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Question for anyone that does IT/networking on the side....

By iago9999 ·
Hi everyone,

I have been asked by someone who I am acquainted with to network their small business. Although I don't have the particulars, it looks to be somewhat simple: client/server based with about 5 (or so) clients w/local authentication and the server will act as a file/print server.

I have always ran into a dilemma with doing this kind of thing. The networking itself is not the problem, but I never know exactly how much to charge for the labor. I want to be fair with the price; both to the customer as well as myself.

Has anybody else had this problem?
Does anybody have a formula/equation that they use to figure out how much to charge when doing side jobs?

Thank you all!

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You need to make a guestimate about the number of hours

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Question for anyone that ...

and then multiply that by a suitable hourly rate. One rule of thumb is to look at what the big shops charge as an hourly rate and then discount that by however much you think they are outrageous.

Anything under $30 or $40 per hour would be to low for most situations in most countries. However, you need to balance your professional worth against your friendship, but don't sell yourself short either.

As guide most pro shops here in Aust now charge about $90 plus per hour for work. In this case I would gues the hours to instal and configure and multiply that by, say $50, and set that as a fixed labour charge.

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I gave up on side businesses because of this...

by Komplex In reply to Question for anyone that ...

It's the follow up that killed me. Any hic-cup and they are going to be on the phone requesting full service.

If you got it covered (and it sounds like you do), and it's off the books, I'd charge about 60% of what the major firms in your area charge.

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by jhumphrey In reply to I gave up on side busines ...

Same experiance as Komplex here......Either make it *very* clear from the start what you will or will not do - or else expect calls on a Sunday afternoon on why their AOL will not work or why their son's PC is so slow (Could it be that it has every P to P client, rootkit and spyware software loaded that is known to mankind? And oh, it *must* be your fault - after all you worked on their network/server setups like 10 months ago.............), and since they paid you a small amount for physical network/server setup they expect in some cases all aditional support for free, after all we do have another Full Time job. :-<
Personally I have made it a policy that only for *very* close family and friends will I do any PC Service/Support work for. Otherwise I suggest like "Geeks-On-Call" or other local PC service outlets. This has saved me many a headache over the years.
Like Komplex said, if you have everything covered with these folks,
50-60% of local/national vendor labor costs is appropiate.

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Same here...

by ITRFGUY In reply to I gave up on side busines ...

I have a few close friends that I didn't mind giving a break to, but there's a friend of a friend that drove me away from side work because he was always screwing up his laptop and expecting me to expedite the repair because he needed it for a project. Sorry, I make enough money that I don't need any added pressure. Margarita anyone?

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Hourly rate

by mjd420nova In reply to Question for anyone that ...

The going rate is $100. an hour, but I've seen
as low as $65. I try not to charge an hourly
rate, better to quote a flat price for the
whole job. I have one advantage in that a lot
of my present customers allow me to barter for
what I need, sometimes it's beer and baseball
tickets, depending upon what the customer
has available.

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Discount & let the customer know

by sMoRTy71 In reply to Question for anyone that ...

I agree with all of the advice to discount your price. I would also make sure that you can let the customer know that you are discounting. I've found that this always helps with the "sticker shock" of an estimate.

So you can say "Company A charges $100 an hour, Company B charges $85 an hour, I am willing to do it for $65 (or whatever price you decide on)."

After you explain the discount in this way, it is often easier to explain what your availability after the job is complete will be.

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What is you time worth?

by jdmercha In reply to Question for anyone that ...

I take a different approach to it, because I don't take side jobs very often. If I can't make $300 or more, the job is not worth taking.For the most part I am expensive and I tell people that they can get a better price elsewhere. But I do have one customer that calls me 2-3 times a year because she is not happy with the others she has had do some work for her.

Since she is a friend (and at one time my boss, who hired me for my current job) I give her the 'discount' rate of $300. This usually involves a 3 hour round trip travel time and 2-4 hours doing whatever type of work she has. I would pretty much double that rate for others.

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I Concur.....

by ldsibert In reply to Question for anyone that ...

I agree with all the advice that you are getting. I charge $50 an hr. for pc work. If its server/client, I charge a flat rate, same with wiring jobs. I run service for the most part, and I "price the job" on what they want done. Less sticker shock on them I have found. I at least get $100 or two hours of labor, on every pc call that I do. 99% of these calls are from co-workers and their friends and families. So it works out well for me. Good luck in your decision!

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Question for anyone that does IT/networking on the side....

by Mitch121 In reply to Question for anyone that ...

Hi iago9999,

I am from the UK I have number of friends who do this type of work and I have done it myself self as well the fee is normally around ?300- $500 a day depending on how complex the work is. Remember to take into account tax, car insurance, food, health ins etc.


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Set fee for job

by dave.schutz In reply to Question for anyone that ...

I support several small businesses and friends and normally charge a one-time fee for the installation work and charge per hour for support; support includes phone support also. As much as their business is important to them, my time is important to me.

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