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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

I Really Screwed Up!


Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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  #1  
Old 07-22-2010, 03:10 PM
aduttonater aduttonater is offline
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Angry I Really Screwed Up!

I've been stuck on this job since 6/25 and had quoted it at $820. Tomorrow is hopfully going to be done 7/23/2010. When I wrote up the contract I had put the date range would be done from 6/25/2010- 7/1/2010 only 5 days. It's almost been 30 and I've been eating the cost on this job. I might as well have written the contract and have billed myself.

This past month I've been struggling. All profit from the jobs that I'm currently busting *** on, I have to used to pay for the expenses of the disaster job that I'm on. If I were to just work at that job and get it done myself, I would miss out on all the other jobs to keep my profit up to pay for the disaster.

It's kind of complicated but basically I don't feel as if I should be paying for these people yard service. They know they screwed me, just based on everything thats been happening for the past month.

If I were smart I shouldve just pulled away when it hit $820 Now it's like $1000 over the check amount that I'm going to receive. I really should've charged this job at least $2500.


I guess just because of my kindness and hard work ethic, I didn't want to just say screw you and stop the job. Instead I'm finishing it.

Tssssss Shhhhh Signnnn
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  #2  
Old 07-22-2010, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by aduttonater View Post
I guess just because of my kindness and hard work ethic, I didn't want to just say screw you and stop the job. Instead I'm finishing it.
Why couldnt you have done both. You really didnt say what the problem was but if something came up or changed just level with them. Say this wasnt expected it cost an extra.... to get around this hurdle to finish the job. We can split the cost or something.

Or... did you totally underbid it.....
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:18 PM
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Could you tell us about this job? We don't know anything about it or what happened.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:00 PM
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I hear ya man.

I promised I'd re-level one of my elderly customers TINY little pathway... can't get to it - too uninterested.

Though I told her it's not gonna happen & that she should tell me what is next on the to do list...

Now I'm stuck caulking around her pool, not too difficult and less of a hassle.

It'll make up for all the iced tea she's been giving me, she's the best. lol
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:57 AM
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ok this is what happened. When we started the job I was not there the first day. I had two guys working in the front yard of the property removing all the prickly pear cactus. Also the hyrdolic lift trailer that I was borrowing, the hitch bent at the dump due to the worker not putting a rock behind the tire to hold it in place and it came rolling forward towards and hit the truck.

So now I have only one truck with no trailer which means more dump runs and more time to cut tree branches to fit in the back of the pick up bed.

The customers are really nice people, and don't want to screw them over, even if the cost is eating me. I was having seconds thoughts, about it because this is costing me way more money then expected. It's like I'm spinning my wheels for nothing this whole Month of July.

More on the work details. In the backayard, we had to remove all cholla cactuses, and cut out 3 dead trees, there were weeds in a large area, then prickly pare cactus along a fence line. There were piles of trash, and it seems like the list kept getting longer.

Today is my final day on the job. I just have to sift some trash out of a dirt pile. I guess the dirt was dumped on top of the pile by somebody and now it's gunna take extra time to clean it up.

Thanks for your Input Guys.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aduttonater View Post
I've been stuck on this job since 6/25 and had quoted it at $820. Tomorrow is hopfully going to be done 7/23/2010. When I wrote up the contract I had put the date range would be done from 6/25/2010- 7/1/2010 only 5 days. It's almost been 30 and I've been eating the cost on this job. I might as well have written the contract and have billed myself.
OK not to bag on you, but who would bid only $820 on a 5 day job.(depending on actual man hours) Even if its only cost is labor and use of equipment, most people utilizing 2 workers would bid at least $800 a day. Also I wouldn't say they screwed you. You bid the job they accepted. We have all under and even overbid some jobs. Its a learning experience. You have to take your lumps and finish up. GL
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
I guess just because of my kindness and hard work ethic, I didn't want to just say screw you and stop the job. Instead I'm finishing it.
I have a better understanding of what happened now. It doesn't sound like these customers were out to get you in any way, they seemed to simply have agreed to a price that you quoted them.

As you look back on this job now, what lessons do you feel you learned from it? What would you do differently now if you could redo the entire job?
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:42 PM
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Next time give them an estimate and not a quote. There is a difference. Quote says this is the price. Estimate says this is what I think it will cost but it may change.

Think about it. Most contracts are just different wording. How you word things can make a big difference if you ever have to go back and ask for more money or take them to court for collections.
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:12 PM
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Yes I think next time I will do estimates. I am never doing quotes again on a large job like that. With quotes, I'll stick with the easy 4 hour weed clean up jobs.

I think now that the job is over with and I spend a little over a grand on it, that I would charge at least $1700, on a size like that. Also I would have had more experienced people there, so that things don't get screwed up.

Like what I didn't mention, a worker brutally hacked up the customers Baby Agave plant, which I have to replace now.

Over all, it was an expensive lesson. I could've used that money I spent foolishly on somebody else's yard work, to fix my truck or pay my rent.

I guess in this type of business though I get paid good enough to make these kind of mistakes. As for myself, I would fire me next time that happens.
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Next time give them an estimate and not a quote. There is a difference. Quote says this is the price. Estimate says this is what I think it will cost but it may change.
Have you ever given a customer an estimate, started working on a job and then realized you needed to charge more? Or are you saying with an estimate, you can change the job price up until the time you start working?
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