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Discussion Starter #1
I'm very used to contracting that requires an estimate before the work is done. I am not, however, familiar with other types of contracting that rely on service calls.

How do Handyman, emergency plumbers, etc... handle charges?
Do you have a base fee then charge by the hour?

Thanks!
 

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Nathan, there are several ways of doing this. I know both because my brother who works hvac educated me and we are slowly moving that way ourselves.

For crappy repairs it sometimes isn't worth my time as the sales man to go investigate the problem type up a proposal mail it and persue call backs. DUH! on me if the job is valued at $150 it's just not worth my time.

We are slowly beginning to tell customers on the phone when they have crappy repairs "THis is not something we give estimates for. If you'd like I can send over a very capable roofer to diagnose and fix your problem. His charge is $X per hour plus the cost of materials."

If they choose no then I don't care because for me to come out and give an estimate on most repairs is a waste of time. If they say yes then everybody is happy and the repair gets done fast.

I've found most people charge a premium for the first hour, like $60 to ring your door bell then $40 each additional hour. I've also found most people mark up their materials, while we charge the time it takes to actually buy the material.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm asking becuase I was trying to think of how I could take my computer/networking experience and contracting experience and join them together.
Obviously this site is one way of doing that but I was trying to think of other ways as well.
Technology is becoming a huge market and getting more and more complex. From home thaters to home computer networks people need help.
I was thinking of a company, run like a handyman businesss, that took home tech calls. Same deal, $50 visit, $40 or $50 an hour.
Theres already another company doing something like this that peaked my intrest. There are SO MANY out of work tech workers that I could probably find help pretty easily.

Just an idea... what do you think?
 

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Nathan finding customers will be harder than finding workers, which is why there is such a surplus on workers. I think you may find plenty to keep yoruself busy but at these times it may take awhile to find plenty to keep your help busy too.

The construction industry is good because MANY guys are great with their hands but literally don't know how to turn on a computer. Would you believe I worked for one of CHicago's largest roofing companies and there was not a single computer in the place?! About a week before I left they bought a few monitors but I hear they didn't have a whole computer operating until last year.

These guys probably make 20 mil a year revenue. This would be a client to have.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Grumpy said:
The construction industry is good because MANY guys are great with their hands but literally don't know how to turn on a computer. Would you believe I worked for one of CHicago's largest roofing companies and there was not a single computer in the place?! About a week before I left they bought a few monitors but I hear they didn't have a whole computer operating until last year.

These guys probably make 20 mil a year revenue. This would be a client to have.
I agree but those same people also fight technology. They don't want anything to do with it. It seems like it would be a hard market to break into.
 

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Nathan said:
I'm very used to contracting that requires an estimate before the work is done. I am not, however, familiar with other types of contracting that rely on service calls.

How do Handyman, emergency plumbers, etc... handle charges?
Do you have a base fee then charge by the hour?

Thanks!
I can only speak for the way we handle our charges on service work. We have a set price by the hour with a 1 hour minimum. Material cost are added on to the invoice and taxes added on to that. We are in the middle of working up some service contracts that will be charged by the month or year depending on how good the customer is. Tanias
 
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