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Work Budget

April 5th, 2018 at 09:16 am

My work financials are tied into my personal financials because my business is an S-corp and I am the only employee. I have things very separate, so sometimes it's hard to remember that in the end, it's all just our money.

#1 - Projects
If I don't have projects, I don't have work, and then I don't have a paycheck. I have to do marketing (proposals) to get projects. I just turned in 4 proposals and got shortlisted on 3 (the other one I just turned in, so not sure yet). Of the three, I was contacted that I won one of them, lost one of them, and the other won just had the interview on Monday, so not sure about that yet either. Anyway, we are in negotiations on the one I won, and it's making me so nervous. It's a new fire station, and I really want it, and I submitted my fee. They came back that they wanted me to include landscape architecture from a certain firm and a professional cost estimate. That's about $10k of extra work ($10k I have to pay someone else). I absorbed most of it. I hope this works out. But every penny of the $10k comes out of my pocket.

#2 - Dining Out
I have a budget for taking clients out, but like my personal budget, this seems like excess, the only place to cut costs. But it's a marketing cost, really. I just made a lunch meeting with head of one of my Design Review Committees.

#3 - Supplies
I hate buying supplies. Ink for the printer costs so much. This is another category which is one of those rare places I can save. I have to keep supplies at home, too, because I work from there in the afternoons after I pick up F from school. So I need the printer there to have ink, paper...

6 Responses to “Work Budget”

  1. Rachael777 Says:

    I am impressed by your mortgage payoff. Smile

  2. snafu Says:

    Until recently, I too worked on specific contractual basis. At signing, I often felt the contract was likely unenforceable, not worth the paper it was written on but other than a few 'bumps' it worked out far better than I imagined.

    If I read this correctly, you won the 'bid' to design the new Firehall but on request you reduced your fee by $ 10 K. That sum will initially pay a very specific sub contracted landscape architect and I presume products and crew who do the actual landscaping. Does the landscape 'architect have credentials? Is he connected in some way to someone on the Board, making this decision?

    You have no control over the issues and problems that may arise from a vast area of bases, Mother Nature, soil conditions, underground pipes, sewers, sink holes, floods...whatever things I imagine. What does your lawyer advise?

  3. Buendia Says:

    Hi Snafu! It's a little more complicated than that... This is the kind of work I've been doing for 29 years... I provide architectural plans/documents/services and I have several subconsultants that work under me. They've asked me to have a professional cost estimate rather than do it myself and a professional landscape architect rather than do it myself. This means I do less work, but also make less money (not quite $10k less; we split the landscape architecture so it's $7.5k). My project team does not do any construction or installation; architects (unless it's a design build contract) do not provide that. The project will then be bid and the low bidder will do the construction (and actual landscaping). As far as soils, the County provides a soils test that my engineers rely on. They also provide a topographic survey. This is industry standard. I have professional liability insurance and so do all of my consultants... The landscape architect (there aren't that many here in town) is someone I know and have worked with before; they want me to use her for consistency because she did the Senior Center that is adjacent to the site for the Fire Station. I am required to sign contracts for performing my services, otherwise I can't get professional liability insurance! But I'm not working on a contractural basis... not sure how to explain, but I'm not working as a subcontractor or on a contract basis. I have a separate firm, and they hire me to do the work for them because they can't do it in-house...

  4. Amber Says:

    Hope things works out for you

  5. snafu Says:

    Thanks for the details. Your experience has this nailed. My experience filter is so different. Every time I'm asked to provide classroom space, I've palpitations because I've never had one go exactly as contracted. Generally it's not the fault of the supplier, it can be any weird happenstance.

  6. rob62521 Says:

    Hopefully you can get work so you can get paid. So many iffy things out there.

    My printer was too old to hook to wifi and I thought I could just save stuff on a thumb drive and then print it from there plugged into the printer. Guess the printer had other plans...now it won't take paper. These printers are like money pits...especially the ink cartridges. My brother-in-law bought a new one, hooked it to wifi, and after the cartridges needed changing, he got refilled ones. He got a message from the company saying he had just voided his warranty because the printer notified them of his not buying new brand name cartridges.

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