale. HECK, I could probably go as low as 35/hr.
But it doesn't work that way. Just last week I spent 16 hrs putting together a job for a customer. Money is not an issue for this particular customer, but when he saw the price he's having second thoughts if it's worth doing it. Two months ago, I spent well over 20 hrs and several 30 miles trips for a job that the customer can't do because the city doesn't let him do it(The city owns the right of way, the customer maintains it, BUT I HAD to put in all the time and the trips before I could present it to the city to shut it down). A lot of times there's a lot of resources involved before I can even give a price.
A lot of times, even when you're the lowest price, you don't get the job because the customer doesn't want to do it when it cost THAT much(again, even being the lowest price). A lot of times people think it'll be 100-200 to add 20 hihats, and when they find out the hi hats alone cost 400 dollars, they're suddenly in no rush to do it anymore. Meanwhile I still spent the time and gas to look at the job.
Exactly. Nothing is guaranteed no matter what your rate is you won't get every job. I rather land fewer jobs at a higher rate then bust my ass and work more for less.
 

templdl

Senior Member
Location
Wisconsin
ok, you asked.....

sit down with sheet of paper, or open up a text file on the computer, it doesn't really matter.

list EVERYTHING you can find in your life, personal or in business, that you can be grateful for.
i don't care what it is, write it down.

every.single.thing.

when that list is filled out a bit, call up a friend, and tell them, out loud, what you are grateful for.

when that is done, go out with a dry erase marker, in your favorite color, and write on the inside
of you windshield, how much you want to net in the two remaining weeks of April. it doesn't matter
how much. what matters is if you can honestly believe that you can earn that much.

write it in 2" high letters on the inside of the windsheld, so you have to look thru it, driving down
the road. then go on about your day, doing whatever you need to do.

in my experience, the money will show up.

or, you can post a rebuttal here, telling me i'm full of poop.

but what if it works? what do you have to lose?
Wow, that was most awesome and something that we all may be guilty of at some time or other, that is not taking the time to be thankful for the good things that we have.
And the negative attitude often shows in your relationship with your customers.
And you certainly are not full of poop because it is about keeping a positive attitude and trying to encourage others in having one also.
 

Fulthrotl

~~Please excuse the mess. Sig under construction~~
money, for most of us at the moment....

money, for most of us at the moment....

is either a gaping painful sore, or a source of
deep anxiety, 'cause it's a gaping painful sore
for our customers, and it's hard to work
for broke people.

and right now, a lot of folks are hanging by a
narrow grip on a ledge. it's hard to look past
that.

but in looking past it, we can see a path clear.
if i'm seeing a problem, i can't see a solution.

my spouse, seeing as we just paid the homeowners
insurance premium, observed that we don't have
any kind of a home inventory and valuation list...
and i'm taking photos of everything we freaking own,
so i can make a spreadsheet, with photos, in case of
robbery or fire, etc.

so instead of seeing another fistful of money going out
the door, instead i am making a list of what we have,
with the replacement costs.

sort of like a gratitude list i mentioned a few posts ago.

i'm a lucky pup.

aside from the stuff that can be burned or stolen, both
i and jill don't need or take anything stronger than aspirin.

my spouse and i are crazy nuts about each other.

neither of us needs medical care. we both have had recent
physicals and are healthy.

i am fully able to perform my profession without any restrictions.

we are solvent... more due to her contributions recently than
mine, but my taxable income this year should match hers.
it's been a bumpy few years lately for all of us.

all of my work tools and work vehicle are paid for.

i have zero non pays. i have excellent
relationships with my customers.

i have four jobs to do in the next six weeks, enough to zero
out all credit cards, including the $10k hit for the van engine.
debt free, six weeks out.

we have food, clothing, and shelter, and a wealth of friends,
which given my personality, is nothing short of a miracle.

i don't have any belief that i'm entitled to anything. all such a
belief would do is make me unhappy.

i should have two checks showing up this week for the down
payment on the $50k of work i signed the week my van blew up.

