By Joe Dew, CPS East Coast Sales Representative
One word. A word so powerful I gave it its own paragraph!
For most of you, dying a floor is ‘old hat’. But for you up-&-comers who think a degree in art from Julliard is required, let me put that to rest. Dying floors is an inexpensive and easy process.
My top buyer of dyes asks one basic question of his customers each time he sells a grind and polish job. Read on and I will share this powerful question with you.
First, let me say there IS a difference between dyes and stains.
Stain, is a term most commonly used when talking about ‘acid staining’. Acid staining has its place in the market, but is not the preferred choice in a concrete polish job. Dye is more preferred for polished concrete since it penetrates the slab and leaves nothing on the surface. This is not an article trying to convert the stainers of the world to dyers, so let’s move on.
To figure out how much money you are going to make, you first have to figure out your cost. If one gallon of dye costs you $66 and you should get approximately 600 square foot per gallon that will equal $0.11 per square foot. After you completed a few dye jobs you should be able to cover approximately 1500 square feet per hour. If you or one of your employees is being contracted out at $25 per hour, your labor cost will be $0.0166 per square foot. You are now at $0.127 per square foot. Getting excited now aren’t you? A top grade sealer may run you approximately $100 or more per gallon. For now, let’s just use that figure. Given a gallon will cover approximately 1200 square feet, this will equate to $0.083 per square foot, bringing our cost to $0.209, so let’s round it up to $0.21 cents per square foot. Let’s now give our self a safety net of 20 percent markup, or 1.20 x $0.21 cents, this will bring our cost to $0.25 cents per square foot. Not too bad when you figure you can charge WAY more than this!
Well, that’s a great question, and I was hoping you would ask. My blanket answer is simple but not too satisfying: “Whatever the market will bear in your geographical area”. Unfortunately, there is no magic answer. In the northeastern region of the U.S. where union labor is required, your cost per square foot will be higher than areas in the southeastern region where union labor is not so prevalent. In this case, the northeast will price at a much higher rate than in the southeast. Also, if your customer is comparing polished concrete to a terrazzo, or other decorative option, chances are, they budgeted a lot more money anyway. So, as cheesy as it may sound, “whatever the market will bear in your geographical area” is how much you should charge.
So, now back to that magic question my best dye customer asks each of his customers. After the customer has made a verbal commitment and the level of sheen is discussed and locked in, my customer pulls out his color chart (which I can email right to you!), lays it in front of the customer and asks, “Which color do you prefer”? That is the magic question. Not, “Have you ever thought about color?”, or “Do you want a quote for color?”. Your customer probably never thought about polished concrete until you walked through their door, much less what color they had in mind. My customer’s advice, “Don’t say another word until the customer speaks next, no matter how long the awkward silence.” He said the customer is probably going to next ask you a question. At that point, start the pitch of taking the customer’s floor to an even higher dimension by offering a very unique and often overlooked finished product.
One can now see that dyes, in facts, equal $$!
Concrete Polishing Solutions (CPS) produces and sells superior grinding, polishing, and maintenance systems for concrete, terrazzo, and natural stone. By continually delivering innovative products serving the polished concrete and flooring industry, CPS reaffirms their position as one of the world leaders in the market. Through extensive research and development, and years of in-the-field testing, CPS has developed their entire product line tailored to various types and densities of surfaces, and a complete maintenance line to keep floors looking their best. Additionally, CPS offers their customers 24/7 technical support, and has recently joined with the International Polished Concrete Institute (IPCI) to offer certification courses in the craft of polished concrete.
Contact: Sharon Harry, Marketing Manager
Concrete Polishing Solutions