Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.

 


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Price for mock up

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by Daniel Boucher, Mar 20, 2020.

  1. Daniel Boucher

    Daniel Boucher New Member

    17
    5
    3
    Aug 13, 2018
    Maine
    Tired of doing mock ups only to have the customers change their mind. They either have their sister do it on a cricket or they want to paint a piece of plywood themselves. Do most people charge a fee the minute a customer walks through the door. Spending way to much time designing things so they can take my ideas and have their sister make it on a cricket.
    Just wondering how other people handle it?
     
    Tags:
  2. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    4,749
    1,750
    113
    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    Normally I design AFTER we have deposit, unless it's a quick copy and paste mockup. Now that we all have some more freetime, that policy might get relaxed.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

    3,517
    431
    83
    Nov 11, 2008
    Ontario
    Depends on what it is. If it is a easy text only layout that will take me 10 minutes, I usually just do it and send them a low res JPEG, if they want revisions I get a deposit at that point.

    For more involved jobs, we get a small deposit from the client, enough to cover our time in design. We tell them the deposit will be applied toward the final job. I would say about 25% of potential clients have an issue with this policy, but they were probably not going to have us do the job anyway.

    Also, if you charge for designs, you are less likely to have the client want to see 15 revisions, if they know they are paying for it they all of a sudden get their s**t together.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  4. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

    1,944
    618
    113
    Jun 10, 2016
    Port Coquitlam, bc
    For our larger clients, or usual clients that we know usually go with the order, we dont charge nothing. Sometimes a client changes their mind and thats ok - But if some new client wants us to do a storefront wrap... We tell them theres a $75 an hour artwork fee, IF they don't go ahead with the job... Waived if they do. Some people agree and then end up not doing it, and refuse to pay... but it gets rid of most of the tire kickers, or people who will take that design idea and go somewhere else.

    We get some people saying that the sign shop down the street doesnt charge this way... To which we let them know theyre free to go there then. We point out we have thousands of examples, and always can do revisions if the job isnt to their liking, and usually they bite.
     
  5. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

    2,192
    192
    63
    Feb 4, 2005
    Lawton, OK
    Every client is different. You have to treat it that way. With our shop, the long-time repeat customers can expect to receive detailed sketches in PDF format, including multiple revisions free of charge. We know they're going to buy something substantial from us anyway. The middle ground takes a bit of negotiation. Customers that have sporadically bought from us as well as competitors won't get such a sweetheart deal. We don't want to charge them a lot for design time, but we will pester the crap out of them for details up front to cut down on revisions. Then if they want to get into making lots of changes then design fees may have to come in to play. A first time customer may not get charged anything on design time if the project is a very straight-forward, simple design. That holds doubly true if the client already has artwork that is ready to go. But we always keep our guard up for folks that are just price shopping. We're never going to bend over backwards working up free revisions to people who are out kicking tires at lots of sign shops looking for the cheapest deal.

    The way you protect yourself with the tire kickers is you poison any sketches you develop. If the client is suspect, do not ever leave any artwork in a PDF in vector form. Password protect the PDF first off, but then rasterize all the artwork inside. Even cook-in a watermark pattern to degrade the artwork even further. Make sure to include the sketch has a copyright notice. That should be done even if you're giving the customer a crude JPEG image as the "sketch." Do things to make life pure hell for any sign companies trying to low-ball the bid away from you. Make those bottom feeding companies trying to low bid everyone but re-use their artwork start re-building the artwork from scratch. And make sure they know if they're trying to plagiarize original artwork you created they're risking legal trouble from it.

    Far too many laypersons out there put ZERO value on original artwork and graphic design. The idiots believe the lies about computer technology they see on episodes of CSI: Miami or CSI: Fist a Buffalo for that matter. Don't be nice about it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
  6. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

    1,042
    286
    83
    Sep 3, 2018
    United Kingdom
    We have every customer sign an authorisation form that includes an invoice address. That basically states they’ve authorised us to proceed with design/print on a job and that they will be charged accordingly. Then after we’ve designed a job if they don’t proceed or get back to us with amendments Within three months, we just send them an invoice for time spent.

    We’ve never had anyone not pay. Though it’s a huge rarity. Done over 100,000 jobs and it’s probably only happened 10-20 times.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. rossmosh

    rossmosh Active Member

    678
    187
    43
    Oct 9, 2014
    New Jersey
    The response to your customers should be something along the lines of "I'm sorry but we do not provide artwork until we've received a deposit. II'm happy to send you a few layouts we've done for other customers as a reference to the type of work we do but at this point we don't work on spec."

    They'll either accept it or not.
     
  8. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

    1,042
    286
    83
    Sep 3, 2018
    United Kingdom
    Yeah if I do any work at all; I’m getting paid for it. You wouldn’t go into a restaurant and get them to make you a steak so you can look at it before you ordered one.
     
