A Job Analyzer Tool Will Keep You in
the Black Year After Year
Ask any custom installation professional
what he or she cares about most and
you’ll likely get the response, “my
tools.” And boy, does our industry
have a lot of them. They cut holes,
pull wires, terminate cables, and even
analyze walls to find wood, metal, and
live wiring hidden behind. But that’s
just the hardware. Open that same
installer’s laptop, and you’ll see a
whole different palette of utensils that
configure systems, write code, analyze
networks, and manage power remotely.
If this sounds a little like you, I’ll
bet that there is one tool you probably
haven’t given much thought to using,
but it will help you to make better decisions about the jobs you bid
and the prices you quote. It’s an instrument that will enhance your
profits and fuel your business like no other. The tool I’m speaking
about is, what I’ve named the Job Analyzer. It’s a simple little
decision matrix that, when applied properly, will keep you in the
black year after year.
You can improve your business results by quickly taking a statistical look at the components of
the jobs you bid and adjusting accordingly.
The premise of the Job Analyzer is simple. It helps you look at several
parameters of the job you are about to bid and points you in the direction
of higher profits by examining a variety of critical criteria.
Here’s How it Works
First, make a simple spreadsheet. Or if you prefer, send me an e-mail, and
I’ll send a preconfigured sheet to you. In column “A,” list the critical job
criteria that will likely affect your profitability. For instance, you can list
factors like the size of the job in dollars, the amount of billable labor, and
the profit dollars from gear you sell. But be sure to list other criteria that
can have an impact on your time and profit like the distance to the job
from your office, the time required to complete the job, and if there are
any subcontractors you will rely on to get the work done on time. Also list
a row for your gut feel. This is
so your emotions can have a
say in the decision too.
To use the Job Analyzer,
just fill in column “B” with a
number between 1 and 100,
with 100 being ideal. So, for
instance, if the size of the job
in dollars is high, you might
rate it an 85. But if the job is
200 miles from your office,
then you would rate that
criteria a 10 because it is not
advantageous to your business.
Once you have all of the criteria rated, total the score. Now here’s the key:
Take a look back at some of your best jobs, pick one, and rate it as you would
a potentially new job. Now you’ve got a reference. Then all you have to do is
compare your new potential job score to the reference to evaluate it.
Why It’s is a Valuable Exercise
This technique is valuable in two ways. One is in selecting the jobs you
choose to work on and another is in the prices you charge to maximize
your return. During the busy summer season, sometimes job opportunities
conflict with one another. If you find yourself in a situation of choosing
between two jobs, the Job Analyzer will help you pick the winner. In
pricing your jobs, the Job Analyzer can help you to understand where to
increase prices and still stay competitive. An example might be charging
a premium because of distance to the job or increasing your labor rate
because the job has so many low-margin items like TVs.
Just like the story of Moneyball, where the main character Billy Beane
improved the Oakland Athletics team results by applying statistical
analysis of its baseball players to his game strategy, you can improve your
business results by quickly taking a statistical look at the components of the
jobs you bid and adjusting accordingly. Use the Job Analyzer to bid wisely
and watch your business grow.