Discussion in 'Techforge' started by Forbin, Jun 27, 2013.
Thanks! That was very clear!
I'm not trying to overload you or anything, Forbin, just trying to help. I don't like it when people get ripped off for simple PC repairs. That was one of the reasons why I went into the business in the first place.
When I do the job, I charge $15. That's for the gas to get to their house, and then a little bit for time and effort, but some of the prices I've seen are absurdly ridiculous. I don't like people getting fleeced because their specialty isn't computers.
Are you still in business (honest question)?
I ask because "fleeced" is a pretty arbitrary term. I don't see how someone could stay in business charging $15.00 for a service call. And if you can't stay in business, then you can no longer serve your customers. If they loved you, and you can't serve them anymore... what good is it?
I was biting my tongue, because I hate to give unsolicited advice and some people, there's just no talking to. But that was my thought too. $15 doesn't even cover your costs let alone factor in profit.
You do house calls? You want to do it on the cheap? Charge $50-60 an hour from the second you close the front door to the second you get back. Minimum of a 2 hour charge for a house call. That is very VERY low end. You could fairly charge twice that.
Let's look at $15. Say someone is very VERY close. So close you walk there. Then it doesn't cost $.35 a mile to get to them. But it still probably takes more than 15 minutes--just to get there. Then another 15 minutes to get back. Say you are able to solve their problem in 15 minutes. Congratulations! You just earned yourself 30 cents an hour. Minimum wage is...I dunno. But I bet it is more than 30 cents. Add in health insurance, marketing expenses, and time when you AREN'T fixing someone's computer and you lose a butt-ton of money every time you get a job.
Shoot, you should be glad if business is bad. You'd lose less money than if you had a lot of work.
Yeah, I'm still in business, though business is getting slim. There are dozens of repair places around here now, and competition is pretty rough. I'm looking into branching out elsewhere because of that.
I try to balance what I think is fair verses what a customer can pay. I generally appeal to Seniors, and college students, since both have little money, and are usually the ones in need of outside help. That works, but the economy is still tight for small businesses, especially around here. Still, it doesn't make for a great business model.
Another reason I don't charge more is because I still don't have my certifications.
Oh, and I live in a town of about 8,000 people, so the pool of customers is not as large as I'd like it.
No, the $15 is just for that service. I don't charge hourly rates, I charge flat service fees. Whether a job takes one hour or three hours, you'll always know how much it is going to cost before I begin work. I used to charge hourly, but one of my former employees decided to pad his hours, and so I eventually did away with them entirely. When my partners pulled out (they lost interest in the business), I considered going back to hourly. I still haven't made up my mind about it yet.
To be honest, while I enjoy doing what I do, I'd rather have someone who could set the prices and handle the money side of things, and then I could just work on the computers, and deal with the needs of the customers themselves.
Well, Staples charges $100 flat fee for the home service, no matter how long it takes. They're coming over tomorrow.
I never had this much trouble all at once before.
Staples' Nerd Herder fixed the printer in 5 minutes.
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