Durability + Design
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site

 

DURABILITY + DESIGN BLOG

Comment |

When Is It a Good Idea To Turn Down Work?

MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2011

By Burt Olhiser


More items for Good Technical Practice

My musings this month have to do with the reasons we turn down work. That’s right, dear readers. I am talking about what we don’t usually talk about, the fact that we often decide not to take on someone’s work, and why we make such decisions.

During my years contracting, I often turned down work either by refusing to do it, or more often by simply and quietly not submitting a bid. Now that my business is consulting rather than contracting, I still turn work down because competing firms may be more adept at solving the client’s problem, or because I’m just too busy.

On reflection, though, the reasons for declining consulting work opportunities are often still very much the same as they were during my contracting years.

Sometimes, I would turn down work because the client was unreasonable or established unachievable goals. Other times, I recognized that the project was way over my firm’s head because it required skills, equipment or other resources we did not possess, or because it was too demanding of the resources we did possess.

Declining a job was more often than not a tough, nerve-wracking decision:  do I, or don’t I jump? I would be lying if I didn’t confess that I often made the wrong decision.

Sometimes, when we jumped, we plunged into the deep end of the pool. My crew and I would be treading water like drowning men. Other times, when we didn’t jump, it was even more maddening because we would find ourselves with time on our hands to “clean the shop” or do other busy work.

So here is the question:

What are the most common reasons you turn down a job?

  • Unreasonable customer
  • I don’t turn down jobs
  • Substrate problems beyond my control
  • Scheduling
  • Other reasons?

 

ABOUT THE BLOGGER

Burt Olhiser

Burt Olhiser founded Vantage Point Consulting in 1991 after a 15-year stint as a successful Northern California painting contractor. He initially provided safety, training and business consulting services to fellow contractors. He was an instructor at UC Davis’ EPA Western Regional Lead Training Center until the program’s closure, at which time he moved to UC Berkeley's Center for Occupational & Environmental Health program where he still serves today. Burt also served as Environmental Health & Safety Director and Quality Control Manager for one of California's largest industrial painting contractors. A member of SSPC, CSI, PDCA, and NACE, Burt is a CDPH Lead Related Construction Professional, Certified Asbestos Consultant, Certified Professional Estimator, and NACE Certified Coatings Inspector. Burt is a contributing editor to D+D.

SEE ALL CONTENT FROM THIS CONTRIUBTOR

   

Tagged categories: Consultants; Contractors; Customers

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
Novatek Corporation
 
Novatek Portable Air Filtration Systems
 
Air Scrubbers/Negative Air machines for restoration, abatement, dust & odor control, hazardous contaminant removal from job sites to clean rooms and hospitals. Portable, affordable!
 

 
Keim Mineral Coatings
 
Mineral Silicate Paints + Stains Fuse to Concrete
 
• Forms permanent chemical bonds
• Becomes part of the concrete
• Will never peel
• Looks completely natural
 

 
Shield Industries, Inc
 
FireGuard® E-84 Intumescent Coating - Shield Industries, Inc
 
Trust the certified protection of the industry’s most innovative intumescent coating FireGuard® E-84 to provide you with the 1 and 2 hour fire ratings you need.
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@durabilityanddesign.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 

© Copyright 2012-2018, Technology Publishing Co., All rights reserved