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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    A State of Confusion
    Posts
    143

    Post Job Pricing Issues I'M In a depressed slump.

    It seems that I am having a issue with pricing out my welding services, people call all the time inquiring about welding work they need done now I charge by the hour and by the job in some cases; my rates for shop & portable welding are very reasonable I would like to know what you think the issue with picking up work may be.

    Here is an example and (( just an example only )) had 3 different people call me about doing some portable welding in the last two weeks.
    And they mentioned 2 other local welders they were waiting on for estimates, before they decided on whom to go with, now the other two welders and I all know each other.

    I know my rates are either very comparative with one of the other guys and much cheaper than the other guy, now we donít discuss our jobs with each other nor about each other to any potential customer, but we do barter and swap materials and consumables back and forth with each other when in a pinch just scratching each others back here and there

    Now it seems they pick up most of the jobs and I for the most part just get passed up
    By the customer, could it be the customer thinks that if my bid is lets say 400.00 bucks cheaper than other welders in the same field that I am just to inexperienced or quality would not be as good.

    Even though I have and provide very good creditable references of creditability and quality work it seems to not carry any weight.

    So what is your take on the issue I am having picking up work
    Just curiousí

    Thanks in advance for your input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Central Fla.
    Posts
    311

    Default

    Marketing your welding skills is no different than marketing any other product. With times being what they are, you need to get out and get to know some of your potential customers. "Press the flesh" as it's called in the business world. Set up some short meetings with potential customers. Take along pictures of your work and a list of references. Target the industries/businesses that you would most like to work for then "work them".

    A great deal of business in this country is done by getting to know someone and being recognized in the business community. Get several business owners to like you and use you and it will grow. It is not unusual to get calls to do work without a bid when you develop some relationships with customers.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    northern NJ
    Posts
    1,821

    Default

    It is not always best to self evaluate your business. If possible find 1 or 2 people whom you trust & ask them if they would take the time to evaluate your business strategy. You do have a business plan don't you? Take them out for a nice lunch or dinner & go over your problems/concerns so they can look at what your doing from the "outside".
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks MO
    Posts
    3,510

    Default

    I think sometimes you will find that the customer already knows who he WANTS to use because of that person's reputation and he is simply making sure that person is in the range of cost that his competition is.
    I feel like I get ran thru that same process from time to time.
    I have had other welder tell me similar stories before with pretty much what you said. It makes me feel sorry for them... but glad for me.
    It is off season here and I cannot tell if it is gonna get busy soon or not.
    My phone is pretty much a waste of money at the time.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    TAXACHUSSETTS
    Posts
    1,481

    Default Tuff times my friends.

    Have been in business 15yrs and my phone has been dead to say the least.Your not alone in the recession.I have talk to friends/other welding guys and there in the same boat.It,s the sign of thr times/recession.People are not spending unless absolutly neccssary.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
    Posts
    4,376

    Default

    Marketing is a science and worth needs to be the focus and effort. Its different than advertising. Its what separates you from your competition. Many in todays world are specialists or have niche markets they work in. If you are competing for the same general work with your buds there likely isn't enough to go around, difficult to market general work. Its almost a recipe for failure. Also the effort is wasted on lots of people that have no interest in the product.
    http://www.managementconsultingnews...._interview.php
    This is the list of books, Warfare is a good start and simple to read. If you are in biz you are wasting your time without this reading. There are a few people who figured it out or have a particular knack but they are the few.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
    Posts
    4,376

    Default

    Trout speaks about consulting in this interview but the same applies to almost any biz.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    302

    Default

    I'm staying busy enough to keep the bills paid. But all the work is from old clients whom I have a long time relationship with already.

    What you need to do is look at the people in your life that you don't mind giving your money to do work for you. Look at how you look at them. Then stand back and look at yourself as well you can through the eyes of your clients. Compare how you come off as a businessman compared to them.

    One of the things weldors have to face is things aren't fixed like they used to be. So the average person doesn't have a clue about the capabilities or the limitations of weldors. I got a call the other day from a man wanting to know how much I would charge to come to his house and weld up the tub in his washing machine. I told him I don't do that kind of work. The reality is it would cost him more for me to come and weld on his washing machine than it would be to replace it chances are most likely.

    So most of our work is business to business. The good part about that is you've got a more knowledgeable client. The bad thing about that is you have a more knowledgeable client. The client is more likely to keep you as a vendor if you do good work. They are also more likely to be price concious too.

    You take like myself. I charge more than most of my competition. If the work can be done with a competent kid just out of school with a pickup and a Bobcat then it's not good business to pay for my expertise when they can get him for half the price. However, if the work is more demanding or the client needs the benefit of my problem solving experience then I'm a bargain and the kid isn't.

    Point being, if you're competing for the man-with-a-welder work then you need to look at the compensation rates for that kind of work and price yourself there. If you're competing for the work that the average man-with-a-welder can't do then you can price more.

    I don't try to compete with the kids and rookies. I'm sixty one and I don't want to work that hard anymore for it. So I don't work as much as I could and I'm okay with that.

    Another thing you have to keep in mind is the first and last impressions are the ones that stick. If you don't show up looking like a professional then you won't be judged as one. If you leave a mess then that will never be forgotten nor forgiven. It's like with a mechanic. You can get a two hundred thousand mile motor rebuild from one that left grease prints on the steering wheel and hood and that's what you're going to remember for a hundred and fifty thousand miles. A spic and span car with a fifty thousand mile motor rebuild is going to bring in more work for that mechanic from recommendations and repeat customers.

    Times are tough right now. But I can see good things happening all around me. Homes are starting to move, I'm getting more calls. But the biggest surprise of all is the Patent Office has changed big time. I'm talking that puppy has been turned on its ear and is now acting like is should.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
    Posts
    4,376

    Default

    Harve, you are a poster child for marketing the thing you do best, its ok to take other work but dont waste the marketing effort on it. McDonald's never did make the money back selling chicken sandwiches that they spent on it, its ok to have one on the menu but isn't worth spending 150 mil on advertising them, especially when they are in the burger biz.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
    Posts
    4,376

    Default

    I had a bud that was a specialist but wasted his career trying to sell the "has run" parts of his business. He should have focused on his expertise instead of the common labor and got away from the thinking that if he was cheaper they would flock to the door, so sad really.

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