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Dibond builders board


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Post Fri Aug 08, 2003 11:48 am

Dibond builders board


I have a customer who is a reasonably large construction company. They want some builders boards 4'x2' to fasten to a couple of 75mm posts planted in concrete.

Is Dibond a suitable material for the sign? can I buy self adhesive rails and brackets? If so where from?

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Post Fri Aug 08, 2003 1:11 pm

I'd be tempted to get a quote from Ashby Trade Sign Supplies for an aluminium panel with riveted channel on the back for standard pole clips.

I've had great services & prices from them over the years

They are based in Reading and their phone no. is 0118 981 5343

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Post Fri Aug 08, 2003 1:51 pm


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Post Fri Aug 08, 2003 2:04 pm


Please can you guys pass comment on my pricing...

4'x2' panel with 2 channels and 4 Clips including carriage £89.91 (Ashby)
8sq feet of 1 colour decoration
Customer collects

My fomula goes...

Input materials marked up 50% ... £134.87
1 colur decoration £2 sq ft ... £16
1 Logo to be vectorised £13.50 (will sub out to vectorwise after second attempt)

Grand total £184.37 + VAT

Seems to low to be making money, seems high as I look at it from the customer perspective?????

Comments please!!!

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Post Fri Aug 08, 2003 2:51 pm

looks about 20% too expensive to me- the sign trade is getting harder by the week- too many sign firms- too little work- too tight budgets- nobody wants quality any more!
think ill get out and apply for political assylum in Iraq!

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Post Fri Aug 08, 2003 5:14 pm

I would have said anything less than your £184.37 and you’re giving it to them.

Panel 89.91
Loge 13.50
Total without any profit 103.41

That only leaves you with about £81 to cut the logo and lettering and apply.
You have to order the panel and logo vector (which in my book is cheap but don’t tell Rob), you need to make a profit on the panel and vector and on the bit of vinyl you use all out of the 81 quid.

Make them have it or join Steve on the way to Iraq :o


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Post Fri Aug 08, 2003 7:12 pm

I priced the job as orginally calculated and offered a 15% discount for 3 or more, let's wait and see.

Thanks for the help

Post Fri Aug 08, 2003 9:21 pm

Exactly why it's getting harder to earn money at this game.
You're giving it away and resorting to the defence that if it isn't cheap then you'll lose the job.
If we all did that then the end would come soon.
If you just get the job because you're cheap, then what's the point.
For what you'll earn after costs, what was the point of outlaying on equipment and software.

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Post Fri Aug 08, 2003 11:31 pm

I agree Peter,

Earlier on this week I got a - to put it politely - "right boot up the a*se" from Mike the sign because I quoted a guy £200 to do his astravan...

Mike helped me with this design (on my second attempt) FOC as my initial layout needed a little "tweaking." He mentioned why I was doing it this cheap, well I thought to myself and TBH, I was doing it because I thought the guy would say that's too expensive. But, when I thought about this after, why should I?

I am generating business for him and with a good design could pay the price of the Van's graphics in one job!! Why am I cutting myself short.

I went back to him and presented him with the two jobs and said this one is £100 more expensive as I've spent the time on the computer, there's a wee bit of reflective here etc... Didn't get a £100 more, but I got £80 ;)

As Mike said to me, you will develop a name for yourself, not that you're the most expensive sign maker in the area BUT because you take pride in your work and generate work for the customer who buys the signs.

What would anyone rather do:
1. do three vans a week @ £100 per van
2. spend a little bit more time on the designing with a coffee in one hand and do one van for £300 per week?

I'd pick the latter, thanks mike!


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Post Sat Aug 09, 2003 7:57 am

Hi Guys
Nice to hear from you both hope you are both well.
Im afraid I have to agree with the rest of them what your offering is worth 250 all day long. I also Know that dealing with building firms can be hard going. but if you stick to your guns and point out the advantages that this type of sign can be recycled a few times as opposed to what they normally get you should have a happy customer.

Dont forget if he comes back for only one sign with a promise of having the others charge him full wack and take the total discount off the third one. :lol:

Cheers ....FB

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Post Sat Aug 09, 2003 11:02 am

I think I'm right in saying that Ruth and Ramjam are, like me, relative newcomers to the sign game and need to get some work 'out there' to cut their teeth and build a local reputation? Do a couple of cheap jobs mean that you are destined to get a reputation of cheapness for everything? I don't think so. If the customer is buying on price then that allows you more flexibility to do the job when you want to as they are unlikely to go elsewhere. If they are buying on quality then here is an opportunity for them to show what they can do and build a relationship with the customer in the hope of steamrollering into a new line of contacts.

