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Re: General business questions

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I have heard some objections on the list about discussing fee, maybe due to
some legal issues. But here I go anyway. I don't feel that home base offices
should necessarily charge any less than average fees by offices. In general,
low overhead practices (i.e. home business) which charge much less than
office practices leave clients confused over the huge differences in fees
for the same work. To each his/her own, but by charging low fees you will
find that the word gets out and you will continually be working for clients
who are only looking for the bottom line...the old "engineers as a commodity
syndrome". If you don't have any work the natural tendency is to give a
lower fee to assure work. Having an adequate fee will allow the engineer the
time necessary to do better work and it will ultimately benefit the
profession. I would much rather loose a few jobs, maybe work less but earn
the same amount at the end of the year. It is not unusual to have fee
proposals range 200-300% for small and residential jobs.

Yesterday, I discussed fee structure for a housing job a colleague was
bidding. He was used to larger commercial jobs. His fee, which I agreed was
appropriate, was twice what the client was looking for. Needless to say he
did not get the job. Same old story. Flame on!

Jeff Smith