View Full Version : How should I be charging my customers

03-21-2008, 03:09 AM

I don't have a business yet, but where I work I sometimes get some personal repairs which I've been very pleasant to deal with. Most of the people I know already through work, or friends of them.

Problem comes when it comes to how much I should be charging them. I don't think I'm charging them enough. Especially when it comes to doing things like removing viruses. I mean I do the work at home while I'm surfing the net or doing other stuff, while the other computer is running a scan. But the travel time and what not, it still kills a lot of time.

Sometimes they ask how much it would cost to do this and that, and I can't really tell them for certain. How do you deal with situations like this? I do get a lot of honest customers they would just tell me out right that I'm not charging enough, and they actually paid me more. I really value these people and I'd feel bad to charge them more.

I've never told them any fixed price for anything I do. I usually told them an hourly rate and get paid for the time I spend. Should I be telling them a fixed fee? I know if I call a plumber, I may go for the one who told me a fixed cost, rather than by the hour. It's just me maybe ;)

03-21-2008, 05:37 AM
Customers paying you more than you charged them is a clear sign you need to raise your rates. The same thing happened to me when I started out and it didn't take long to figure out how much I should be charging. I had a couple customers flat out tell me what other people were charging them and offered to pay me the same.

I'd suggest you call around and find out what the rates are for your area. Then ask the customers who have paid you extra what they think a fair rate is. The way it sounds people are coming to you because they either trust you, or they think you're really skilled. Either way they probably don't have a problem paying you what they would have payed someone else.

03-21-2008, 01:33 PM
My plan is this.
Low rates until you get so many customers you need to turn business away.
When this eventually happens then put your rates up, so that you are busy, but not too busy.

03-21-2008, 05:51 PM
I would go with hourly rates, after a while in the business, you tend to have guess-timates of how long certain jobs are and what you can fairly charge a client. So in the end you can sort of give people a ballpark figure, while still remain strictly on an hourly rate; which generally tally up to more than flat rate charge. Unless you are undercharging per hour, then you need to rework the numbers a bit. Do regional surveys because a few minutes to an hour from one location can drastically affect the price you are able to charge. Even neighboring states fluctuate on rates tremendously. For instance one region of New Jersey, the rate for business clients is $125/hr+minimum service call, while in New York, the rate can go $175-200/hr+minimum service call.

03-22-2008, 08:09 PM
Thank you very much, all valuable information.