ICS Magazine

A Word About Pricing

August 2, 2007

Frequently, water restoration contractors respond to calls for help on Sundays or holidays. They spend many hours in containment services, and they tie up all their limited assets on a particular job. They usually make numerous trips to the job site to check on the progress of the work, only to decide, after their meager charges are collected some 60 days later, that it simply isn’t worth the trouble.

Their disillusionment is compounded when uninformed clients, who know little about the contractor’s invest-ment in equip-ment, experience and training, complain about pricing. Also, there are a few poorly trained members of the insurance industry who wish to take advantage of restorers’ services, but who fail to appreciate their investment – not to mention the complexities of running a business in gen-eral.

The disillusionment contractors experience arises from the fact that they may not be rewarded adequately for the time and energy they expend. Too often, however, this frus-trating situation is of their own making, because they fail to charge for all their services and because, due to inadequate itemization, they are unable to justify their charges in the eyes of those who were not on the scene when the water was “five feet high and risin’.”

The purpose of this article is not to establish prices for the industry, but to bring out a few very important considerations in estab-lishing a company’s pricing policies.

The disaster restoration service business is a peculiar one. We are dedicated to helping people in the midst of life’s most traumatic circumstances, but we’re still profit-making members of the free enterprise system. People bless our arriving with manpower and specialized chemicals and equipment. They describe in glowing terms how wonderful we are while they’re standing in several inches of water watching us go to work.

However, when everything is high and dry and life is back to normal, we occasionally see a metamorphosis rivaling that of Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. Suddenly, their savior becomes a “price