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question on estimates

General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
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Old 06-23-2003, 12:08 AM
All Green
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I had been wondering if other companies charge for giving estimates. Would it be a good idea to try it if you're schedule is full and you just wanted it to try and weed out customers that aren't serious or are going for the low-ball price?
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Old 06-23-2003, 08:33 AM
Lawn Magic
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In a service business, all you have to sell is your time. I have a reasonable idea what my time and expertise is worth in this market and what it takes to retain qualified help. I know what my expenses run and what I have invested**my hourly charges reflect these factors as well. However, some items of my time and my crew's time are not included in the customer's first billing. These are general items that are spread out over many services: Deck cleaning and blade changes, other maintenance, administrative, estimates, etc.
If my schedule is already at capacity, I would just say we are not taking any new customers at this time. If its not full, I would drop nearly everything and get there as soon as possible to get the new client (if they want regular service). We normally would service them right after we agreed on a fair price. Before going, I have a few standard questions I ask that will uncover someone who is just trying to steal our labor. When they say I had a boy who mowed my acre for $20, I would suggest they find someone in their neighborhood who could do it for that or give them an indication of our minumum price or price range. Usually, I can sniff out the ones who are trying to get you to do the work much below market price. We provice top-notch quality of service and consistant reliablity. There is a fair price range for that in this or any other market.
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Old 06-23-2003, 06:56 PM
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I thnk it's a bad idea to charge for estimates, even if you could. How many potential customers are going to agree with you coming over to give them an estimate for a fee when they can get any other company to do it for free. Remember that you are making your first impression this way and how will you look next to a competitor doing it for free?
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Old 06-25-2003, 09:50 PM
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I don't charge for estimates. I don't know any that do, but I am sure they are out there.
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Old 06-26-2003, 10:57 PM
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I totally agree that if you can't handle anymore business then maybe have a friend or someone you know that you can hand the business over to them and then maybe at times you can get business handed to you that way.
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