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Author Topic: Please Help...surveillance system quote info  (Read 11478 times)


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Please Help...surveillance system quote info
« on: February 27, 2008, 07:57:05 PM »

I was asked the following question via email...

Please provide installation costs for the following:

Install One Indoor Fixed Camera $______________

Install One Outdoor Fixed Camera $______________

Install One Outdoor Pan/Tilt/Zoom Camera $_____________

Install One Pan/Tilt/Zoom Controller $______________

Install One Digital Video Recorder $_____________

Install One Color Monitor $_____________

Price Per Hour of Labor $_____________

Please use prevailing wage per **** County in  Southern NJ
(Its $71.40 per hr)

I have never done prevailing wage work.

I recently got my electrical license and this may be my break to get it to this area.

How the hell does this work? I need some help from someone who has dealt with surveillance installations before. I know the guy is also gonna want a linear foot price for the cable also. I am assuming siamese cable but I am gonna call him later and talk about this quote.


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Re: Please Help...surveillance system quote info
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2008, 05:41:51 AM »

What exactly are you looking for information wise? Installation times and quoting requires a site evaluation for us. We can't quote something without knowing more. I would hate to give a quote only to find that the place we're installing at is a home overhanging a cliff, with 12ft ceilings inside, and other unforeseen issues. Or new construction which is often a good thing.  :)

I know you didn't mention much in your post other than what the email you received asked about but read the following for future reference.

This may sound discouraging but I have found that when a potential customer is trying to get you to itemize the prices of a "package quote" it spells trouble. When someone wants to know linear feet costs of the cable being used and how much you are charging for every item involved in an installation or trying to tear the quote down somehow it usually never ends. (the email sounds innocent though. I would be surprised if they turned into the nightmare people I am talking about).

They will tell you they can get cable for such and such a price somewhere else and expect you to give them the same discounted price for probably better quality cable than the cheap stuff they found. It continues to each item which can be found somewhere for less if you look hard enough. And once you're done losing complete control of the job by trying to satisfy the customer and get the job it STILL never ends. Then they call you for support every other day expecting you to teach them everything there is to know about each item. It's like being a car dealer selling a car only to have the buyer show up expecting you to teach them to drive the next day, and then how to repair the vehicle the week after that! Beware of customers who are already taking more of your time (which is money) than any other you've ever had.

Trust me, I would let that type go and fast. I learned some time ago you don't have to get every job you see. Let someone else deal with ones like this one. Sometimes the people are just like that and some will back off once you let them know you don't work like that.

The money you'll save and the time saved by letting one like this go can pay off by allowing you to find real customers who aren't going to nickel and dime you to death and make the job a near loss anyway. Most people will expect you to know what you're doing and will stay out of it once they know you're giving them a fair deal. Some will want to know about a few charges, that's normal. I always tell them I can use the less expensive stuff but I won't warranty the work the same as I when I use our preferred materials. I use better quality hardware for a reason, and I explain why. And we aren't using top of the line stuff either! We do offer options in case someone wants to go that route but it's not always necessary and I tell them so. If they WANT me to go as cheap as possible I often recommend someone else because we just don't do that kind of work. I can do it, but I hate leaving a job knowing I used the cheapest stuff out there and wondering how long it will last, and will something happen, etc. And I don't want someone else coming in behind me bad-mouthing our work either!  :-[

A very successful friend told me he drops the bottom 10% of his customers each year because they end up spending the least amt yet take up more time than all the rest of his customers combined. I was surprised until I tried it the end of that year. By having that time freed up I was able to get out and bid on some good jobs, and made a lot more money the next year. I was pretty new to owning my own business back then. I still drop at LEAST 10% of my customers every other year (I recommend someone else to them and don't leave them hanging) and it STILL pays off. (I do fudge a little though and have a few close friends still on the books. At least they know I have to take care of my paying customers first before helping them though).

I know that wasn't the answer to your question exactly but I hope it helps someday.

Have Fun! And congratulations on getting your license.  ;D


ps- if you want the answer(s) to how you should go about quoting this job post again and be a little more specific about what you want to know. If you want someone to walk you thru the process for the first time say so (maybe you did... hmmm). ::) - Chaz
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