How To Charge Your Customers For Labor Part 1
A lot of scientific formulas have been written on weld filler deposition rates for each process, and lbs. of weld per foot and cost per inch to do various types of welding. They figure in spatter loss, bead width, joint design, overall metal transfer efficiencies and more variables so you can closely estimate the cost of welding and make the best estimate for how much it will cost you to do a certain project. Those formulas are fine. I have them. They work. But they may not be practical for smaller jobs. The cost of time used during estimation may outweigh other, more simple methods. And then, if the estimate doesn’t win the bid, then there is the lost effort. The method I frequently employ is to only estimate the material cost. At today’s cost of welding metal, I can roughly double the cost and add 10% to it to get a fairly close estimate that will not only make some money but win bids. This isn’t a careful analysis to be sure…and sometimes my margin levels are a little lower than they should be, but at times it works out better than expected. But I never lose money this way and always am satisfied with the take home from the job, and the customer is generally satisfied with the result. I’m not quite sure how scientific that is, but in many traditional retail markets, a profit margin of 50% is normal, and expected. The extra 10% is there for padding for the unexpected, and if the job comes out under budget and on time, you can remove that at the end as a final discount, which further pleases the customer.