Pricing Your Work For Profit

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Forum topic by billb posted 05-05-2010 09:43 PM 1279 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View billb's profile


113 posts in 2366 days

05-05-2010 09:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip resource

I’ve known many woodworkers who have lost money because of pricing and collection mistakes. I love woodworking and when I do it for myself or my family, the time and the cost doesn’t matter. But when I do work for customers, I do it to make money. Our skills have value.

To help me make certain that I covered all my costs on jobs, I created a chart. I thought it was pretty good but one of my readers, who is obviously a whiz with Excel, turned the chart into a great excel spreadsheet to help him calculate job prices. His name is Mike Stewart and he generously shared this spreadsheet with me and allowed me to share it with anyone who is interested. So, now it’s just a click away for all members of LJ. Just click on the link below and download it to your computer for future use.

The yellow cells can be adjusted to your own figures and the pink cells calculate automatically when you change the yellow cells. Not only does it make calculating jobs easier but it reminds you of all the items that should be considered when pricing jobs. Please let me know how it works for you and post any questions.

-- Bill, Austin, Texas,

5 replies so far

View kennyd's profile


103 posts in 2422 days

#1 posted 05-05-2010 09:51 PM

Hi Bill,

That’s a great tool! Thanks for sharing.

-- Kenny... The man who needs a tool he doesn't have is already paying for it.

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 2620 days

#2 posted 05-05-2010 10:22 PM

Bill, thanks for posting this info, also very appropriate name for this post.

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View interpim's profile


1158 posts in 2880 days

#3 posted 05-05-2010 10:46 PM

I know a Mike Stewart that lives in Texas and is a woodworker… he used to be in the Navy and is a very good friend.

-- San Diego, CA

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 2490 days

#4 posted 05-05-2010 11:30 PM

That’s pretty good although I could quibble over a few things. IMO, the most glaring “error” would be the actual hours worked per year that get paid for. My own experience is that it’s pretty easy to “work” 200 hours per year on bids, sales, marketing, etc on jobs that don’t develop. Add in another 100 hours for administrative and book keeping chores and some more time for tool and machine maintenance.

Back in my engineering management days we used a factor of 15% to account for non-billable work over the course of a year.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View billb's profile


113 posts in 2366 days

#5 posted 05-06-2010 12:16 AM

Excellent point Sawkerf, although I think you are a little heavy on the hours. It would probably relate directly to the complexity of the work you are doing. The main problem is that many woodworkers don’t get paid at all for this time and I just wanted to be certain it was considered.

interpim, this Mike Stewart is from Illinois. At least he is now. I plan to invite him to the forum and then you can find out for certain.

-- Bill, Austin, Texas,

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