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  #11  
Old 03-29-2012, 09:51 PM
Mr.Mike Mr.Mike is offline
 
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One thing I do is provide a discount to seniors and veterans, to ease the brunt of paying my usual average $75.00 per hour fee.
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  #12  
Old 03-31-2012, 12:03 PM
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I charge a flat $60.00 per hour, one hour minimum for onsite work. I also explain that it will be far more economical for the customer if I work in my shop, simply because I can work on multiple computers/tasks at one time in the shop. In the shop I charge $60.00 per "bench hour" - defined as the time actually spent interacting with the computer, the clock is not ticking while scans are running, just when I need to input something into the computer.

I do offer free pickup and return within 15 miles of my shop, with a $30.00 diagnostic fee paid upon taking possession of the customers computer. The diagnostic fee is waived if they choose to have me perform the repair.

My business at this point is residential in nature. All of my customers tell me my service is worth every penny. In a small rural community word of mouth is invaluable.
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  #13  
Old 03-31-2012, 04:30 PM
andcorptech andcorptech is offline
 
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We charge $135AU per hour in 30 min increments. We do have some people who dont like it but there are plenty more that are happy to pay. Weve been around nearly 20 years now (ive owned it for 4) so Its not affecting business any
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  #14  
Old 03-31-2012, 08:28 PM
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We charge 45 in work but i think thats abit high for our area. I would personally charge 35 max for all call outs

35 per hour and 15 per hour after that.

Hope that helps.

We have about 5 towns about 20 miles of each other which we service
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  #15  
Old 04-01-2012, 02:17 AM
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Where abouts are you located mason? 45 ph is not really expensive. I charge that on res call outs, and I'm a one man band.

I've had some clients baulk at the cost, but many more who are more then willing to pay it. I'm also one of the more expensive in my catchment area too.
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  #16  
Old 04-02-2012, 07:26 AM
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$100 to start my car plus card rates.
(Service 3 Cities and a few towns within 15 Mi radius.)

Hourly rate $200/hr (Unless its a "bid" job)
On Call 24/7/365 (rates go up after 5pmand Holidays, after 11pm I get expensive)

No Discounts.
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  #17  
Old 04-02-2012, 01:53 PM
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I moved to fixed pricing a little while ago for residential customers. My minimum charge is $149. I find this works well as I don't have customers breathing down my neck asking how long im going to take because they are worried about time ticking over. It also sets me apart from,my local competitors. And generally im also able to upsell small hardware / Software items. Works well for me.
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  #18  
Old 04-02-2012, 07:42 PM
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I don't like "Residential Customers"

Yes, I do have a few. Had too many women get confused over what I was there to service or what could be worked out for payment. One of the Probs with "House-calls" - so I avoid if possible, unless I've dealt with them before.
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  #19  
Old 04-03-2012, 10:46 PM
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Nate:

Do you want a job or do you want a business? I mean that you can only plan on billing about 25% of your time. So if you work 50 hrs a week that means you can on average, only do about 12.5 hrs of billable work for which you get paid. Out of that you have to pay all your overhead such as advertising, fuel, truck payments, payroll to yourself to cover your personal costs of shelter, food, entertainment, insurance......

If you charge $25 or even $35 per hour at 12.5 hrs comes to something less than what it takes to live. Do you just want to survive? I live in Kansas and I know what you mean about stubborn, cheap customers and I also know what you mean by plenty of cheap competitors.

However if you are to make it in business, you have to know two things: First, what others charge doesn't effect you as much as you think it does. Second, not every customer is your customer so do not make business decisions based on your worst customer who says you charge too much.

I mean that most people assume perfect knowledge. That means that if one guy three miles over is charging $15, that doesn't mean everyone knows he does. In fact most will not know he does. You know because you are in the business and pay attention to it. Your feelings "I have to meet the price or loose the customer" are mostly unfounded.

Your second assumption is also incorrect. That everyone wants the cheapest tech/job. Both hypotheses are wrong and will cost you lots of money if you do not come to terms about them.

Everyone doesn't know everyone or know everything. Do you automatically know the cheapest plumber? Mechanic? electrician? Drywaller? Painter? Lawn Mower? Services are not like walmart where you know who does the cheapest of everything thing. So just because one guy does work for $15 per hour doesn't mean everyone knows that. Plus you don't know if he is any good to begin with so you could be comparing your quality job with theirs and thats like comparing apples to oranges.

Second, there are people from the poorist ratty trailers to the nices mansions. I know people in both who wouldn't spend a dime to make a dollar and I also know people in both who want the best they can afford in anything they do. So do not over generalize about people and what they want. They might always ask for the best price but that means the best price from you. We tend to automatically assume people are and think as we do. But you will find many do not.

Third, I would probably not be my own customer. My personality on finding good deals would probably mean that I as a customer would search for cheaper alternatives. however most people, thankfully, are not like me and will do whatever they need to solve their problem and pay a moderate fair price for same.

