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Thread: $100 an hour, for what?

  1. #21
    Elite Member Norm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by downhill
    Norm,

    Let's say there were two lawn keepers. One charged 30 bucks an hour and another 70.

    Knowing that your pretty observant of human nature, and say you did a poll, who do you think most people did the better work?

    Why?
    I see where you're going with this. Sure the guy at 70 is "expected" to do a better job. Not always the case though.


    and
    Most people want to pay as little as possible. If the low cost pans out, they keep him forever.
    If the high cost pans out, they still may look for someone cheaper.

    I'm a different sort John, you know that. I live by my own standards. I'm not greedy, and I always do my best at whatever. I come from poverty (still there), so I understand those in the same boat too.

  2. #22
    Elite Member TonyT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norm
    My rates are going up.
    If a no good for nothing can charge $100/hour then I can charge more than $35/hour that's for damn sure.
    Man oh man, how many times have I told you that you don't charge enough! 'Bout time you start to get what you deserve.

    Need to justify charging $50.00/hr eh?
    1. You have 20+ yrs experience with computers, maybe more.
    2. You HAVE an education in this field, maybe not formal, but education = to have studied something and gained the ability to apply what one has studied. You have this ability, cumulative.
    3. You are skilled at what you do.
    4. You CARE about the people that hire you to work for them.
    5. You have & take responsibility for the computers you work on.
    6. You provide a valuable service.
    7. You have satisfied customers who refer you to others.
    8. Your knowledge exceeds that of others who do similar or same work as you do.
    9. You have integrety.
    10. Neil Young is Canadian.
    No one has any right to force data on you
    and command you to believe it or else.
    If it is not true for you, it isn't true.

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  3. #23
    ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ downhill's Avatar
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    Your a great guy Norm.

  4. #24
    A+, Security+, Mobility+ Shinobi's Avatar
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    Norm..

    $60.00 USD a hour is standard for a PC Tech..

    I agree with you.. depends on who your working for,
    and maybe what kind of computer work you are doing...

    Now about the tech getting paid too much and not doing any work..
    There's a lot of people out there that have little pieces of paper, that
    say they are certified.. so people pay them "top dollar" for "expert" work.
    Unfourtunatly, I seen a lot of "certified people" that don't have hardly
    any on hands experience to even change out a hard drive!

    Here's a good one you'll like... One time I worked for a PC Repair shop, at
    the time I had about 10 years behind me, working on computers..
    The owner hired a guy, that had "loads of experience, a lot of certs..."
    ECT... The first day on the job, this "expert" is getting all mad
    because he's trying to install "one" stick of 72 pin simm
    into a old first gen pentium..
    (yep, you need two, not one, in first gen pentium system.)
    And the owner is paying this guy "top dollar" to fix computers?

    Now, getting closer to 17 years, working as a Hardware / Software tech..
    Those type of things, don't surprise me anymore.

    Happy Holidays,
    Shinobi
    _______________________________________________
    Vendor neutral certified in IT Project Management, IT Security, Cisco Networking, Cisco Security, Wide Area Networks, IPv6, IT Hardware, Unix, Linux, and Windows server administration

  5. #25
    Resident Rodent Randy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by downhill
    Your a great guy Norm.

    I was going to post a link to that thread, but the SG search results for "bullsh|t" were too numerous

    sometimes you have to think outside the box to get inside the box .

  6. #26
    Uninsured for your health
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    What suprises me is...sys admins that leave the password defualted in their routers...

    I did an internship for PacWest Telecomm after I graduated high school. One of the data ops guys was showing us what he did there. He whent to login to the router and I notice he typed "admin" for the first router and "password" for each router after that...

    Norm, last time I took a machine into a local computer shop around here, they wanted 40 an hour
    Quote Originally Posted by Three Rivers Designs
    America! Love it or give it back!

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyT
    Man oh man, how many times have I told you that you don't charge enough! 'Bout time you start to get what you deserve.

    Need to justify charging $50.00/hr eh?
    1. You have 20+ yrs experience with computers, maybe more.
    2. You HAVE an education in this field, maybe not formal, but education = to have studied something and gained the ability to apply what one has studied. You have this ability, cumulative.
    3. You are skilled at what you do.
    4. You CARE about the people that hire you to work for them.
    5. You have & take responsibility for the computers you work on.
    6. You provide a valuable service.
    7. You have satisfied customers who refer you to others.
    8. Your knowledge exceeds that of others who do similar or same work as you do.
    9. You have integrety.
    10. Neil Young is Canadian.

    I totally agree Norm...your customers are lucky to have a person as good as you....they are getting a bargain at twice the price for the reasons listed above. Defintily make what you deserve, few people are lucky enough too.

  8. #28
    SG Enthusiast Rainbow's Avatar
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    Dont feel bad Norm Im not looking to get rich quick either or rip off anyone.... I still enjoy what I do...I charge 30/hr residential and 50/hr businesses.
    Never had a complaint about a bill and was often paid more

  9. #29
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norm
    1.1?
    You sure? Even on some of the early models?

