[My worst case of T&M (when I had a 1 hour min. at $25/hour...no trip charge) was driving 1.5 hours round trip and doing 1 hour work. I made $10/hour that trip (less gas, insurance, taxes, etc.).
On the other hand, I'll still reset breakers or other short jobs and walk away without charging. It's good for business and you never know when it could bring you a $10,000 job. I consider it an advertising expense since I don't have any advertising expense.]
Please no offence Dave but for the Crystal Lake area $25 an hour sounds extremily low to charge to a customer. I can't hardly get a pizza delivered to my house for $25. Mchenry County is not much of a poor or depresed area. An experianced electrician will get the $20-$30+ /hr range in this area. He normaly gets workers comp, unemployment insur., cell phone, vacation, and maybe a truck with fuel and equipment.
If you charged the customer $50 for the first 1/2 hour and $75 each hour after that you would have $87.50 for that call. I'm not telling you what to charge or to copy the other guys. I am sugusting looking into your overhead costs, hours booked a week, calculating a labor rate, and mark-up. Think about how much you want to make a year and how much your Co. should make a year. There was a link to an excell program for calculating labor rates. Also a great book Mark up and Proffit by Stone.
As far as doing freebe's does your insurance cover work done for free? If I'm resetting a breaker I would rather spend a little time investigating. Open the panel. Fix a small violation. Replace and old $3 breaker to avoid a possable call back. Give the their moneys worth. Put that $50 into advertising. I do also feel some customers think what you are charging relates to your quality and service leval.
I have seen other do things dirt cheap of for free as "advertising". I have found they are advertising to the wrong people. Their clients all want somthing dirt cheap or for nothing.
Sorry for bringing this up except when I see a local business owner chargeing a custor by the hour much less than an electrician emploiee costs I think it is bad for everyone.
You can get by on $25 an hour, you just can't ever plan on retiring At that labor you have to make sure you charge for mileage and every last minute of your time (including all travel), along with an adequate material markup. Tack on an insurance surcharge while you're at it.
Oh, and throw in a micellaneous charge, the place I took my truck for an alignment did that for shop supplies ($8), which I thought was kind of prciey for a litlle gob of hand cleaner and two paper towels that the mechanic used.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Re: Labor Rate $25 PER HOUR!!!!#4423811/01/0405:47 PM
The going shop rate around here is probably in the $60-$100 range, sometimes with a $150 diagnostics fee, which I suppose covers a quick check & estimate. Electricians rate for union I believe is somewhere in the $40-$50 area.
It's good to be a yankee!
Re: Labor Rate $25 PER HOUR!!!!#4423911/01/0407:15 PM
Virgil, $25 an hour would not begin to pay our hourly expense, not including wages. A handyman in my area gets between $75 and $100 an hour, no truck or old truck, no insurance, little or no tools. I looked back in the old service order files to see when we charged $25 for a service call, I found some from 1967 $27.50 for service call, trip charge included. This would mean the average 3 bedroom home is selling for $27,000 and your area weekly income is $200 a week.
[This message has been edited by LK (edited 11-01-2004).]
Re: Labor Rate $25 PER HOUR!!!!#4424111/01/0407:43 PM
I didn't know what a Yankee was until I was 20 years old in a welding school in Arkansas & a Rebel was sitting on my chest choking the life out of me. I figured then that is wasn't good. As you can tell history is my weak subject. Here we were taught Civil War, but war isn't civil. War is hell.