I underbid a job, what can I do about it now?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you underbid a job and within a short time of starting it, you realized you were going to have to eat some serious costs to complete it? If you have, you are not alone. This kind of thing happens from time to time, especially when you are new to the business or you are offering a new service you haven’t quite yet gotten under your belt. When you do find yourself in such a situation, the first thing to remember is don’t make it any worse than it is. Follow these simple tips and you may be able to turn a money losing job into a profitable one.

A member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum wrote “I’ve been stuck on this one job for almost a month. Tomorrow I will hopefully be finally finished. When I initially wrote up the contract for this job, I had put the date range at only 5 days. It’s almost been 30 and I’ve been eating the cost on this job each and every day since. I might as well have written the contract and billed myself.

This past month I’ve been struggling. All profits from the other jobs I’m currently busting my butt on, have been used to pay the expenses for this disaster job I’m on. Basically I don’t feel as if I should be paying for these people yard service. They know they screwed me, as they can see this project wound up being a lot bigger that was initially bid on.

If I were smart I would have just pulled away when my costs exceeded what I bid the job to be in total. I guess just because of my kindness and hard work ethic, I didn’t want to just say screw you and stop the job. Instead I’m finishing it because I don’t know what else to do.”

One lawn care business shared “when you find yourself in this situation, there is nothing wrong with going back to a customer and working out a solution both parties can agree to. In my experience most, not all, but most will understand that we all have bills to pay and sometimes our estimates are not on the mark. There have been time where I eat the costs, however those are rare. The few times this has happened to me, I usually have a heart to heart with the customer and have found they respect this and generally speaking we always walk away happy.

The thing is, you don’t want to wait too long to have this talk. That is a pitfall many new business owners tend to fall into. In fact, the sooner you realize there is a problem, the better it is to bring it to the customer’s attention. Show them how an unforeseen circumstance is going to cause you to spend more time or money to complete the job. Work out the problem before you continue you and keep everyone happy.”

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