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Old 08-02-2012, 10:20 PM   #1
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Default billing by the hour

i got a call from a big company who wants me to do some major touch-ups on some new exterior trim boards (that has been pre-finished) but was scratched up on install. he said they'll supply the paint or stain.

i've never charged by the hour and there is certainly overhead on top of the hourly charge. how would you approach him as far as billing is concerned? i could just give him a $60/hr rate with the overhead built in but that might scare them off. there will also be brushes and other expenses to consider. I could just give him an estimate for every little job that pops up but it is all exterior touch-ups and difficult to estimate the time involved.

it sounds like it is a huge multi-million dollar nation wide company (or billion dollar) and could lead to bigger stuff. {They even offer man-lifts at no charge.}
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xmark View Post
i got a call from a big company who wants me to do some major touch-ups on some new exterior trim boards (that has been pre-finished) but was scratched up on install. he said they'll supply the paint or stain.

i've never charged by the hour and there is certainly overhead on top of the hourly charge. how would you approach him as far as billing is concerned? i could just give him a $60/hr rate with the overhead built in but that might scare them off. there will also be brushes and other expenses to consider. I could just give him an estimate for every little job that pops up but it is all exterior touch-ups and difficult to estimate the time involved.

it sounds like it is a huge multi-million dollar nation wide company (or billion dollar) and could lead to bigger stuff. {They even offer man-lifts at no charge.}
$60 an hour and he will run for the hills! He is not expecting that high of a rate!
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:31 PM   #3
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Add $20 to the first number that popped into your head .....
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:31 PM   #4
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I had to get a locksmith to do some work for my mother. he had a billing policy that intrigued me.

Before he did ANY work, he had a "service call fee", which was $75. This basically covered travel and other overhead. On top of that, he had an hourly (i think it was $45)

last week I had some unexpected work to do - extra stripping, unforeseen patching and priming. I tested out the locksmith's method. (different numbers, same idea) Customer was very accepting. BUT, she was one of those rare and delightful customers who did realize I had overhead and was also a naturally reasonable person.



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Old 08-02-2012, 10:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PhillysFinest

$60 an hour and he will run for the hills! He is not expecting that high of a rate!
Yeah the guys probably thinking more
On the lines of $15-$20 per hour ..... Either that or Mexican money
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:36 PM   #6
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Touch ups often mean repainting unless the don't mind putting their name on splotchy.

60.00 is probably more than he is expecting but clear communication goes a long ways.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by daArch View Post
I had to get a locksmith to do some work for my mother. he had a billing policy that intrigued me.

Before he did ANY work, he had a "service call fee", which was $75. This basically covered travel and other overhead. On top of that, he had an hourly (i think it was $45)

last week I had some unexpected work to do - extra stripping, unforeseen patching and priming. I tested out the locksmith's method. (different numbers, same idea) Customer was very accepting. BUT, she was one of those rare and delightful customers who did realize I had overhead and was also a naturally reasonable person.
And last week while I painted a women's hall, stairs and foyer, she and her 15 y/o son painted the shed!

I told her my Apartment Complex wanted to send their painters in my place to paint, but I told the Apt manager, no, I will do the painting. My customer couldn't understand, why I wouldn't let the Apt painters, paint my place free of charge.

Point is, people think that anyone can paint! God, wish I was an electrician!!!
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Workaholic View Post
Touch ups often mean repainting unless the don't mind putting their name on splotchy.

60.00 is probably more than he is expecting but clear communication goes a long ways.
excellent idea, daArch, about the service charge. believe it or not i was a locksmith back in the day and the company i worked for billed them a service charge just to show up. plumbers also do this.

I could charge them a $45 service charge and then $50/hour. i'll see how the meeting goes tomorrow.i'll certainly bring up the overhead and other expenses like brushes & rollers. i'll just make it clear that i'm not his hourly employee. the gas alone to get to that location and back will cost me about $35 a day.

