By SignCraft Magazine
Posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2017
Grab a pencil.
Let’s say the owner of a landscape company just stopped by with the new 16-ft. trailer to get a price on having it lettered. Jot down what you would sell this job for. In a second, you can compare your numbers with the estimates of the owners of three successful sign businesses.
You can quote it as a basic, intermediate or complex version-—or all three if you like. In the photos above, you’ll see designs and prices for the same project at each of these levels. It’s a great way to see how your numbers compare.
Successfully pricing your work is essential to surviving in the sign business. Too high and they will walk; too low and you’ll shortchange yourself. Underpricing a job now and then is inevitable, but if it happens too often, it will damage (or end) your business.
Pricing help like this is hard to find anywhere. Don’t miss the chance to see how your prices fit in. Of course, your prices reflect your overhead and your market. But these differences aren’t dramatic enough to account for the variation we so often see in the prices for sign work. Signs are often priced inaccurately.
Most successful sign shop owners agree that this is usually the result of inexperience, not knowing your true overhead costs or underestimating the actual time required to do the entire job. (SignCraft subscribers can use our Monthly Overhead form to get an accurate overhead number more easily.)
These three sign business owners were told that the owner of the landscape company currently has rather basic lettering on the door of his dark gray quad cab pickup. He says that he has heard that wraps are expensive and thinks he is more in the market for lettering.
Two of the designers approached the job using cut vinyl graphics; one explained how he would upsell to a wrap. (Subscribers can read how he does that in Design & Price: Graphics for a 16-ft. trailer from the November/December issue of SignCraft.)
Each of these designers also shared their comments on how they would sell and execute this project. You’ll find that in Design & Price: Graphics for a 16-ft. trailer in the November/December 2016 issue of SignCraft.
We feature a typical sign project in the Design & Price section of every issue of SignCraft—bringing you real pricing numbers and practical sales ideas every time.
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