We Didn’t Finish Homeschool Math, But I Did Learn a Lesson from the Crane in my Yard.

The other day, as I was about to start the math portion of 2nd grade homeschool, I looked out the front door and there was a crane in the front yard.

These are not the type of things that 2nd graders (or their preschool little brothers) miss out on, so we went outside.

Turns out that our landlord had ordered for a tree to be removed, and the local tree removal company had opted for the heavy artillery to dispatch the heavy topiary.

Crane in the front yard
The crane in the yard and in their necks to take it all in. The to-be-removed tree is right behind us.

The astounding thing for me was how fast they took care of the tree, which was a relatively large beast. In fewer than 15 minutes from knocking on my door they had the tree shredded into low-grade mulch in a covered trailer.

As he walked up the driveway once it was all done, the tree man said “Yeah, any time I have to get out the crane, it’s a minimum $2,000 charge, but [your landlord] has a monthly retainer.”

So, let me get this straight: Jimbo McCustomer has large tree in the yard, and you’ll remove it for (say) $1,000 if I opt to go the non-crane route. That’ll involve hours of work to ensure that the tree doesn’t fall on the house, and the workers stay safe.  Or if Jimbo has larger budget, you’ll spend 15 minutes to take down the tree with your better equipment.

What an absurd thought. If you have a crane, and the job will go faster with the crane, use the crane.

Don’t charge based on which tool you use, or by how long it’ll take you. Charge by how long it’d take your customer (without your tools or experience) to do it, with an eye toward your competition and what they’d charge/be worth.

It takes you a month. It takes me 30 minutes and mine's better, faster, and more secure #NoHourlyRates Share on XThat goes for us web developers, too. The fact that I can deploy an SSD cloud server with your site on it in 25 minutes doesn’t make it worth any more or less valuable to you than if it took me three days or two weeks. It still would have taken you a month to get the site up—and my site is better, faster, and more secure. Those are the factors I’m going to use to determine my rates.

The speed at which I work doesn’t even enter into the equation, nor do my tools.

Let me be clear: a 25 minute turnaround is extremely valuable to a client. If you want it turned around that fast, you’ll have to pay some major coin. But I’m not going to use a slower or older tool to intentionally slow myself down if you don’t pay my rush fee.

I’m just not going to be in your yard with a crane this afternoon, in that case. It’ll have to be next week.

The tree is now in the front yard halfway into the chipper.
But when I do show up in your yard, I’ll finish the job fast enough to have your kids still marveling.

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