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Newbie has a question

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by sunnydaze, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. sunnydaze

    sunnydaze New Member

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    Jan 22, 2007
    Hi everyone,:thumb:

    My name is Kim and I run a small home based shop in Mississippi. I started this as a hobby but it is really starting to grow. My main problem is knowing how to price jobs. I have a customer that wants a 2x3 Mdo sign, double sided, text only. He will be hanging it in front of his business. Can someone please please help me. I have no idea how to price this.:thankyou:
     
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  2. keleland

    keleland Member

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    Dec 30, 2006
    Gosh...I am not help!! I am struggling with pricing too! Though I don't do the same signmaking as the rest of you I am curious if there is a set profit margin you use or if it is based on an hourly concept.

    Thanks!

    Kerri
     
  3. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Welcome from PA.

    Not knowing too much of the information, such as vinyl in stock, painted background, scalloped or not corners, did you prep the edges properly, did you design it, borders, edge capping, and some other little things.... based on the way we do them in our shop... about $275.00 for sing substrate and fabrication. No design, permits or installation included.

    :unclesam:
     
  4. Shovelhead

    Shovelhead Major Contributor

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    ...

    $240.00-ish
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2007
  5. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    You'll get as many answers as we have members.

    Good pricing all starts with arriving at a figure for your shop rate which will vary with your overhead, your efficiency and your income and profit objectives. The local market should also be considered unless it is your intent to undercut established people in the same business.

    You will find that your shop rate will likely fall in a range of $50 to $100 per hour.

    Markups on material will also get you lots of answers.

    Here's what I use in my shop:

    Shop Rate = $75.00
    Material Markup = 100%

    Your job:

    Materials
    6' 2 sided MDO = $9.00
    12' HP Cast Vinyl = $12.00
    Paint, roller, cleanup = $10.00

    Total Materials = $31.00
    Markup = $31.00

    Total Materials to Charge Job = $62.00

    Time
    Sales and Design = 45 minutes
    Cut MDO, seal and sand edges, prime and coat both sides = 60 minutes
    Cut, weed, mask, trim out and apply vinyl graphics = 45 minutes
    Total Time = 2.5 Hours
    Time Charge = $187.50

    Materials + Markup = 62.00
    Time = $187.50
    Total for Job = $259.50 picked up at our shop

    You may want to look at GraphixCALC Pro who has a program for simplifying this.
     
  6. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    Wow - we are paying $63 for 4x8 2 sided MDO board.... maybe I don't understand - what we get is listed as Simpson MDO board white. Is it available in smaller sizes or is there another... cheaper... kind available???? Also, if we are doing a sign that needs only part of the board, we still make sure the cost for the full sheet is covered - do most of you just take a loss until you need the other part of the MDO?
     
  7. Mike Paul

    Mike Paul Major Contributor

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    For starters,
    Go to SignCraft.com and pick up a copy of the 2007 Sign Pricing Guide.
    It will get you close to the amount you should be charging.
     
  8. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    I haven't bought raw MDO in a while Stacy so the $1.50 per square foot figure I used to arrive at $9.00 cost may be outdated. My $9 is for 6 square feet cut from a standard 4' x 8' board. As far as charging for the whole board, I do not unless I do not think I will ever get another call for it. The 100% markup is intended to cover some expected waste.
     
  9. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

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    "Also, if we are doing a sign that needs only part of the board, we still make sure the cost for the full sheet is covered."

    Stacy, I don't see how you can charge a customer for an entire sheet of material if his project only consumes one fourth of it.

    Think about this: A baker who buys flour and sugar in 100lb bags. Would like to pay for that entire "inventory" when you buy a donut?

    Or if Jiffy Lube buys oil in 100 gallon lots in order to get the best price, do you then want him to charge you for 100 gallons when you need 5 quarts?

    I know of no theory in business administration that recommends that treatment of clients. I sure wouldn't want it.
     
  10. cajunsignguy

    cajunsignguy Member

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    Jul 22, 2006
    I have looked at many posts on pricing and this is the first time that I have seen someone really break down how they price a job. Thanks alot Fred, great info.
     
  11. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    We are generally very fair in our pricing... but waste has to be taken into account. I haven't done small MDO jobs... smallest has been 4x4 or half a board. We charged $65 for the board (price plus mark-up) not $125 (which would be price plus mark-up of entire board). That covered the cost of the board (even though there was no profit in it for us).
    I guess I should have been clearer - I can't justify paying more for the supplies than I can bill the job for. I explain that to my customers too... the smallest size I will keep to use later is 4x4 so I give them the option of a bigger sign or paying for that minimum. Don't get me wrong... we are mainly a banner, aluminum and coro shop... we don't do many MDO signs so keeping the scrap generated from cutting a 2x3 out of a 4x8 would not be worth us doing the job if I were to only charge $25 for the board.
     
  12. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    I hear where you're coming from Stacy but that MDO does get used eventually. My theory is more looking at the total job. If I can bill out 2.5 hours of my time, even if I have to sit on some materials for a while, I am still ahead of the game by far and one day in the future will get a job with some of that scrap where I won't have to buy another board to fill the order.
     
  13. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

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    Fred's quite right. It's known as inventory. Everyone has it.
     
  14. The Big Squeegee

    The Big Squeegee Major Contributor

    Welcome from Oklahoma!

    :Welcome: to :signs101:
    A price guide is a bargin but you will need to adjust your prices for your area. Good Luck​
     
  15. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    No need for sarcasm threeputt :smile:

    MDO is not one of the things we keep in inventory - no room. We are not a full scale sign shop and don't pretend to be. Hence, the premium price if we do it. Our customers are aware and if price is the overriding issue, I have no problem in referring them to another shop - and have.
     
  16. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    earth
    Your analogies are specious. You cannot compare custom goods to mass produced commodities. Even the oil change is essentially a mass produced commodity.

    If I have to trot out and buy specific materials for a job the job must pay for all of those materials. Be that some special media, substrate, or what have you Certainly I have inventory, but, by design, it doesn't include much in the way of sheet goods. Certainly not MDO.

    If I only charged for material actually used I'd have a massive investment in inventory of oddball pieces of disparate material that is only useful under the most fortuitous of conditions. My way is much better. An odd sized piece of this or that hangs around until it gets in my way then it gets to go to the dump. If it should be used for something before then, fine, windfall profits. If not, fine, it's been paid for.
     
  17. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

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    Bob, are you in a competitive area? (I mean, Earth is a little vague.) Are there a lot of sign shops around?
     
  18. imaSIGNr

    imaSIGNr Very Active Member

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    If you were to charge a person for a whole sheet of mdo even if they only used 1/4 it. Then the customer asked you for the remainder of the sheet to take home with them. Would you give it to them at no extra charge.... I think not. If you were to cut out a 42" x 86" or something like that where it would be unlikely that you would not use the extra pieces then I would say you could charge for a whole sheet ( + 100% markup )
     
  19. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

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    I apologize Stacy.
     
  20. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    no problem - no offense taken.
     
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