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Saturday, November 01, 2014

Question

We are just starting our business and we want to visit many grocery stores. Our services are scrubbing, buffing, refinishing once a month, and stripping twice a year .We know the time for each store, but my question is, How much we can charge or bid? We are two guys running this business.


Answer

The better question is, How much do we need to earn to support two men and any dependents?
If you know, for certain, the time involved in each operation you describe, you know how many jobs you can do each night or weekend, or whenever you can do the work safely without people in your way. You should be using the most productive equipment and procedures possible, because time truly is money in this business.
You must price your service per hour high enough to cover your personal labor, your supplies, transportation, insurances, overhead and make a bit of profit, which is money beyond these other essentials. That means charging $35 to $50 per man-hour or more, depending on the job costs and your income needs.
At the same time, you must price the service so that you are not constantly undercut by those with more productive systems or a less conscientious approach, or by just plain low-ballers looking to make a few bucks on the side.
Make sure “the time for each store” is your time and not what someone has told you. Anyone can do poor quality work fast, but finish drying takes time and that makes the difference between two coats that won’t last a month and five that will.
Also, keep in mind that the service you are proposing has no control whatsoever over the sort of maintenance these floors receive between your monthly visits. That means the floors may be well swept and mopped daily, or they may be covered with grit, litter, spills, and wet matting for days. You won’t know until you observe, so don’t price restoration work at maintenance rates.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor
lekrafft@juno.com