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Author Topic: Bid Protocol Question  (Read 9783 times)

Tim McCulloch

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Re: Bid Protocol Question
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2011, 04:19:04 pm »


The one thing I've found almost *never* works is to do a free job with the expectation that it will get you more work. I do free jobs for some friends now and then; but I have absolutely no expectations from such work other than I'm going to go out and have some fun. The couple of times a promoter was offering me "pie in the sky" returns by doing a "showcase" show for them, I wound up with pie in my face. Doing free gigs is fine if it's what you *want* to do, but never expect it to lead to much else (I can only think of one time where this is happened for me). That's not to say one should never to free jobs; I do 4-5 per years (mostly charity benefit types of shows), but don't do them on a promise of bigger and better things. Make sure you're covering your costs.  That's what I do when I low-ball jobs -- I make sure all my costs are covered (well, other than perhaps *my* personal time).  This approach has worked quite well for me in the past.

From the Basement... click the thumbnail...
http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,1552.msg8325.html#msg8325
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Bid Protocol Question
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2011, 04:27:11 pm »

From the Basement... click the thumbnail...
http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,1552.msg8325.html#msg8325

Nice "gotcha", Tim.  And in a parallel vein:

Q: How do you recognize a level-headed Swede?

A: He drools snus out of both sides of his mouth.

DR
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Bid Protocol Question
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2011, 04:49:19 pm »

Nice "gotcha", Tim.  And in a parallel vein:

Q: How do you recognize a level-headed Swede?

A: He drools snus out of both sides of his mouth.

DR

I never knew one could use a Swede to check the drum riser for level!

Tim Mc
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Dave Rickard

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Re: Bid Protocol Question
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2011, 09:04:21 pm »

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Rob Gow

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Re: Bid Protocol Question
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2011, 11:14:39 pm »

That's my plan.



Also, if the venue gets you for dirt cheap, they might not want to pay any higher in the future, since "you did the job for $xxx last time.

Seems like a bottom feeder move.
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Randall Hyde

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Re: Bid Protocol Question
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2011, 01:14:06 pm »



Also, if the venue gets you for dirt cheap, they might not want to pay any higher in the future, since "you did the job for $xxx last time.

Seems like a bottom feeder move.

You know, I hear this comment all the time. Never been a problem with my clients.  Maybe I'm just a perennial bottom-feeder, I guess.

Doing jobs at a discount, especially if you make it clear that you're doing the job to prove your capabilities, is a *marketing cost*. No different than any other form of advertising you pay for. I've done lots of these types of jobs to "prove my mettle" and I'd say that 3/4 of them have worked out. I generally price the jobs so that I make money *on that job alone* (that is, I don't consider the extra overhead costs, like equipment replacement, having to cover the fact that I might not be doing a job next weekend, etc., etc.). If the client comes back and says "well,  you worked for $xxx last time, I want it for $xxx this time," I simply point out that I gave them an introductory price and the introduction is over. If I'm not good enough for $yyy, then they need to hire someone else (who will, in my case, undoubtedly cost them $zzz where $xxx < $yyy < $zzz). Most of the time I don't get any static from the clients at all because they know that I'm generally quite a bit less expensive than the alternative.

However, YMMV because I have a day job and I don't have to make a living doing this kind of work. I can afford to pass up the boring (but paying) corporate gigs and (usually) concentrate on fun stuff.  That said, I will admit that I've done a lot of $500 jobs for clients who hire me for larger work but need a small entertainment stage at a "Farmer's Market" or some such. Not at all a money-maker, but it keeps the client happy so that I get the larger (and more interesting) jobs from them.  The bottom line is that their budget wouldn't allow more than $500 for that  particular job, they don't care if I use all MI gear for it, they just want something going on. If I can do it by myself (i.e., not involve any employees), I actually pocket a few bucks; if I have to send an employee out to do it, well, I break even (when all the beans are counted). I put that down as a marketing cost. The bottom line is that I'm willing to work with my regular clients and I realize that not every show they do is a full-out rock concert; sometimes, they've just got a small little thing off in the corner of the shopping center or park that they want done. Taking care of them in situations like that is what keeps the larger jobs coming...

