National Entrepreneurs’ Day is November 19th. I was going to write a missive about how if there was ever a year to celebrate staying in business for yourself, 2020 is it. The post I’d planned in my head was going to give suggestions on how to celebrate – from cheersing yourself with your favorite cocktail to treating yourself to that piece of equipment you’d been holding off on buying. Then I saw this shared by a friend on Facebook:
A customer asked me how much it cost to do this job. I answered him: $1500.
He said: So expensive for this job?
I asked: How much do you think it would cost you?
He answers me: $800 maximum. That’s a pretty simple job right?
I responded: For $800, I invite you to do it yourself.
He says: But… I don’t know how to.
So I tell him: For $800, I’ll teach you how to. So besides saving you $700, you’ll get the knowledge for the next time you want this done.
It seemed right to him and he agreed.
I continued: But to get started, you need tools. A welder, grinder, chop saw, drill press, welding hood, gloves etc.
He says: But I don’t have all this equipment, and I can’t buy all of these for one job.
So I say: Well then for another $300 more, I’ll rent my stuff to you so you can do it.
Okay, he says.
I say: Okay! Tuesday I’ll get up with you to show you how to start doing this work.
He responds: But I can’t on Tuesday. I only have time today.
My response: I’m sorry, but I’m only available Tuesday to teach you AND lend you my stuff. Other days I’m booked up, busy with other customers.
He concedes: Okay. That means I’m going to have to sacrifice my Tuesday, give up my tasks.
I go on: I forgot. To do your job yourself, you also have to pay for the nonproductive factors. Stuff like taxes, vat, security, insurance, fuel etc.
He’s surprised: Oh no! But to accomplish these tasks, I’m going to spend more money and waste a lot of time!
Next I tell him: I’ll also make you a list of all the materials you need. Truck loading is done Monday evening or Tuesday morning, so you’ll have to come by 6am to load the truck. Don’t forget to be on time – make sure to avoid traffic jams and be on time.
More surprise from him: At 6??? Nope! Too early for me! I’m used to getting up later.
After a minute, he says: You know, I’ve been thinking. You’d be better to get the job done. I’d rather pay you the $1500. If I had to do it, it wouldn’t be right and it would cost me a lot more.
When you pay for a job, especially handcrafted, you pay not only for the material used, but also:
knowledge, experience, study, tools, services, time, punctuality, accountability, professionalism, accuracy, sacrifices, safety and security, payment of tax obligations, and more.
No one should denigrate other people’s work by judging solely by prices. Only by knowing all the elements necessary for the production of certain work can you estimate the actual cost.Image by Jared Rendell from Pixabay