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#156949 08/01/05 03:59 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
D
Member
I think it also has to do with how busy, ones business is.

Why pay someone to do estimates if they can be making money at a job?

On the flip side, if you have someone not doing anything, why not send him out doing free estimates, to drum up more business?


Or charge for them if you can, but others out there will do it for free, and all I am stating is that myself as a consumer with a choice, I will call someone who will give me a free quote, because to me, he cares enough about his business to provide a free service. Be that, it is only about 10-20 of his time, but that little thing means alot to me.

Like I said, I am a consumer also.

It seems the bigger the company, the less personable things are, the smaller guys go out of there way to please you. And I am not stating anyone here does/doesn't do this. This has been my experience in dealing with a host of people, from plumbers to roofers. I like the small guys over the conglomerates.


So in all, free estimates are for some, but not for all. But consumers of all things have a choice of what they want to do. And thats how it should be.

Dnk........

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#156950 08/01/05 04:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 11
Z
Member
Free estimates? Trip charges are pretty standard for progressive residential service and repair companies. Plumbers and HVAC companies have been doing it for years. Electricians like myself have been left behind when it comes to updated business practices. (especially in Pa. )It's new here in Pa. but in other parts of the country it pretty normal.

The trip charge qualifies the customers. It divides those who are serious about doing the work from the price shoppers who only care about PRICE.

Zaney

[This message has been edited by Zaney (edited 08-01-2005).]

#156951 08/01/05 05:31 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
D
Member
Zaney, Welcome to the board!!!!!

Interesting statements.

I guess I'm never prequalified then.

I look at it like, why pay someone an upfront fee, just to meet them? If I don't like them, I won't do business with them, and I'm not out any money.

And why would I pay someone an upfront fee, just to find out they are BSing me?


What would you say to someone like that?


Dnk.......

#156952 08/01/05 06:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
L
LK Offline
Member
"I look at it like, why pay someone an upfront fee, just to meet them? If I don't like them, I won't do business with them, and I'm not out any money."

"And why would I pay someone an upfront fee, just to find out they are BSing me?"

____________________________________________


First of all it's not an up front fee, it is payment for the tech to respond to your request, the service company must pay the tech for his time to respond to your call, these are real expenses, do you ask you doctor to give you a free estimate? or do you let him treat you?

#156953 08/01/05 08:06 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,158
Member
I would like to know how others deal with the price shopper, Besides having a trip charge.

I like the idea of Flat rate sheets for various service type work for residential work.
I would never take a Flat rate schedule to a commercial job that would get charged at time and materials.

It has been posted here before that if your a one man show, working from home,10 year old service vehicle,your costs are going to be 61.00/ hour

I would like to find out if this price includes vacation time,retirement investment, and weekends off, normal 4 hour of productive day.

My Goal is to be able to work 5 hours/day in the field and knowing that i can comfortably put away for retirement. this 65.00/hour company that i have is worth 0 dollars to sell.Nobody would invest and buy my company just to buy a job. At 65.00 per hour i am just making the low end of an hourly rate for wages.

There is so many unforeseen expenses also like when your insurance has a 1000.00 deductible and somebody has decided to help them selves to my tools. got to figure that cost into the overhead too.

#156954 08/02/05 06:20 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 39
W
Member
I think your headed in the right direction, Doug. You can obtain a program called numbers cruncher that will guide you to determining your break even numbers, as well as what your hourly rate should be depending on the profit margin you want. Keep in mind, even if both of us were strictly service, our costs could be different. One of us could advertise more, purchase more assetts in one year, yada, yada, yada.

#156955 08/02/05 06:56 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 197
L
Member
A lot depends on ones customer base. Regular repeat customers i.e. commercial/retail/industrial. Residential tends to be revolving where you seldom see the same customer for multiple repeat calls. With some of our customers we actually sign a contract for services that run 1 year. We charge 30% more for resi service, though we do very little in that area.

#156956 08/02/05 07:45 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 11
Z
Member
Dnk,

Yep you are right. You might not be a potential customer for me if you wouldnt pay for my time to see you. (dont take it the wrong way, its a good question)

When I did free estimates my conversion rate (shopper to buyers) was 60%. With a trip charge to qualify the customer my conversion rate now is 86%. It stops customers from wasting my time and from me wasting the customers time. (at least the customers who are looking for the cheapest price.)

Zaney

[This message has been edited by Zaney (edited 08-02-2005).]

[This message has been edited by Zaney (edited 08-02-2005).]

#156957 08/02/05 11:49 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
D
Member
Another thought for you guys.

Would you pay a car dealer $50 to see what he has on his lot?

You you be willing to pay $10 every time you went into Target to see what is on sale?

Aren't you price shopping at these places?

I know these are retail examples, but when it comes to sales, aren't we all in retail in some kind of way.

Dnk.......

#156958 08/02/05 12:03 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,158
Member
Yeah I do pay a membership fee to shop at a store,costs me 60.00 per year for a buiness membership. [Linked Image]

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