  9. signage

    signage Major Contributor

    10,617
    270
    83
    Oct 5, 2005
    Penn
    This basically reminds me of a lesson I learned many years ago by a successful business man I became friends with, he ran an auto repair shop. He had a customer come in and needed a brake job he quoted him a price and the customer asked him what it would cost if he brought in the parts and he said the same price. The customer asked why the same price, he replied, I have all the tools and equipment to do the job plus the building and they aren't free, so yes I mark up the parts to pay for this. He then asked the customer if when he goes out to eat does he take the uncooked food and have the restaurant cook it for him at a reduced rate, and the customer said no! So every one needs to earn a living, next time a customer asked you about art fees ask them what they do for a living, then asked them if you supply something they use to do the work would they reduce the fee and see what there reply is!
     
  10. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Member

    318
    54
    28
    May 7, 2019
    Wisconsin
    I was under the impression by your previous statements that you only install now and you outsource everything else. Didn't you say your time was too valuable to sit behind a computer, or was that someone else ?
     
  11. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    4,749
    1,750
    113
    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    Right now my time isn't valuable at all because no one is demanding it at any price. :roflmao:

    But to answer your question... you're kind of there.

    I mostly do installs. I outsource 100% of printing, cabinets and channel letters. My time was too valuable to sit and babysit a printer and I feel it's better to save my capital and outsource channel letters and cabinets rather than invest in-house. (Especially in times like these).

    There are no hard-fast rules though, business is fluid. When it's busy I adapt to focus on the highest time-to-$$ ratio jobs and kick out the lower stuff.

    95% of my sign business has vanished over the last week or two so I've adapted by focusing my time on day-trading. I really don't like day-trading and I'd much rather be out in the field doing sign work than staring at a chart all day and watching candle sticks go up and down...but it seams like that's the only thing I can do to make $$ right now. :birthday:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

    1,042
    286
    83
    Sep 3, 2018
    United Kingdom
    Texas has played a blinder here. While the forum will now fill up with people asking how to put their printer to sleep for a month or six. He can go back to business as usual right away whenever the world goes back to normal without worry of getting his nozzle checks back etc
     
  13. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    4,749
    1,750
    113
    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    I'll be asking that question, but it wont be on a sign fourm.
     
    • Hilarious! Hilarious! x 1
  14. Garth Vidler

    Garth Vidler New Member

    13
    2
    3
    Mar 17, 2020
    Queanbeyan
    Hi Daniel, I'm an Estimator and do sales, designs, estimates 90% of my working day. My approach is pretty much... Everything starts with a quote. If design work is involved you either build it into the price or make it clear they are paying for it.

    The only exception to this is when you are pretty sure they will go ahead and want to speed things up, for regular clients. in that case I quite often put a quick layout with the quote as this very often results in APPROVED!

    In regards to people asking for layouts, they are generally already looking for a free design so they can shop it around. These are not the kind of clients you want regardless, so give them a price and tell them you will design it up once they accept it.

    Cheers mate!
     
  15. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    4,749
    1,750
    113
    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    I don't like that method. They approved rushed designs that don't look good that you know you could of done better.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Garth Vidler

    Garth Vidler New Member

    13
    2
    3
    Mar 17, 2020
    Queanbeyan
    Yeah Texas I totally agree.

    I meant to say I do layouts that are quick to do. Like basic statutory signs etc.

    No point in rushing the design process.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Daniel Boucher

    Daniel Boucher New Member

    17
    5
    3
    Aug 13, 2018
    Maine
    Definitely nice knowing what most people are doing. I think i going to start charging for anything above a simple mockup especially new customers.
     
  18. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

    1,944
    618
    113
    Jun 10, 2016
    Port Coquitlam, bc
    funny enough I had a meeting yesterday with our sales reps about this - well, it was about us switching to digital work orders... And how we needed a sales order # before they could start a digital, and they asked us how theyre supposed to get a sales # when the client hasnt agreed to make the sign yet and wants a proof.... Had no idea they were getting our art department to do proofs before getting a commitment :rolleyes:

    Your time, or your graphic artists time isn't free. You should have a portfolio showing your work - And your customer should have a rough idea of what they want... They shouldn't have any issues with committing to the order - especially if you're willing to make revisions for them.

    I went and checked the sales reps work trays today... about 2 dozen orders that proofs were done for, that have been sitting there for weeks. They're new, and we hired them to bring in new business... So theyve been going to new customers we dont deal with, and it turns out theyve had a lot of people get proofs and not go with the sign - They didnt tell the customers prices before hand.. or estimates, they said let us design something for you and we'll work out a price...then when they found out the price of the signs they walked away. No skin off the sales reps back... but we estimate theyve wasted hundreds of hours of our graphics artists time in the 6 months theyve been working so far... so that got nipped in the butt real quick.

    always give a rough estimate based on what they want - If theyre ok with the price, let them know there is an art fee if they do not go through with the job - You estimate it'll take x hours, and if they go through with the product... the art fee is baked into the price of the sign, so they'll only be charged it if they decide they no longer want the sign.

    Most customers are ok with this - It may sound draconian, but you or your people should never work for free.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

 


Loading...