I occurs to me that many of out members have never actually been involved in obtaining the jobs they perform. I thought this tale might give a little insight into the 'business' side of contracting.
A local agency had, for a long time, used the same expensive contractor for all of its' work. For reasons completely unrelated to that contractor, or the work he did, a new management team was brought in. With this new team, work was opened up to everyone.
This customer put out for bid a lighting retrofit. Four contractors showed for the walk-through; only two submitted bids.
Now, I bid the job at $60K. Of that, about 1/3 was for materials (fixtures customer specified by part number), 1/3 for labor (wages), 1/3 for business expenses.
For the fixtures alone, I had pricing from two sources. Remember, these were customer specified as to type, make, and model. One source quoted $17K; the other quoted $71K. That's quite a spread! Two suppliers never got back with prices at all.
RS Means estimated $71K in labor for this job.
I did not win the bid. The winner bid $32K .... about half my bid .... and 1/5 of the bid that estimating software, and the wrong supplier, would have produced.
I look forward to seeing this other guy complete the job. I'd like to see how he makes money at his price.
I suspect that this other guy has no real idea as to his actual business costs .... will work his tail off .... and wonder why he's losing money. Time will tell.
Last edited by renosteinke; 10/29/07 08:04 PM.