I am not interested in these jobs at all. Even the big jobs. Someone asked me today to quote an install of his brand new Sony 995 projector, Stewart 156" screen, and 12 in wall speakers. (wired already by his carpenter)
All new equipment that his "friend got him for great pricing. ( I actually think the friend gave it to him for dealer cost)
I asked him why his friend didn't install it and he told he he was too busy.
It's a dedicated theater with 6 windows with lots of light coming through. He told me that he was only going to use the theater at night.
The 156" stewart screen covers over half of 2 windows.
Apple TV to be his source because Kaleidescape is too expensive. A sony 995 on a 156" Stewart and no Kaleidescape! come on man
Charge your normal rate plus the amount in equipment profit you would have made, AND have the client sign a contract stating that you have no liability for ANY damage or failures of the system and there will be no warranty implied or otherwise....
You cannot warranty anything, since you didn't provide the equipment or the wiring.
Do not supply details in the quote and +1 on the disclaimers. His headaches, because of equipment problems, will become your headaches and you will be the only one handy to point a finger at. Deposits on everything and he pays as he goes. If i was busy I wouldn't take it. I haven't posted much in years but I had to say something about this.
Likely, your cost will be much too high. There is not much to this system. Why can't the carpenter install everything?
We did a couple jobs with a GC who had a carpenter who knew everything about everything. The master carpenter did plumbing, electrical, carpentry, networking, and A/V. We were brought in for the final connections. It did not go so well for the customer. Shorts and wire nut splicing of CAT-5 by the junior carpenter did not work out so well. It seemed to me that there were code violations everywhere. I have no idea how these houses passed inspection.
For tv's we do as we have all the chain stores around us, and we have loyts of call for it, and we usually sell a mount and a soundbar at the same time.
For any real home theatre stuff I've been asked and just quoted pretty high and then I never heard back from them lol.
Well okay not everyone gives up that easy, I can go on for hours how some would try to convince me how easy and simple it will be since its wired and prepped and this and that and oh, your a pro, 20 minutes to do this and set up that, and if I was not so busy I would do it myself blah blah blah but ya most of the time they just will call someone else.
There are times when supplying equipment is a good idea and times when it won't provide enough profit- this clyde is all about the sticker price, so it's unlikely that he won't swallow his tongue when he gets a quote.
OTOH, sometimes, supplying only labor and a few parts can be a good thing- if someone isn't making money on their labor, they need to raise their price or become more efficient.
I wouldn't do this without a list of disclaimers, though. This guy has expectations and they need to be explained, in great detail. Then, they need to be smashed flat if they aren't realistic.
I got a referral form past clients and the new one asked if I would be interested in installing some Sonos pieces that she had bought direct (received a 30% off offer from Sonos after visiting a local dealer). Since I wouldn't make much due to not being direct, I went there to see what they needed and when I saw that they were trying to limp their WiFi along with a power line extender than didn't work well, I told them they needed a hard wired connection for the AV equipment (TV, BD, AppleTV and Sonos PlayBar). I then ended up moving the router to a better location/installing a shelf, cleaned up the AV system wiring in the basement, tweaking some router settings and getting the system to work far better than it could over WiFi.
The original dealer she had contacted wouldn't do the job if she didn't buy from him and I should really thank him for that.
My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
Generally not, but it's depending on the prospective client, where they came from, and what the project is.
If it's someone who just moved into town and bought a house that's of the type we typically work in, and got my name from another executive at the company they just joined, I will absolutely do what I can to take care of them, while still making money (although not as much as if I had sold the gear, obviously). Almost never will they have EVERYTHING needed for their installation, and typically taking care of this less-profitable project leads to a relationship that provides years of business.
If it's some random guy who has a gear list from AVSForum and has dropped a form email into my "contact us" page from the website (along with doing the same to probably a dozen other places), then I will return the call, ask a lot of questions, and help them to understand that I'm probably not the right fit for their project.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about how my company presents itself specifically to ward off tire-kickers and "value" shoppers. A previous company that I worked at was always worried about losing the "bread and butter" projects (single-room media systems ~$10k) by appearing too high-end, so we got a lot of these sorts of inquiries (how much to install my new high-end Vizio and Klipsch package from black friday?). We get almost none of them at my current company.
How busy are you? Clearly define what you plan on doing to justify your costs: Test all cabling for continuity, label all wiring, etc. Define process you will follow if defective product is encountered: Will continue with other work if possible, otherwise, bill for entire day if work is stopped. Will you get other work out of this customer, either directly or referrals, that you want?
We use D-Tools system integrator and the proposals usually show up as 75% material or more, so the money is in the markups for us. Yes there is profit on Labor/programming, but not as much as material. So, like the trunk-slammer said, I would think charging for all of the equipment markup is the way to go, then of course, you wont ge the job. Hence why I decline
Is your business concept a conscious all or nothing approach? It seems like your pricing structure is pigeon holing you in a certain regard, but if youíre purposely narrowing your client pool then it makes sense as long as your flow is steady. Iíve always separated equipment from labor but I make much more on labor, at least how Iíve structured my rates. Iíve had dozens of projects that people just liked sourcing their own gear or reusing existing gear where I was time and materials with the understanding that any issues that arise are billable. They are actually very profitable and not supplying displays is actually more relieving at times. I donít need to deal with delivery or supply logistics, and when thereís a broken unit Iím still in a billable situation. I guess both approaches work but as our business becomes more about expertise and electronics become more of a commodity the profits from equipment become more difficult to manage.
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