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Is it OK to turn down work?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Stacey K, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Stacey K

    Stacey K I like making signs

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    I feel bad...I have been turning down some "crappy" type jobs or jobs that require a lot of leg work or vendor searching because I'm extremely busy. I turned down an ATV hood this morning - he wanted it done today (I laughed at him). He wanted a complete template cut that fit around curves, etc. just perfectly. This is the type of job I enjoy doing during the slow months as I will probably spend more time on something like this than I would charge. I find some of these custom type jobs are nothing but time-suckers and always a rush which takes away from other more lucrative jobs. I've turned down a few like this lately. As long as I'm busy, I can be a little more picky, right? Or am I just being lazy?
     
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  2. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    You're not being picky or lazy, you're being a smart businessperson
     
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  3. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    I turn down or sub out work all the time. Chasing every last job and overloading your schedule wears thin really fast.
     
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  4. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

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    we regularly turn down jobs, just this morning turned one down.

    when you start firing customers, that is when you will get A LOT of peace of mind
     
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  5. letterman7

    letterman7 Very Active Member

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    Absolutely. I received an email yesterday for some landscaper looking to have his truck lettered. He already had all the copy and logo with sizes in the email... I deleted without responding. Don't need price shoppers at this point.
     
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  6. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Best thing to learn is when to say no. Always saying yes can get expensive.
     
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  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    What you're describing is picking and choosing jobs which help you grow, by eliminating the low-paying jobs. This is the best way to raise your prices, at the same time.

    Another thing we do is to...... tell someone, if you come back in November with this project, I can fit it in and give you a discount. It's a way to fill in the slower times of the year. I usually do it with large projects which don't really have a deadline. Many people will seriously consider doing this, you'd be surprised.​
     
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  8. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    I straight up tell people I don't compete on price. sorry charlie, there is just too many variables to be competitive.
     
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  9. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Haha, yea come December or early January I'll take anything that comes in the door.



    But yes.. declining work is a good part of growing you're business. I am careful to speak politely to people and make sure I can point them in the right direction.

    Someone called about putting letters on a golf ball, said the called every sign company in town (I did not laugh but explained that our machines are not capable of that.) While I was on the phone with her I did a quick Google search and saw that Personalization Mall made them! I was able to get her answer and told her I've used them a few times and they are legit. She was extremely thankful for the help.
     
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  10. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    There are some jobs that you should still turn down even if the price is right.
     
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  11. Gene@mpls

    Gene@mpls Very Active Member

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    when you start firing customers, that is when you will get A LOT of peace of mind

    So true, some of my best customers have come about after I have fired them. At that point... we understand each other.
     
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  12. bannertime

    bannertime Very Active Member

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    I recently cancelled a job that we had accepted and taken a deposit on. After a few conversations, I came to the conclusion that no matter what we did, they would not be happy with the final product. First red flag, they had already expressed apprehension in giving the job to us for no reasons other than "we weren't FastSigns." Then they changed their mind on how they wanted me to complete the job about three times in the matter of a few hours. When we said the latest method would require more money, they said FastSigns would have done the job for just a bit more than our original quote. When I explained that FastSigns had not even seen the sign and that they would have also needed to add an additional cost for refinishing, they refused to believe me. Last straw was when they lied right to me face. I asked them in the beginning if they knew when the sign was originally created. The lady said she had no idea. However, a few moments later she can tell me exact dates and prices of when the sign was created and again when it was refinished the first time.

    After that, we told them to come pick up the sign and we'd refund for whatever work we didn't do. Some jobs aren't worth the stress. Their finial comment really brought a relief becasue it showed we made the right choice.
     
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  13. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I had an install a few miles West of you the other day... I didn't realize it got so sketchy that close to Arlington.
     
  14. Stacey K

    Stacey K I like making signs

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    This is great feedback, thank you everyone, I feel much better now --- would like some sunshine here in Wisconsin but I won't get too greedy :)
     
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  15. Stacey K

    Stacey K I like making signs

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    Ughhh...I've had a couple jobs like that too and wanted to cancel but since I'm still 'new', I finished them. I have a customer now that I'm having issues with. First few jobs he paid right away but the jobs were nothing but drama, current job for about $700...still waiting almost 3 weeks now and the signs are sitting in my shop. He claims he's waiting for a credit card to show up in the mail. He rents a storage shed from me and said if they were in my way I should just put them in his shed. NOT happening. Very frustrating - he takes advantage at every corner, with jobs and with paying his rent. A real "grease-wagon" as my son calls him. I have other names for him LOL I'm afraid if I tell him to go elsewhere or he won't pay his rent and I'll have to evict him which is a real pain. His lease is up in August...he's out and no more jobs for him either. Hopefully I don't get screwed in the meantime! Cash up front from now on, no reason for me to wait 3 weeks to get paid.
     
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  16. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    Most of the answers are similar, but only you can decide what and which jobs you want to pursue and for what reasons.

    The priorities you've set will be different than anyone else's but of course you can and at times you should turn down projects.

    The number one reason for us is the attitude a potential client projects during our initial contacts. People come in all shapes, stripes, levels of stress, business experience, etc. Sifting through all those can be as important a skill to learn as many of the skills we take for granted.

    We're busy year round and our profit margins are where we want them to be so if you walk in here with attitude or come off like a PITA beyond not just knowing exactly what you need, we'll try to ascertain whether or not its a project that serves our long term needs to not. Not every client is savvy or experienced ordering signs and may not be fluent in the language of our industry or all the proper file formatting choices, preferences, etc.

    We give those folks lots of leeway and a fair amount of patience, but those with the pure and obvious adversarial postures, unreasonable demands, lack of respect, etc.
     
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  17. bannertime

    bannertime Very Active Member

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    I tell you what, between the city itself (a permit sitting pending for two weeks after they voided the first try after a week) and some of the recent customers, I'm tempted to make the move into the country and cancel all walk-ins or post a $500 minimum sign on the door.
     
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  18. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    Perfectly ok....we turn down many jobs. If we don't make it, can't install it, then we don't quote it. Too much headache outsourcing everything. We have PLENTY in house work to keep us busy.
     
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  19. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I don't blame ya. I've watched Arlington go downhill over the last decade... Those three shootings this week don't help the situation.

    We just moved to Frisco in December and I was looking at south Arlington and Mansfield but decided against it because of the low school marks...even though you could get sooo much more house for the money down there.
     
  20. OhioSigns

    OhioSigns Member

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    Yep, turning down work that is going to be a PITA or not profitable is perfectly fine and SMART. I find myself turning down more and more as we are getting busier with commercial type work. I have pretty much cut out all work that people want on their personal vehicles and small jobs as they are just too much of a drain on time.
     
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