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How to charge for sign site surveys


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Hello, I'm just curious how I can charge, or write on my proposals that there will be a charge for site survey when bidding on a job if not awarded the job. Normally, I add that price in with the bid/proposals, and most of the time we are awarded the job, or if not awarded it's usually something small that we don't worry too much about....Long story short, back in March I was called out to do a survey and place a bid that was 1hr each direction travel, and was onsite 1hr with the truck, taking measurements, etc, for the building and pylon sign that was damaged by a tornado....It was going to be a fairly big job and I met with the guy again and was awarded the job thru a contractor, not the owner himself.....I was told we were awarded the Job..Sent in all the vendor pkts, etc, paperwork, etc....I call back today, as I haven't heard back from them in a while and was told that the job was given to another person while "he" was on vacation and the company decided to go a different route with the job...Now, I am going to be sending him a bill for the 3hrs survey, and he was ok with compensating me, but only after I had asked. I was wanting to know if anyone else has encountered this??? If so, would it be possible to "put in the fine print" on the bottom of my job bid/proposals that there will be charges that apply for site survey if not awarded the job??? If so, could someone please help me with the "wording" of how I would say this....Any help would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks,

Teresa

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I think it should be a separate line item on your proposal and you should charge for it whether you are awarded the job or not. I don't think most customers expect you to give your work away. If they do, they're probably not the kind you want to deal with anyway.

I would bet they had a few other sign companies go out and survey the same sign and awarded it to the lowest bidder. Specifying up front that you will require payment for surveys may eliminate those that are simply sending sign companies out to start a bidding war.

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  • Board Patron

I think it should be a separate line item on your proposal and you should charge for it whether you are awarded the job or not. I don't think most customers expect you to give your work away. If they do, they're probably not the kind you want to deal with anyway.

I would bet they had a few other sign companies go out and survey the same sign and awarded it to the lowest bidder. Specifying up front that you will require payment for surveys may eliminate those that are simply sending sign companies out to start a bidding war.

Thank you, you are exactly correct...I appreciate the feedback and was just curious how other sign companies are making sure they are getting paid for surveys...

Thanks again,

PS: Any other companies feel free to reply, would like to hear from you

Teresa

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I'm a one-man operation, so I can't really afford to do work for "free". If I'm going, I'm charging.

Larger companies obviously have more flexibility and can eat the cost in some instances, so ultimately it's your call based on building/maintaining customer relationships etc.

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