43, I have a friend who worked for a large service company. He told me that their labor rates changed almost daily. Here's why. If they had more work than they could handle their rates went up just because they felt like if a customer wanted to use their services, they would have to send a man out on overtime to do the work. If the customer was willing to pay, they dang sure ready to collect their money. Here's the catch, this company is nation wide, and people would pay their prices just because of the "name". IMHO the advertising is a means by which you get your phone to ring. After the phone rings is when the "sales" work really starts. If you "show your hand" to soon, it may "back fire" in your face. I would leave the rates off, and then I would train the person who answers the phone on "how" to make a sale over the phone. Making sales over the phone is another subject. Good Luck.
That'll be $75.00, please (who should I bill this to), Doc
There are times when advertising an hourly rate may be useful - just starting out and want to drum up some business? - advertise a special 'new customer' rate....or a discount rate for senior citizens... or an 'as low as $' rate...like the Doc said, "After the phone rings is when the 'sales' work really starts." Your advertised 'as low as' rate might not be applicable to that particular inquiry, etc.
In '92 I advertised a low hourly rate special...got me a 30-day (8 hrs. per day) contract during a slow time...I still do work there at my normal rates.
I don't do a lot of advertising, but I wouldn't put an hourly rate in one. I would advertise a certain item for a fixed price, such as Ceiling fans installed from $50 and up. I do fan installations for a local fan store that advertises on my behalf "ceiling fans installed from $39", what they don't say is plus $35 trip charge, $7 for a light kit, $25 if bracing is needed and the $39 is only good for up to a 10 ft ceiling. I think you should avoid this type of pricing, the only reason I allow it is because they insisted on offering the ridiculous $39 price. I personally wouldn't qoute hidden fees, although they do give a price sheet and explain to the customer exactly what the charge will be before they leave the store.
I've been thinking of doing energy audits on potential customers homes. Give a free audit of places that they may be losing energy. Cooling, heating, lighting. Let people know that installing dimmers on the lights saves energy, and if they want them, install them for a your fee. Installing attic fans helps keep the attic cooler and lower the AC part of the power bill. Have them walk around the house with you and note to them any electrical problems they might have. You'll be suprised the things they really need done once you get there and they get comfortable with you. Some cases they will just get the audit and you never hear from them again, but it could bring some work your way. And they may talk to friends and neighbors also. For the most part I stay to busy to do many of these but It might help if you're just starting out or things slow down for you. If you had a HVAC company to refer them to, you might collect some finders fee money from them if they see enough traffic from you, Get some of their business cards and put your name on the back and the audit date so they can track your business that you send over to them.