Most jobs are susceptible to scope creep. That's when the project description that you originally bid on grows once you start.
"Can you paint a few of the doors as well? We tried cleaning them and a few of them are going to need a fresh coat."
"The designer needs to change some of the colours. This scheme isn't working for the client."
"My husband tried to do the soffits himself but he almost fell off the ladder. We're going to need you to do those as well if you could."
How do you react in these situations? Does your heart rate increase? Do you feel frustrated?
A couple of suggestions...
1. Look at it as a good thing. Adjusting our viewpoint can make a huge difference. Here the client is expressing confidence that you can solve more of their problems. If every job grows by 20%, that means you have to find 20% less new customers. New customers are costly to acquire - both in resources and time. Add ons are a great opportunity to grow your business and profit margin at the most cost affective way possible.
2. Build flexibility into your schedule. Anticipate scope creep and add some flex time into your
schedule so that it doesn't compromise your service level to other clients, or completely stress you out.
3. Keep daily records. In your customer file, log daily activities and include any extra labour and materials. This will make billing more accurate and you will have accessible data to support your surcharges if there is push back from the client. No reasonable client will ask you to do extra work and not expect to pay for it. You may be surprised how quickly those extras add up and pad your profit margin nicely.
Embrace the creep!
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