Setting viable rates for services isn’t as simple as some techs might think. It’s often not enough to simply set an hourly rate, throw out the line, and hope to catch a job that pays out well enough for your time when materials are factored in too. What should techs be considering when it comes to setting prices? We think these factors can inform your thinking.
Research Your Market
Pricing isn’t the same everywhere. Factors like where they live and how competitive their local industry is play a big role in how an experienced tech prices services. Do your research and build relationships with peers to gauge what technicians at your level of skill are charging for their services within a 30-50 mile radius. Also try to research what companies are willing to pay for the services. Thankfully, as technology becomes a more integral part of our society, we’re seeing more companies put high value in good IT deployment and maintenance. The value of your service should translate into your pricing.
Understand Your Overhead and Material Costs
Even if the job involves proprietary equipment the client already has, techs will still be bringing some of their own materials, like tools, screws, or cables to get a job done. These materials cost technicians money, so it’s important to upcharge appropriately. To keep costs as low as possible, many techs choose to buy lower grade materials when operating on their own. But these bottom-tier materials don’t always hold up like they should and frankly, clients are always going to want the best. This is why we started our group purchasing program to empower techs and their clients to acquire quality materials at a lower cost. With partners from Grainger to Office Depot, this program gives anyone the opportunity to improve on the bottom line by lowering the initial expense on the industry’s best materials. If you haven’t signed up, you can do so here.
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Quotes Can Be Harmful, If Not Approached Cautiously
When giving a quote, make it flexible. Set a range of dates for completion, or hours needed to complete the task, rather than a fixed figure. This safeguards both you and the client from anxieties or frustrations further down the line. An estimation on the timeline of a job is just that: an estimation. We couldn’t even count the times and reasons we’ve seen timelines get longer or shorter after the job is begun. This is part of the nature of technical work, and educating clients about this will go a long way in earning their understanding. Before providing a quote to a client, consider any wiggle room you might need or outlying factors that might cause the work to take longer. Every technician’s pricing structure is their own to determine. Maybe depending on a long-term relationship with a client pricing could even change.