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I Have Been Struggling For The Last Year To Use A Flat Rate Pricing Guide I Purchased. Some Prices Seem Right And Some Seam Like Rape. I Hear People Say That They Are Glad They Switched. I Am Afraid Of Losing Customers That Have Been With Me For The Last 5+ Years. How Bad Does It Run Off Customers? Does It Require Advertising?
 

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I Have Been Struggling For The Last Year To Use A Flat Rate Pricing Guide I Purchased. Some Prices Seem Right And Some Seam Like Rape. I Hear People Say That They Are Glad They Switched. I Am Afraid Of Losing Customers That Have Been With Me For The Last 5+ Years. How Bad Does It Run Off Customers? Does It Require Advertising?

You bought a program with set prices already???? Or did you buy a program that was suited for your needs????

The biggest thing with flat rate pricing is you need to figure out what your business needs to make an hour. Sure your going to be higher then some, and cheaper then some.
 

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I Am New To This Site And Am Running Around Lost. Can I Reveal The Name Of The Program? It Is The Type That Company Info/empolee Pay Rates Have To Be Input For It To Calculate. Other On Common Tasks Have To Be Quarintined, So The Book Isn't As Big As A Code Book.
 

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I Am New To This Site And Am Running Around Lost. Can I Reveal The Name Of The Program? It Is The Type That Company Info/empolee Pay Rates Have To Be Input For It To Calculate. Other On Common Tasks Have To Be Quarintined, So The Book Isn't As Big As A Code Book.

Company doesnt matter. Did you calculate all your overhead, expenses, payroll, materials before giving the info to the company?
 

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No! I Fell For The Program 1st Then Bought It And Then Entered The Info. Like You Said Some Things Seem Fair And Some Seem Like Murder To The Customer. I Have Been 85% Word Of Mouth With Little Advertising. I Think It Is Common To Be Scared Of Change, But I Also See Money Being Left On The Table.
 

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The more I use flat rate, the more I realize that the prices are often going to look high, but the only way to really tell is to look at them after the fact.

When you quote a price to the customer, it will seem high to you. When you look at what you've got left after you get paid and how long it took, it may seem more realistic.

And if a price really is too high, you can lower it. (I hope)

I scalped my book to match the area and am only trying for about $120 per billable hour. What I make goes up when I get a number of tasks at once, even with a secondary price and a service contract price.

But I should be more like $165 per hour. I know my area and customers and although I will probably raise prices incrementally, I know that I can easily price myself out of business completely.

The big problem for you is that you need to crunch numbers to find out what you should be charging. That's always an eye-opener. You can find a free price calculator at upfrontprice.com that might be useful, but right away you'll see that you need to know what some of your costs of doing business are and you'll have to figure them out.

When I first crunched the numbers, I was devastated. I knew I'd never be able to charge that much per hour. In a sense, the price spiral created by rising fuel prices has made it easier to get a better price because everyone is either raising their prices now or they're failing miserably.
 

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No! I Fell For The Program 1st Then Bought It And Then Entered The Info. Like You Said Some Things Seem Fair And Some Seem Like Murder To The Customer. I Have Been 85% Word Of Mouth With Little Advertising. I Think It Is Common To Be Scared Of Change, But I Also See Money Being Left On The Table.
Absolutely. Who isnt affraid of change? But change is good, means technology and know how of business is getting better. I was T&M for years before i went flat rate. Everyone is flat rate around here so its harder for the T&M guys now. People who have been T&M for the past 20yrs arent going to buy into the flat rate at all. Thats the truth. But in this economy today, and with all the scamming and handymen doing plumbing and drain cleaning, customers want flat rate. They dont care how long its going to take you to do the job, they want the price upfront with no hassles and for us to just get the job done. Ive been using flat rate book now for 2yrs. I havent had ONE price objection or complaint since ive been flat rate. I give the customers their options. They choose what they want and for the price. Thats it. If i get a call back stating that they found someone cheaper after i did the job, well i simply say, i gave you your options, this is what you chose to do. It goes away that fast. I also like flat rate because of gas prices these days. I will definitely give a customer a price over the phone to save wasted time if i feel its going to be wasted time. I cover a really big area and dont want to waste $50 in gas to give a free estimate that i couldve given over the phone.
It took me well over 3 months to get my flat rate book down pat. That was figuring my billable hours, rough idea how long most jobs will take, cost of materials, and yes gas charge. Its long, but fun to work with. Your not ripping your customers off by charging what you charge, after all your the professional they are calling to fix their problems. Their is alot involved in that. Your not going to be the cheapiest, but your not going to be the most expensive too. Trust in your prices. But make sure you figure out what you need to have to cover your overhead, and make alittle money for yourself. Im the last person in the world that would even consider charging for useless and uneeded work. My flat rate is protection and fairness for all my customers because they all will get the same prices. Now sometimes your going to run into those jobs that takes all day and are multiple tasks. Of course you would not charge each task for the day or your prices would be way out of hand. Thats why knowing what you need to make hourly will cover those ridiculous prices that you would have to make. If i know its going to take me 4hrs on a job and they have 9 drains to snake, i will simply go to my hourly price to save the customer money.

