Printing prices

David Obryan

New Member
What are you guys charging per square ft for calandra or cast print?
 

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bob

Member
Would you charge as much per square foot for a 12"x12" print as you would for a 10'x10' print? If you do you'll either go broke or pis$ people off. You need to use a sliding scale where the price per square foot starts at some maximum per ft^2 and decreases to some minimum per ft^2 the larger the print.
 

Reveal1

Member
Not a fan of quoting per sq. ft. Gives the impression you are selling a commodity and doesn't accurately account for costs. On any given job, a business owner should know exactly what cost, gross margin, and net profit would be and the only way to do that is with some sort of pricing mechanism that captures all the variables.
 

Christian @ 2CT Media

Active Member
Not a fan of quoting per sq. ft. Gives the impression you are selling a commodity and doesn't accurately account for costs. On any given job, a business owner should know exactly what cost, gross margin, and net profit would be and the only way to do that is with some sort of pricing mechanism that captures all the variables.
This is a constant battle I have internally, the problem is Costing is not a rapid process. The SQFT pricing method is a rapid price model in which you are pricing based on the law of averages to rapidly respond to quote requests. Building a rapid pricing model with the basis of actuals is what we do. I constantly review my actual costs and based on the average adjust up accordingly.
 

Reveal1

Member
This is a constant battle I have internally, the problem is Costing is not a rapid process. The SQFT pricing method is a rapid price model in which you are pricing based on the law of averages to rapidly respond to quote requests. Building a rapid pricing model with the basis of actuals is what we do. I constantly review my actual costs and based on the average adjust up accordingly.
I get that. In the day to day its a real temptation to check off a quote request with a quick 'guesstimate'. When I get into trouble, it's always been giving in to that temptation. Guess too high and lose the job, too low and lose money or go back hat-in-hand to customer asking for more.

For small jobs like banners, yard signs, small qty. labels etc. (which tend to be more commoditized anyway) etc. we DO quote a sort of hybrid system of X$ per order plus X$ per square foot which captures fixed costs and factors in quantity. That allows quick quotes and more time to do it right on the bulk of our other business which is all custom to a client's needs and done with a refined set of spreadsheets we've developed that capture everything and provide confidence in the quote. Larger shops than mine would likely benefit from the commercial systems that essentially do the same with added workflow benefits. I know exactly what I make on every job and can easily quote variations quickly.
 

Christian @ 2CT Media

Active Member
I think this largely depends on the approach and actual performance of the task. For example; the software tool with its methods and the experience of the user.
Ask a salesperson to price something based on cost. It is not that they can't, but, it will bog them down significantly vs a rapid pricing structure.
 

Christian @ 2CT Media

Active Member
Well, I'm guessing one could say your rapid structure is a software tool and its method?
It has nothing to do with software, but it can. The SQFT or SQIN model is a rapid structure, it would allow any sales-person to provide a reasonable estimate rapidly. Then when you are Quoting you can refine with actual data-based pricing.

I'm not arguing with anyone about pricing, I'm a very nuts and bolts person and I love data. I just know that data bogs down the sales process.
 
I'm not arguing with anyone about pricing
Understood.

The SQFT or SQIN model is a rapid structure
In the case of large format graphics, most software does use a SQFT as a variable of its method but also depends upon the actual costings of other variables, especially linear feet and scrap / waste. Typically, a user just assigns the particular product to the line item and enters the qty, width, height, sides, any setup charge, etc. Costings of materials, machines, and labor are calculated because their costs with markup have been called upon from pre-populated data.
 

Jester1167

Premium Subscriber
Why does everyone feel the need to give an exact price immediately? Unless you want to be the lowest in town and on the internet, you won't hear from them again.

Give them a reasonable ballpark that depends on the materials they choose, if and how art is provided, and the actual sqft printed. Anyone shopping on price alone will use your pricing to beat up other shops. By taking the time to listen to what they really want and educate them on the benefits of the materials you are selecting, you build a relationship. When they shop around they will understand what the difference in price is and without giving them an exact price, you probably won't be outbid. Before they leave or hang up I always ask that they send the art and any pertinent info for an exact quote. If they send the art and info over, they have invested their time in the process and are less likely to disappear.
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
Ya know, many years ago, it was far easier to quote, when you were quoting against another legitimate sign company. Ya all had the same tools and knowhow. It was just a matter of getting your bid in last. Well, I we were doing the signs at a particular Outlet center for years, and this other sign guy comes along and worms his way in with the company manager. I started losing some jobs here and there and asked why and they said, Bill found it $50 bucks cheaper or $75 dollars cheaper from this other guy. Turned out to be the guy who wormed his way in with.... Bill. I found out, all stores were to give Bill their quotes and he would make sure they were getting the best price available. All he did was hand the quote over to the new guy and the guy would beat it by 10% or whatever seemed good to him. Another store tenant let me know all this, so the next job I quoted, I quoted a little on the high side and I found out the other guy beat me by so much. Did it again and then I bid out a job for $360 and he beat me by about $50 bucks. Turned out, that job should've been about $4,500. He hadda back out. I did it for my real price, not the fake one Bill got. Did this again for the same kinda deal. Needless to say, they knew I was on to them and they started bidding properly, but they still lost as I had Bill removed from that position. The owner's nephew was a very good friend and had Bill quickly removed.

Yep, bidding was much easier whan we were all bidding apples to apples. Nothing like today with all the people lying about how great their products are and they don't know diddley about anything.
 
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