Top tips of things to think about when pricing during a pandemic or similar event;

  • Provide your clients with a protocol document. How are you managing your sites and your team during this time? What provisions are in place if someone gets sick? How are you managing infection spread on the daily? To give you an idea, I have just created a document for all of my building inspectors to leave at each house the visit for building reports, it’s a short one pager outlining what we do to manage contagion. We use hand sanitizer before and after, keep gloves and masks at the ready if needed, we don’t shake hands….. etc. We leave this document behind at every house we visit with contact details should any one need to get in contact to say they have become sick so we know to self isolate. Why? We want to be seen as professionally dealing with this and that we aren’t blazay about our teams health or our clients health. This goes a long way!
  • If you are starting a new job or pricing a job for the future, make sure you add in something around the supply of goods and potential delays. Overseas items that a client may want could be delayed in getting to NZ, the delay of important items to finish a project shouldn’t really be something you wear the cost of, so you want to encourage clients to make decisions about fixtures and fittings even earlier than you normally would so that they have a chance of arriving in time. It also may be that they do arrive early and you need somewhere secure to store them, bear this in mind too when you are pricing your P&Gs, is a lock up or similar needed?
  • If delays occur onsite because of sickness or self isolation within your own team, how will you manage those? What will the process be to notify your client? Don’t ghost people!!!! If half your team has to take a month off to look after their kids, how will you manage that? Your P&G items that are time dependent (think fence hire, scaff hire, etc) are gonna get blown out of the water. How do you manage that? One way is to offer a provisional sum for those items, and make sure you are vigilant about communicating that AND making sure it goes both ways. By using a prov sum you aren’t giving a fixed price for it, just a cost indication. If it blows out you can discuss a VO with your client, and similarly if it comes in under your allowance then you can do a negative variation instead.

Summing up

Just remember if you are going down this track you need epic communication with your client. Firstly, to explain it initially, and secondly to make sure you client is aware AS SOON as it needs to be discussed. Throwing it at them at the end of the project is only going to wind them up, and you want to leave your project on good terms so they recommend you to all their mates!

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