    Good advice I'll be taking advantage of, thanks.
    Yeah, 192.168.1.1 is Linksys default, and 1.0 doesn't exist. I setup one of the first hundred off the assembly line, back with their very first BIOS version. That's how I found Speedguide.Net, having MTU problems, Linksys support sent me over here to download the MTU and 386 patch files for Win98.
    MORNING WOOD Lumber Company
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  10. #30
    SG Enthusiast twwabw's Avatar
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    Norm-

    You're worth every dime..... you know that; we all know that; and chances are, your clients already know you're worth more too. Residential is tough to charge lots of $$ for, for all the reasons you've said. No- they can't hack 100/hr, but your business clients can. Business clients are the way to more $$dough$$. I charge my accounts between $90-$100/hr. I don't do residential, only as favors for principals of the businesses I work for (ie: owner's relative, etc.).

    A few tips:
    - charge no more than the amount of time the job SHOULD have taken. If you know in your heart it should be 1.5 hrs, but you took 2.5 'cause you had a couple glitches, charge only the 1.5. They'll notice, and respect you for it. If it should be 2.5 because of errors on their part, or unplanned problems that would have arisen anyway, then go for the full boat.
    - businesses can react negatively to travel and expense charges. Although many firms charge for these things, I have made great impressions by emphasising that I do NOT charge for travel. I tell them "You don't get paid to drive to work.... why should I??" They really like this. And let's face it... If you're making $100/hr for the afternoon, you can affor to drive for 45 minutes to get there.
    - Unless you're staying overnight to provide them w/training or something, I never charge for travel expenses either. See above.
    - Businesses expect quality consultants to garner top dollar. Someone mentioned " rape them", but this is a poor business practice IMHO. Charge what the market bears for the service you provide: no more- no less.
    - Many people are dilluded by the "40 hrs @ $100.... I'll make 4 grand a week!" B.S. You won't, for all the reasons I stated above. You'll spend time on your own dime researching, and learning, and fixing your mistakes. Figure at least 25% of your time will be spent doing that. And accounting / invoicing isn;t billable either.

    Moral? Charge more Dude!! Microsoft realizes you have value.... you should too!

    Out.
    Observe everything...focus on nothing..

  11. #31
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twwabw
    - Many people are dilluded by the "40 hrs @ $100.... I'll make 4 grand a week!" B.S. You won't, for all the reasons I stated above. You'll spend time on your own dime researching, and learning, and fixing your mistakes. Figure at least 25% of your time will be spent doing that. And accounting / invoicing isn;t billable either.
    Good point....a lot of people do think that. At work, we have goals...to try to bill at least a set amount of hours per week. Where I used to work, the boss hammered in 80 billed hours per month, that's 20 hours per week. Well, that's hard sometimes unless you have some big regular clients that you work at a few days a week.

    I still strive to bill 60 hours per month, or 15 hours per week. That's on the average. One week you can have 8 hours...another week you might have 22 hours. Also, picking up what we call "monthlies"...can help. That's a set monthly price you agree with for a client, where you bill them a flat fee each month, say, 600 dollars. You provide weekly visits to them based on need. Over time, you look at how much time you spend working on their network, and compare with how much you're billing them. That way you make sure either side is not getting a raw deal. I have several clients like this...so each month, I start out with my first week already taken care of hours wise. What ever else you bill is gravy. Non-profit clients like this, the bean counter likes to see a fixed support cost for their computers, to factor into their budget. I also have a big accounting firm that does this. Each month I run the tax update programs for them, but during slow season I can go a few months without making any visits, or just a few very short ones. Then during end of year and tax season, I'm spending a lot of time there. But if you look at the total hours spent over the years average, it works out fine. So monthly contracts like are nice, they know they can rely on you, and you know you can start each month with a set amount of hours "already in the bank".

    I bill for 1x travel. Also try to factor in some time for documenting...we have a big database client contact program called "Clientele"...that we keep track of our work with clients in. It's a value that's important not only to you, but the client too...as long as you keep it updated and detailed, it has all the facts about their setup. If I'm spending a lot of time doing input on that, I'll try to factor in some of that time into the billable job.

    There's a ratio between "total time you spend" to bill 1x hour. You don't want to spend 10 hours of your time to bill 1 hour.
    Don't forget:Time researching product for a customer
    Time ordering that product for a customer
    Time spend unboxing that product, building it (unbuckling the OS, updating stuff), bringing it onsite, installing it, etc etc etc.
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  12. #32
    Certified SG Addict CableDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by downhill
    Your a great guy Norm.

    Norm,

    Go get your tooth looked at!

  13. #33
    Elite Member Norm's Avatar
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    A question for you guys that work on corporate lans.

    Do they, and/or can they hold you accountable if something goes wrong and you (or an unseen problem while you're working on it) wipes out important files etc. Can they sue? Do they?

    Can you just say "sorry about that" and leave? lol
    Seriously, what happens in that scenario?

    @Cabledude
    This tooth has cost me enough already. Now I have pieces growing into my gum from the bottom up. Not easy to dig it out, but I can't wait for it to somehow push itself through. The dentist is too expensive, and doesn't do a good job anyway. I'll get the sucker out even if I have to use power tools. My dremel is looking up to the job. Where there's a will there's a way.

