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Maintenance jobs, billing the customer, profit on small invoices

3924 Views 11 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  CBJenkins
I'm starting to help my father in law with his small electrical business. I'm a project manager for an earthwork and site work contractor, so I am familiar with the industry. My question is regarding the smaller maintenance calls he makes (less than 2K). He does ok on his larger jobs (2-15K), is able to mark up and make some money. But when I look at what he charges for these smaller simpler jobs, there's no money in the jobs. Not sure if he is charging enough or invoicing them correctly.

Any advice regarding maintenance calls? Is there a standard minimum charge? Any advice on how to bill customers? Sometimes he sends out an electrician for a few hours and bills a few hundred bucks (materials plus $65 an hour). Once you factor gas, wages, etc...we aren't covering overhead and definitely not making any profit.
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Around here its all over the place for service calls (residential), some guys are 45 bucks 8-5pm then 65 after 5pm. Others are way up there around 80 between 8-5pm, 100-150 after 5pm. My rate is usually (this is residential mind you) 75 for me to knock at the door and diagnose/first hour. If I need materials to fix, the charges go up for materials and an hour minimum charge. However, if its something small, take tonight for instance - No power in the living room outlets, tripped breaker in the panel and it wouldnt reset. Turns out a ground contacted the hot side of the main outlet feeding the rest of the living room outlets and tripped. simple fix, less than 10 minutes. I was out of my house for a grand total of 35 minutes and that included drive time. So I charged my $75 and called it a night.

Even the big commercial guys around here are all over the board with service call prices, hell a couple are even lower priced than residential calls!

As for profit and overhead I work for me, no employees (unless I need casual labor for a day or two here and there) and no store front.
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