I have been holding off.
Basically its the same suckers new and old that keep each other starving. The BEST money I ever made was from a prime that paid 60-65%. He had support staff of all types and subs. But above all he actually worked! He didn't shove all the garbage down our throats, he would do it too. He climbed, could do any part of construction, but he mostly did splicing and sweep. We usually made what we needed in 4 long days but occasionally 5. I'm positive in some cases he actually gave us all the money on some bad work that no one wanted to do. He left this industry almost 20 years (retired) in his 40s.
Also to the ones that say you can work 12-15 hrs day , 7 days a week or whatever...... who wants too if all you are going to do is make a living. That kind of effort should be for serious money.
I think being open is a good thing, especially on price and how items are billed. There are plenty that will not let you bill a line item, and turn around and bill it themselves. The prime needs to make money just like employees. and subs do. But some of these guys managing will not listen to reason. If you aren't sure how to bid, talk to someone that knows that specific part of the job. You are doing no one (atleast on the receiving end) of getting work that no one is making money on. If the people with the work will not let EVERYONE make a living, then bump em . Some of the prices I've heard are a DANG JOKE!!!! It is worth just to drive to it than they pay to do it.
A wise man once told me " No point in being tired and broke, you can be one just fine without the other." and "you should never take money from one job to carry another, they should all make a profit ", and I think you dang sure shouldn't do it living in a motel, unless you love being in motels.
I really think alot of these companies are struggling to find competent help for what they are wanting to pay. I think many subs are 1 or 2 break downs from being broke, I was so I made my choice, after 18 years of watching prices getting cut while bundles of free or composite bs added to the job description. All because the powers at be can still make money as they aren't the ones doing the work. Most of this doesn't affect them like it does the sub, they make their money off the top. There are lots of good, and honest primes out there. I have worked for many. There are many that just want to have something to "manage" regardless whether it makes sense or not. Do your homework and hopefully find you a good one! Talk to their subs and/or inhouse if you can, and see if they are real smart or otherwise. Good luck and be safe