  14. #34
    Elite Member Norm's Avatar
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    P.S.

    twwabw
    Good to see you around. Thanks for posting.
    I understand no one makes the full 40 week @$100/hr or @$35/hr. I meant it as a reference of potential. I can also see the near future rates dropping as more students join the working world.

    @TonyT
    I guess when you put it like that I have no choice. That list makes me look pretty good

    @Rainbow
    Your rates seem closer to the 'fair' side to me. Maybe large companies need to charge $100 to cover overhead, but us little guys don't need to go so high.

    I guess there's a lot of variety where rates are concerned, re: travel time, amount of time a job "should" have taken, prep time, monthly accounts etc etc.

    Thanks for all the suggestions and ideas guys.

  15. #35
    Assistant Admin Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norm
    A question for you guys that work on corporate lans.

    Do they, and/or can they hold you accountable if something goes wrong and you (or an unseen problem while you're working on it) wipes out important files etc. Can they sue? Do they?

    Can you just say "sorry about that" and leave? lol
    Seriously, what happens in that scenario?

    @Cabledude
    This tooth has cost me enough already. Now I have pieces growing into my gum from the bottom up. Not easy to dig it out, but I can't wait for it to somehow push itself through. The dentist is too expensive, and doesn't do a good job anyway. I'll get the sucker out even if I have to use power tools. My dremel is looking up to the job. Where there's a will there's a way.
    Normy,
    Number 1, quit screwing with that tooth... If it gets infected or the part that remains, abcesses, you will regret it...


    To you other question, this is why back ups are so important... One "oh chit" cancels out a whole bunch of "atta boy's". Not to mention, it can cost companies unlimited amounts of money... If at all possible, back up all data before doing anything... This will eliminate the liability.

    With todays courts and laws, I would not put it past many companies to sue, and they typically have lawyers in house or on retainer... I doubt that you could afford to stand up to them...


    Now get your fanny to the dentist!! You paid them to remove the tooth and they didn't... Should be no charge...

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norm
    @Rainbow
    Your rates seem closer to the 'fair' side to me. Maybe large companies need to charge $100 to cover overhead, but us little guys don't need to go so high.

    I guess there's a lot of variety where rates are concerned, re: travel time, amount of time a job "should" have taken, prep time, monthly accounts etc etc.
    Think you hit it on the head there, $100/hr includes oh/profit/benefits and salaries and such. Whereas with you, it's all one number. $35/hr for a business client seems pretty cheap all the same. Maybe you should try $75/hr or somewhere around there, see how it works out for you. Business environments tend to be a bit more complex.

  17. #37
    Assistant Admin Ken's Avatar
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    I agree with what the others have said. Business and residential are 2 totally different animals...
    Resident clients may lose their MP3 collection, however, businesses are dependant upon computers, they can not afford to have their systems down. What they pay you is also a tax write off, a cost of doing business...

    If I were you, I would think along the lines of $35 per hour residence and perhaps $75 for businesses... TWWAB and SCat have given you excellent guidelines on billable time...


    Now get to the dentist!!!!

  18. #38
    Senior Member Sid's Avatar
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    Norm, for corporate customers you need to bump your time to at least $85.00 min! I just picked up a furniture company with 4 stores and I have them under contract for $120.00 hr. They are going to get their monies worth. You should see this mess. Anyways, yes they can sue you for lost data so take ken's advice and backup all the data then test it to make damn sure it's good before you do anything.

  19. #39
    Disciple of Doom SeedOfChaos's Avatar
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    Norm, here's a plan for you. You raise your rates, take a few days off, fly over to New Jersey, and get a good dentist there. I think I know one. Seriously, I can see David cringe while reading your posts.

    There's a lot of good advice here regarding rates et al. Lemme add a little bit to the business/liability issue here.

    First of all, create a document with your "general terms and conditions", and make it at least available to all your business clients. Even just referencing to its existence should be sufficient under Canadian (UK?) law to make it legally binding for your clients, unless you have outrageous terms in there. For example, you could define that you can only be liable for physical damage to equipment or for logical (data) damage that occurred due to grossly negligent or intentional acts on your part. That combined with making solid (tested and working!!!) backups should cover your butt quite well.

    If you pick up more and more business customers, you should also start to think about incorporating your business. Usually an attainable sum of money is pretty much all that is required, I think it's 25,000 over here, not all of which even have to be your own (bank loan, for example). I don't know what they call it over there, but probably LLC, just like in the UK. Limited Liability Company, its name says it all. Your liability will be limited to the principal amount, the amount of money you invested into the company, or the 25,000 minimum over here, which should be definately sufficient to run a small IT consultancy. Hence you remove the possibility that you might be indebted forever or going bankrupt personally due to a mistake made at work. Cover your ass man!

    I'm sure there's someone on the boards who can give you more info on incorporating your business in Canada, but IMO it's certainly worth having a look at that, if you wish to avoid unlimited personal liablity.
    ex-WoW-addict

  20. #40
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    For 100 bucks she better look damn good and be wearing something skimpy!

    Oh ya and know something about PCs.

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