I think I've told this story before but I do a really, really cheap Banner. a loss leader if you like. I make money on the material aspect of it but always go overboard on time spent and ham up the graphics to make them stand out. I cannot begin to tell you how much business these have brought me. In fact I'd go as far as to say that nearly everything I've done in the last 6 months has come from this form of 'advertising'........

Of course if you feel you can get more cash for a job then that's great BUT

'I've never found anyone yet who made a profit on a job they didn't get!' (:) (:) (:) (:)

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Post Sat Aug 09, 2003 6:15 pm

On the other hand - plenty of people lose money by not charging enough for work they do get :wink:

Believe me, most customers are highly resistant to you raising prices in the future - once you've done a cheap job for them, they expect all work to be cheap. Then if you raise your prices - they will move on anyway to the next poor sucker who is underpricing his work :-?

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Post Sat Aug 09, 2003 11:07 pm

Gav...Dead right mate... less work more money...why work 60 hours to earn the same you can in 40...all that happens is you get more tired, make more mistakes, then you have to do more work...then the quality is going to slip...before you know you'll be chasing two bit jobs...working part time in tesco's....
Quality comes at a cost... Don't be afraid of your prices..
15% discount is a lot of best customers only get 7.5% max

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Post Sun Aug 10, 2003 6:36 pm

Well Firstly the figures don't add up.

To get £184.37 you'd be putting a 72% mark up on the materials which makes them £154.87

If you offer them a 15% discount this takes your £184.37 down to £156.71
Only £2.00 more than your material costs....

Is it worth it???

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Post Mon Aug 11, 2003 11:01 pm

Costing a job - What do you think?

Gold star to Lorraine, the sharpest knife in the block...

My error, I left a £20 sundries box filled in on my spreadsheet.

Input substrates £89.91 with 50% markup = £134.87
Decoration £2 per square foot, 8 square feet £16
Logo vectorisation £13.50

Total according to the fomula = £164.37

Substrate £89.91
Vinyl 2metres = £3
Tape, water, electricity, Invoice paper etc. £4
Logo assuming I sub it out £13.50
Total £110.41

Gross markup 49% £53.96
Gross margin 33%

This means that for a 1 hour job (2 hours talking and writing about it mind)
We make £53.96 which seems ok...

As it happens we've inadvertantly included a £20 buffer taking us upto
Gross markup 67% £73.96
Gross margin 40%

For 3 or more I've offered a 15% discount which if we examine that as an order for 3 goes like this...

According to my formula
Input materials £331.23
Output cost £419.14
Gross markup 27% £87.91
Gross margin 21%

In reality due to my £20 error
Input materials £331.23
Output cost £470.14
Gross markup 42% £138.91
Gross margin 30%

So from this I can see that my formula is wrong as as it is I would stand to make £87.91 out of half a day's work which is not enough. As luck would have it I stand to make £138.91 which is acceptable I think? It's not that I have low aspirations for making money, it's just that I'm trying to understand the market and where I stand within it. Unlike some of you I can't charge a preium because I'm very experienced and a sign made by me is certain to last a very very long time or a sign by me will be stunningly well designed and enhance the image of a company. I don't work with uncommon materials and I don't provide a fantastic blend of art and signcraft. I've not got wizz bang machinery to knock out jobs in moments flat. I am currently a regular signmaker with a plotter, software, some stock, a workshop and a reasonable eye for what looks good. How much would you charge?

And before you say "If you're happy then..." tell me what would you charge, would you expect to get the job, would you use that to leverage further more profitable work or is this bread and butter cash profit work?

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Post Tue Aug 12, 2003 12:02 am

As a (very rough) rule of thumb I would say £180 + VAT per sign (minimum) any less and it really is not worth doing. For one sign you need to be quoting about £250 + VAT (minimum).

If someone else wants to do it for less let them - this leaves you with more time to get on and do more lucrative work and grow your business.

Good luck :D

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Post Tue Aug 12, 2003 12:08 am

dont give the bl**dy thing away !!

here's a little technique often used to convince my clients of the "worth" of the sign.

Before trying to sell the product, take a look in the Yellow Pages and notice if your client is advertising. If so, roughly measure how much space there taking, i.e 1/4 page, 1/2 page etc....Now, bearing in mind that a whole page cost around £6000.00, devide the sign you're trying to flog by A4 pages, multiply that by £6000.00 and remind the customer what a bloody good deal your offering. Oh yes, that £6000.00/year !

There's signmakers and piemakers..........

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