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How far will you travell to quote for a job?

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Post Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:26 pm

How far will you travell to quote for a job?

I was wondering how far people are prepared to travel to quote a job?

The reason is I was asked by an old customer to quote for a sign at a new shop 40 miles away. Making this an 80 mile round trip. I politely declined on the basis this would involve at least 4 hours traveling (once to quote - then again to do the job - assuming my quote was accepted).

What do others do in situations like this?
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Post Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:32 pm

Hi Phill

depends on what the job is and how much it is likely to be worth, if its just small sign then probably not worth it but a big sign could be. oh also what i have on at the time :D i find that i have more than enough work locally, so as you have done, unless it could be a nice little earner i pass it over.

Paul
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Post Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:33 pm

I've had exactly this situation. A customer has said that he would rather keep with me than find someone local but of course who pays for the travel?
I sort of divvy it up and explain that there will be a travel charge but it doesn't reflect the true cost including wages of the time on the road.
I value his long term business and some jobs are less worth the hassle than others. I look back over the years and think of the work and recommendations he has put my way and stick with it.

Another company (charity) would open a new branch every so often getting further away each time.
I always added in the true cost of travel but eventually they have gone elsewhere. Having seen just how much these charity shops pull in I make no exception as they earn more than a normal business and yet get high street concessions.
It depends how much you value your customer really.
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Post Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:35 pm

I quite often travel 20 miles quoting jobs because of where I'm situated. Was asked to quote for a job in Brum but thats 45-50 miles away so declined. It's a lot of time and fuel. It not like there is a shortage of signmakers in Birmingham so I ask myself why they call me from so far away maybe no one will work for them (bad payers, fussy buggers)
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Post Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:08 pm

If it seemed worthwhile, I would go up to 50 miles away. But I would not do a free estimate, the client would be advised of a trip charge of $25.
(maybe $40 by next week the way gas prices are rising)
Love....Jill
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Post Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:31 pm

well i ask the customer to photograph the area, if its worth a few quid we travel to check measurements before we commense or just do something simple. With the photo, sometimes you can get a rough idea on measurements.
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Post Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:46 pm

I had this the other day and asked the customer to supply size and I quoted accordingly, I advised him it was an estimate based on his size and I would do a site inspection after I received 50% deposit and then supply a firm quote. If he said no then I would have walked away but he went ahead and paid the deposit, I went and did site inspection and all was fine, my quote did include 2 trips of travelling.
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Post Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:49 pm

As Dave has said, most of my quotes start with some basic prices from the size given to me from the customer along with a photo, then we talk about materials and effect they are after, if after this the customer would like to proceed then I will travel to see the job as you have more chance of getting it. I only work this way when there is distance involved. I think for an existing customer I would think it more than worth while to travel 40 miles as you have designs etc from old work, this also stops another sign company getting work after this job, this is unless your so busy you don't need repeat custom.
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Post Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:12 am

Pretty much as has been said already - if it's big enough, I'll go 40-50 miles, with that figured into the quote. I recently had someone who manages parking structures and wants 15 painted directional signs, they are 40 miles away but that was big enough to make the effort. If it's over about 15 miles I usually ask for a photo & approx dimensions, etc & try to give them a rough estimate based on that, and if that doesn't scare them off, we proceed. I always figure the amount of time spent messing about thus into the quote, with mileage figured in for anything above 10 miles.
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Post Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:02 am

Sounds pretty good advice.

I live 22miles from workshop and the next town is 1Hr drive away, so I try to do inspections when I am doing another job there.

Cheers

Dave
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Post Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:41 am

Phill,

A bit unprofessional I know but I try and arrange a family day out around this sort of thing. What with the wife not working and the son being home educated and me being able to work flexible hours, if I can do it I'll move my other commitments around and spend themorning/day/afternoon in the prospective customer's locality doing something nice. There's usually something to do just about anywhere for a four year old.

Cheers!
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Post Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:42 am

Ill always quote on jobs miles away, add in cost of travel and time.
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Post Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:31 pm

I try and arrange a family day out around this sort of thing
- that's so wonderfully sane and well-prioritized. I love that.
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Post Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:36 pm

Ill always quote on jobs miles away, add in cost of travel and time.
That's what I do, too, but what do you do about it when you don't get the job? Just eat it? Unfortunately I haven't found a way around that little problem; it pays off often enough that I do it anyway, but I hate to go 50 miles for a dud. I usually won't do it unless there's a high probability of good money, but sometimes it's a waste of time and gas. Do you bill them or something? Seems as if that might be difficult to collect on.

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