Now you need to learn one more thing and I cannot teach in in a paragraph. Something called Gamesmanship. You need to figure out the game ot make money. In my area almost all the techs lie to get a customer into their store, then go up on the price for some excuse so if you give prices over the phone you either have to play that game and lie to the customer or loose the customer to the biggest liar. Worse you seeded to the customer that price is the only reason to select you when it is not even the best reason to select you to do the job.

So one way to solve this problem is to not give prices over the phone but only in the most general terms: " Well I cannot tell you want is wrong until I have my hands on the computer. (while you might feel this is a lie, usually you cannot give a 100% diagnoses over the phone so why shoot yourself in your foot just because they expect that). so i cannot give you a price till I see it". "It could be the minimum 1/2 hour charge, we fix many problems within a half hour but I cannot promise till I see it" or "if I can't fix it in 30 minutes I will stop and call you if its more complicated." "and if its real bad and you should buy a new computer I can get your data off of it for you."

I prefer not tell them anything than to lie to them. And to be fair how can you tell them what the charge is until you know what is wrong? Nearly every symptom they can tell me on the phone could be caused by either virus or hardware failure. You need to get your hands on the equipment to make the minimal qualified diagnoses to be fair to both you and your customers. So do not do' what if's' on the phone either. when confronted by what another tech said just reply "I know what I am doing, I cannot tell you what or if that guys qualifications are or whether he is correct. There are some rift raft in this business as well as others so I am suspicious of anyone who tries to diagnose a computer over the phone because its just not always that simple to do right. Stand your ground and more times than not you will win the customer with your conviction and professionalism. (I did not say to bad mouth others, just leave it at that).

Another matter, if you drive a pickup with $4 gas you are not making any money when you go 20 miles to do job as you have $18 fuel bill not including tires, insurance, depreciation car payments..... If you only charged $35, subtract $16-18 for gas and you are going backwards almost.

So figure out how to get customers to come to you and average more money per job. Another method of handling customers is to compartmentalize your services. Rather than by the hour charge by service:

Give a real cheap sounding diagnoses that grantees you the job: "$12 diagnostic plus $10 fuel fee to come out." Then when they ask about other charges you can give them a short menu such as:

$39 if we have ot do a Microsoft restore;
$69 if we have to do a Operating system Restore (which could take 2 hrs);
$15 more if we have to do a restore without media;

They may be happy with this if not you can give them more charges but always give them the most common cheaper charges such as : Power supply replacement $20 plus power suppy; swap ram with good ram; Boot to safe mood and scan disk.....

You get the picture.

I would not bring up add on fees unless they ask for them such as what do you charge to do a backup. We charge from $50-100 depending on the amount of backup. But why bring it up unless they ask. Also I wouldn't add on antivirus sales unless they ask. If they want an antivirus after you do the job that is extra as well. The more you try and predict every charge they might want the more you will scare them away and sound like you are expensive. So give them the basics and go with that. Once on site and you fix the computer that is the time to discuss antivirus, backups and what have you.

Another thing you can do to raise your sales is always carry some items that people often like to buy: upgraded memory, larger hard drive, backup portable devices, flash drive, pen drive, USB laptop drives, surge protectors and UPS. These things can all add to your average sale and they are sold after the repair.

Well, good luck in Arkansas.

BTW- We charge $120 per hour on out calls to businesses and $99.99 per hour to homes. Our time clock starts ticking the minute we leave the office or last job to head to their place so it includes one way travel. If it takes 20 minutes to get to their home then they get the first 40 minutes for $99 and then the meter goes to 2 hrs at $99.99 per hour. Often if I am busy we will offer to take the work back to the shop and charge them just a $49.99 pickup and diag fee plus $59.99 per hour for the work to be performed at the shop and they they can either pay another $49 for us to bring it back or they can pick it up from the shop when fixed. We use standard rates at the shop so a complete partition, format, and reload is 2 hrs, 1 hr more if they want programs loaded and our security pack which includes antivirus, anti malware, chrome, defrag and other freeware. If we stay on site then they just pay the $99.99 per hour rounded up to the next hour however long we are on site plus the travel there.

When someone wants a cheaper price but cannot bring it in we offer to pick it up and drop off for $49 plus the bench charges.

We do a good deal of add on sales such as larger hard drives, more memory, backups burnt to DVD or sales of flash drives, we upsell everyone antivirus, anti spyware and tune ups or optimization of OS and programs. when a system is too gone to fix we tell the customers its cheaper to move on and we have a bunch of used computers to sell them from abandoned computers or recycled stuff dropped off to us that we fix. We charge $100 to transfer old files to the new system.

Last edited by Tony_Scarpelli; 04-03-2012 at 10:56 PM.
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  #20  
Old 04-03-2012, 11:05 PM
Encrypted Existence Encrypted Existence is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony_Scarpelli View Post
Second, not every customer is your customer so do not make business decisions based on your worst customer who says you charge too much.
Great advice Tony. Very insightful. It's good to see you posting again.
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