Again, it's all about marketing.
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Rob Gow

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Re: Bid Protocol Question
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2011, 10:20:39 am »

You know, I hear this comment all the time. Never been a problem with my clients.  Maybe I'm just a perennial bottom-feeder, I guess.

Doing jobs at a discount, especially if you make it clear that you're doing the job to prove your capabilities, is a *marketing cost*. No different than any other form of advertising you pay for. I've done lots of these types of jobs to "prove my mettle" and I'd say that 3/4 of them have worked out. I generally price the jobs so that I make money *on that job alone* (that is, I don't consider the extra overhead costs, like equipment replacement, having to cover the fact that I might not be doing a job next weekend, etc., etc.). If the client comes back and says "well,  you worked for $xxx last time, I want it for $xxx this time," I simply point out that I gave them an introductory price and the introduction is over. If I'm not good enough for $yyy, then they need to hire someone else (who will, in my case, undoubtedly cost them $zzz where $xxx < $yyy < $zzz). Most of the time I don't get any static from the clients at all because they know that I'm generally quite a bit less expensive than the alternative.

However, YMMV because I have a day job and I don't have to make a living doing this kind of work. I can afford to pass up the boring (but paying) corporate gigs and (usually) concentrate on fun stuff.  That said, I will admit that I've done a lot of $500 jobs for clients who hire me for larger work but need a small entertainment stage at a "Farmer's Market" or some such. Not at all a money-maker, but it keeps the client happy so that I get the larger (and more interesting) jobs from them.  The bottom line is that their budget wouldn't allow more than $500 for that  particular job, they don't care if I use all MI gear for it, they just want something going on. If I can do it by myself (i.e., not involve any employees), I actually pocket a few bucks; if I have to send an employee out to do it, well, I break even (when all the beans are counted). I put that down as a marketing cost. The bottom line is that I'm willing to work with my regular clients and I realize that not every show they do is a full-out rock concert; sometimes, they've just got a small little thing off in the corner of the shopping center or park that they want done. Taking care of them in situations like that is what keeps the larger jobs coming...

Again, it's all about marketing.

True, I just wouldn't feel comparable trying to put in a bid that's "50% lower than the lowest bid"

As a band I know we NEVER play for free, except the off chairity fundraiser, which is few and far between. We never give discounts because if the word gets out that "well, you played that show for $xxx instead of $xxxx" then you'll never get your rate again.


I too have a daytime job, so I'm able to pick and choose the gigs I want to cover, so it works out.
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Dave Rickard

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Re: Bid Protocol Question
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2011, 08:46:49 pm »

Thanks for all the answers guys.  They were (almost) all helpful. 

In the end, I think folks on both sides of the issue are correct.  It depends....

I'll let you know how things finally work out.
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Dave Dermont

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Re: Bid Protocol Question
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2011, 12:05:33 am »

Personal relationships have to start somewhere, and doing a show "on the cheap" can be a sound business investment. It's getting the repeat business at a fair market price that's the tricky part.

I'd put a number in the bid, and explain in writing that you are willing to operate at a loss to show them the level of service that you offer.
Even if the client understands that this is a one-time discount, there's no way to guarantee that they aren't just using this as an opportunity to get this one gig done cheaper than they have been and then going back to the other guys for the following gig.  Then how would you feel about doing a gig with no profit (or at a loss)?

This where the business decision making comes in.

There is always a chance that "the other guy" really is as good as you are at doing the gig, but is just a poor businessman.

There are a lot of ways to advertise. A full-page ad in a daily newspaper can cost thousands of dollars, and never generate enough business to justify the cost. A series of ads in the local arts weekly can cost a couple hundred bucks, and bring in all kinds of work.

You have to analyze the risk/reward, and decide if you are in a position to suck up the results of the worst case scenario.
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Dave Rickard

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Re: Bid Protocol Question
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2011, 12:45:58 am »

It was suggested to me that I simply invite them to other gigs we're doing so they can see how we work and the results we provide.  The invitations will be to both soundchecks and shows.

I don't know why I didn't think of that, but that's what I'm going to do.

If they can see and hear a difference, great.  That doesn't mean they'll be willing to pay more, but at least it will be an informed decision.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Bid Protocol Question
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2011, 12:45:58 am »


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