picked up two more service changes for sometime in the next month,
today, from a realtor that has referred me things.

i need to write a bigger gratitude list, and change the number on my
windshield when i get the van back. it seems god outgrew the box i
put god in, one more time.
 

templdl

Senior Member
Location
Wisconsin
My intent was not to cause a political discussion as would be discussion on religion which can be very heated topics. Talking politics could smoke this topic and it may be going too far of base already don't you think? You make some good points though.
My point was to bring up a thought, something to ponder when choosing a president this fall. If things are going in a positive direction in your opinion then let it go for 4 more years. That's the choice all of us have to make.
 

bullheimer

Senior Member
Location
WA
well crap!

well crap!

took me so long to read all of the pages since last time i cant edit, got to repost.

in a word. this isnt a political thread. in another word. i would agree with everything that has been said, except for a couple things i dont remember. or selectively forgot. anyway

i will do the list, i cant begin to do it here because i am negative and i am surrounded by negativity. for one i live in a podunk little cow county basically that would be in the middle of nowhere if I-5 didn't go right thru it. And, no small thing either: it rains every day and i am from nevada.

there is like 30-40 000 people in my valley. gas kinda keeps me from wanting to go to everett or bellingham and they have their own phone books and i can't afford to be in them, or really to even drive there for free to give an estimate at $4/gallon.

add to that i moved here ten years ago an have only been in biz six years. if you subscribe to the "its not who you know, it's who you bl....? no wait, i meant the "it's not what you know, it's who you know" mantra, then i don't know dick. tracy that is. and i know this, i can't do anything about the phone book or gas prices, but what i can do is, what did i say?, assimilate myself into the population by joining the elks, moose, etc. i tried church and it did not work. i should probably try another one tho. i have no kids so no school contacts either. no gym, karate, basket weaving, etc.

i got plenty to be thankful for but i got a pile ostuff that rubs me the wrong way, like million dollar GSA parties. i know i should not get so upset with political things and the govt. because there isn't nothin yu can do about it. but i do. i could talk about politics and govt. for hours. but this aint the place and i would just as soon not go there. thanks in advance.
 
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templdl

Senior Member
Location
Wisconsin
PLEASE keep a positive attitude!! Those around you will pick up on it and will like being around you because it will rub off on them.
They will pick up on sour attitude also and will avoid being around you.
I think we gave you enough amo don't you think? Put your game plan together and kick some butt!!
What you have to do is some damage control in order to keep the wheels on the wagon. Hopefully things will turn around in a couple of years but you don't want to become a victim and not survive.
 

Fulthrotl

~~Please excuse the mess. Sig under construction~~
for what it's worth.....

for what it's worth.....

this is cheap to do.

plumber down the street swears by it.

go to the local catholic church, for a start.
they have a church newsletter, and you can
usually put a small 2"x2" ad in it for a small sum.

church newsletters are good, according to my
swearing plumber down the street. for some reason,
people think you are a member of the congregation,
he says.

and i did spin off on a political tangent that wasn't
within the scope of the thread..... somebody quick
cover the moderators eyes so they don't see nuffin.
 

readydave8

re member
Location
Clarkesville, Georgia
Occupation
electrician
Well I think what I'm going to try to learn from this thread is how to improve my business, and try to ignore the posts giving reasons why things are so bad and who's fault it is.

I had it so easy for so long and didn't know it, having to actually make a huge effort to find work is different.

And I liked the thankful comments, puts some things in perspective for me.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
this is cheap to do.

plumber down the street swears by it.

go to the local catholic church, for a start.
they have a church newsletter, and you can
usually put a small 2"x2" ad in it for a small sum.

church newsletters are good, according to my
swearing plumber down the street. for some reason,
people think you are a member of the congregation,
he says.

and i did spin off on a political tangent that wasn't
within the scope of the thread..... somebody quick
cover the moderators eyes so they don't see nuffin.
I was expecting something like, he goes to the local church and stuffs toilet paper down the water closets and then puts his card on the board.:angel:
 
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