I could go on and on....I love business talk.
 

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My stumbling blocks using flat-rate is the call-out/diagnosis charge , and the add-on rates seem at times quite un-fair.I seem to get the most flack from those items.
 

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LeMarr Plumbing, Inc.
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I can remember when I got into the flat rate (as a Franchise), I was SCARED to death, just waiting to get throwed out the house. But after you get over that hump, its smooth sailing. I have experienced when I present who we are, w/ guarantees, and what the home owner gets before I diag. the problem it is recieved well. A couple of times I tried no presentation, to see how the price settles, not too good. I never plan on going back to T&M. You can tell a ho that you charge $0 and it will be too high. Those same people ( I have plenty of them) have never bickered about the flat rate, just funny. It makes my job and life alot easier.
I checked up front price and hopefully get the software, so I can manipulate the cost. On the free price guide they have, their wtr htr price is more than my former Franchise and the mainline clean is way less that my former franchise. So the software would work out great for what I want.
UFP water heater was 500 more
UFP mainline clean was 160 less just for an example
From what I have gathered (my experience) to get the flat rate $ has ALOT to do with the presentation, I have to present everything and do it right to get the $'s.
Just my thoughts and experience.

In Christ,

Song Dog
 

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My stumbling blocks using flat-rate is the call-out/diagnosis charge , and the add-on rates seem at times quite un-fair.I seem to get the most flack from those items.

They were a problem for me as well. I simply made a Diagnostic charge, and a Service Charge

Diagnostic charge is simply looking at the problem and giving them the price. Then i tell them if they want me to do the work, the Diagnostic charge is waived and you simply pay for the work.

Service Charge gets charge if im there more then 15 mins.

Add On rates are more for your protection. If you give your task number to clean out a sewer main (lets say you price yours for an hour) and you have your set price. Your making what you need to make for the hour, pluse alittle profit. You get snagged in the line and are now in on the main for an hour and a half. The line will need to be video inspected and you give the customer the Add On price because your already there. Now you covered your half hour loss and picked up another half hour.
 

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uaplumber said:
I just ordered the 199 for $199 from upfront pricing.com.
Don't they still have their free download book? IT has more than 199 tasks. 24 pages with about eight tasks per page.

I never could figure out why they had both.

The free book had the option of downloading a PDF from A through Z, with A being the least expensive and Z being the most expensive. They recommend you don't use A but some folks might be surprised at how high the lowest prices are.
 

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I down-loaded the free one as well which was a good enough example of how the system was laid out,and I was comfortable with the lay-out so I purchased it.I'm happy with the value for the dollar.
 

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LeMarr Plumbing, Inc.
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One thing I noticed that surprises the ho, is that when I got to diagnos the problem. I say, here is the guide I showed you, would you like to look at it, while I look at your problem? All our prices is right there.
It just shows, I think, that we have nothing to hide and credibility. How many other people would do that? Thats why I do it.:thumbsup:

In Christ,

Song Dog
 

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One thing I noticed that surprises the ho, is that when I got to diagnos the problem. I say, here is the guide I showed you, would you like to look at it, while I look at your problem? All our prices is right there.
It just shows, I think, that we have nothing to hide and credibility. How many other people would do that? Thats why I do it.:thumbsup:

In Christ,

Song Dog

BAMMMMMMMMMMM good post. In my flat rate book i also have copies of all my licenses, insurance certs, certs, and diagrams of plumbing and drains, as well as jetting photos, cable photos and much more. Im glad you posted this. I do the same thing. I encourage my customers to check out all my prices and the other stuff in there.

I forgot all about that, this is another example of protecting the customer and giving equalness to all customers.
 

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LeMarr Plumbing, Inc.
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$150/hr?

Danggggg. . .You'd never get any business in KY for a price like that.. Going rate here is just 50'ish/hr. .
At one time, I thought the same thing. Its amazing stuff.

In Christ,

Song Dog
 
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