I read an article on marketing, written Jeff Carowitz in the May issue of Irrigation & Green Industry magazine. Jeff takes issue with contractors who have the mindset that they are in a commodity business. He's right, construction (with the exception of new home construction) is a service business. Your focus can't be on putting pieces together to build a job, it has to be on your clients.
He closes the article by saying, "Get out of that mindset and develop valued partnerships." The most valuable partnership is between you and your client. You have to be marketing and selling. Get out and schmooze, press the flesh, become the best salesperson you can be. Create the best Big Picture of anyone the customer is talking to and you will get their business.
You don't make money hammering and banging on jobs, you make money running your business and selling your services. You can only work so many hours in a day and you can only charge so much an hour for your time. The customer will set the limit on what they are willing to pay per hour. But a customer that gets excited about a project that you have laid out for them, the project they can picture in their minds eye because you know how to sell the concept, will pay what's necessary to see that project come to life in their home or building.
Selling is creating word pictures that the customer will buy. Read, study, and learn how to sell.