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<Dan>
posted
I'm going to charge by the hour this year instead of bidding each tree differently. Does anyone have any advise on this approach? I have analyzed my history of expenses and billable production hours and know my bread-even hourly rate and desired rate for desired profit. I'm a little concerned that prospects will be scared away by the hourly rate even though it is what they pay now and even more. What happens when it takes longer to do the job than expected - do I pay for it or do they? If they pay than how do you word it in the contract? And I only charge for what I do of course but does that mean I build moderate sized buffers in there to cover unexpected delays? If so - what is an appropriate buffer rate, 10%, 20%??? I'm a small business but I am meticulous about standards and doing the right thing for the tree first than the customer. So, I can't compete with these 4 man crews that go in and tear up the place in 1/3 the time with the customer not knowing the difference between tree care driven management and money driven management. I try to educate my prospects about this but it is a hard sell and I refuse to bad mouth anyone so that cuts it short. So - any experiences out there with small businesses focused on spending the time to do things right and charging for it?
 
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<Guy>
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Reply to post by Dan, on January 29, 2003 at 10:05:18:

yes charge for your time, just like lawyers and plumbers. Tell your client about your progress so they know what they will be paying. If they wnat an estimate provide one, with conditions that if more time is needed that you must charge for it.
 
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<Peter Torres>
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Reply to post by Dan, on January 29, 2003 at 10:05:18:

A person I do business with over here in Portland Oregon charges $48 an hour period whether it be driving or whatever and he says it works, and he has been using this method for some years now. He gives an estimate of what it will take to do a job. If it is more, the invoice is for more. If it is less, then he asks for less money.
 
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