March 15, 2022

Will We See Gas Surcharges?

By Paul Bieber

We see it every day on the news and in our own cities and towns– gas prices are up over a dollar or two a gallon, and this came on very quickly, thanks to Mr. Putin for starting a war. This gas cost increase is hitting all of us. What does this have to do with a blog for USGNN™?

Most of the readers of this blog are in the glass business. (I do have a couple of readers who are not in trade, but mentioning my daughter and son would be tacky.) This means that you go out for work on a daily basis, to homes and jobsites. When you quoted the work you are doing today, you didn’t think of gas prices as impacting your business, did you? Guess what? They do.

Whether or not to add a gas surcharge is an individual decision. Some will decide against it. Others will feel there is nothing wrong with putting a gasoline surcharge on their invoices to their customers. If a few people won’t pay it, that is life—but most will. They may add a small amount to each jobsite visit and collect it most of the time. Their new quotes may include a fuel surcharge that will vary according to the price of gasoline.

If you do it, you wil get some pushback, “I gave you $3,000 for a new shower and you want more? Who are you kidding?” If you do choose to apply such a surcharge, accept the comment and smile. Also, accept the payment from most of your customers who have enough sense to see what is going on in our economy.

Be sure to explain the surcharge and issues surrounding it to your office staff and your installers before you put it in place so they can handle any pushback from customers.

I believe ust about every customer you have will understand the fuel surcharge. Don’t worry about the few who will yell at you.

Today’s afterword: A quote from Warren Buffet, “Rule number one: Never lose money. Rule number two: Never forget rule number one.