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Old 08-02-2012, 10:57 PM   #9
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Why are you guys so scared to charge? Why are you looking to sell yourself short to "hopefully" get more low paying work?

Charge your rate with a healthy profit and if the do not like it move on.

If they are as large as you say they are they are probably more concerned with the work being done in a timely manner and being done correctly. 10-20$ per hour difference means nothing to them in comparison to an unhappy customer.

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Old 08-02-2012, 10:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xmark View Post
i got a call from a big company who wants me to do some major touch-ups on some new exterior trim boards (that has been pre-finished) but was scratched up on install. he said they'll supply the paint or stain.

i've never charged by the hour and there is certainly overhead on top of the hourly charge. how would you approach him as far as billing is concerned? i could just give him a $60/hr rate with the overhead built in but that might scare them off. there will also be brushes and other expenses to consider. I could just give him an estimate for every little job that pops up but it is all exterior touch-ups and difficult to estimate the time involved.

it sounds like it is a huge multi-million dollar nation wide company (or billion dollar) and could lead to bigger stuff. {They even offer man-lifts at no charge.}
If they are a big company then they will know all about overhead and business costs. $60/hr is more than fair and they'll understand it just fine I would think. People that want cheap will look in places that they will find it - like craigslist. (I'm assuming they didn't find you on craigslist )
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by NEPS.US View Post

If they are as large as you say they are they are probably more concerned with the work being done in a timely manner and being done correctly..
Looks like we were thinking the same thing at the same time.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by PhillysFinest View Post
$60 an hour and he will run for the hills! He is not expecting that high of a rate!
I do local work for a national service management company. My billable is 65 an hour painting and drywall. You are only charging for on the job time. In my opinion, with 30 day payouts, the paperwork and attached before and after pics and dealing with piece work amongst bigger jobs, 65 is low.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:01 PM   #13
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Yeah the guys probably thinking more
On the lines of $15-$20 per hour ..... Either that or Mexican money
Customers don't understand the difference between the worker and the business owner prices. They want the business owner @ the workers rate!

I spent $650 on advertising alone for the month of Aug, throw in my Van payment, gas, insurances!

Sure, after overhead, I will be happy with $400 for 40 hours work!

I think I can go work year round for Walmart, overnight stocking @ $12.50 an hour!
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigmzz View Post
I do local work for a national service management company. My billable is 65 an hour painting and drywall. You are only charging for on the job time. In my opinion, with 30 day payouts, the paperwork and attached before and after pics and dealing with piece work amongst bigger jobs, 65 is low.
I know what you are saying man, I just can't get those prices...
When I bid higher, I end up sitting home!

I may be trying to get a job with Verizon of the electric company etc...
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigmzz View Post
I do local work for a national service management company. My billable is 65 an hour painting and drywall. You are only charging for on the job time. In my opinion, with 30 day payouts, the paperwork and attached before and after pics and dealing with piece work amongst bigger jobs, 65 is low.
The manager told me that I could get paid within a few days of completion...I agree you have got to build in a profit on top of your hourly wage...The service charge should take care of my gas and insurance for the day. he also asked for workman's comp so he certainly knows about overhead.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by PhillysFinest View Post
I know what you are saying man, I just can't get those prices...
When I bid higher, I end up sitting home!

I may be trying to get a job with Verizon of the electric company etc...
Verizon on the Horizon.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillysFinest

I know what you are saying man, I just can't get those prices...
When I bid higher, I end up sitting home!

I may be trying to get a job with Verizon of the electric company etc...
Just bid your rate with a healthy profit and you'll automatically get the job if not call NEPS hell pay your bills
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:27 PM   #18
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I always just give a lowball rate. Even if I lose money, I can always make it up in volume. Right?
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:28 PM   #19
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Thats a joke by the way. ^^^
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:33 PM   #20
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I always just give a lowball rate. Even if I lose money, I can always make it up in volume. Right?
So that's how you can afford that fancy van that's all over google images lol
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