Straight Talk: Know Your Worth, and Value What You Do

Sean James 2024 Headshot
Sean James Know Your Worth

As a wood flooring professional running a business, it is important to always remember this: You’re not paying for the materials to do the job—the customer is! Of course you need to use quality products/materials—and you also need to add your margins and charge for everything! Here's a reminder on the correct way to calculate adding your margin:

Calculating Profit Margins

In my job working with contractors every day, this seems like something I have to tell everybody I meet. It drives me crazy to hear that it makes the job too expensive. If you aren’t charging for your labor, materials and time, then why would you do the work?

When I was contracting, I wrote out a list of everything that was needed to do my job. When you get deep into listing every single thing, it’s a lot! Here's a similar list I just made:

Charge For Everything

I had to put my foot down and charge for everything. And I found I had to be straight up with my clients: “This is what it’s going to cost to do the work”—period. If they had an issue with the price, I didn’t waver: “If you can’t afford it, you’ll need to get another bid.” Or, “If you don’t value quality, you’ll need to find another contractor.” Quality comes first.

Know your worth, and value what you do. If you don’t get paid for the hard work that you do, then ultimately you’re going to get burnt out. By providing quality work and using quality materials, you’ll not only get more work, you’ll also get more referrals and quality reviews. 

Once you have a reputation for doing quality work and using quality products, and you show that through photos and video on social media, etc., the question of price goes away, and the question of when you can start becomes the No. 1 question. The best way to gain someone’s trust is to start with a good first impression. From there, being able to sell yourself, the quality of the work you do, and the products you use and your process will help you to get most every job regardless of price.

Keep in mind that if we do quality work with quality products and strive to get better and better—and charge what we are worth—we bring the industry up and raise the bar for customers’ expectations when hiring a wood flooring craftsmen/craftswomen.

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