General discussion


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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How I charge for work

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

I fully agree with all the posts so far. I basically have a set rate that I charge on all bills for any work then I give a discount from that rate. That way the customer sees what the going rate is and sees they are getting a discount.

I don't like to just quote a job but I'll give an estimate of hours and in most instances it goes over the hours quoted because once you are on-site there are a zillion questions you are asked by anyone and everyone in the office. This all takes time away from what you are trying to do. Also you can never estimate what you are going to run into ahead of time.

As to hardware prices, I would gladly give hardware away to charge for my services. With the price of hardware an easy search on the internet I don't expect to make anything on hardware. The last thing I want to hear is "Hey, I saw this on the internet for $50 less." I don't care if they get hardware from me or from the back of a brown truck, just let me charge my time for installation and configuration.

Good luck.

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Depends on your location and experience

by ray.graves In reply to Question for anyone that ...

I live in the Seattle area and I usually charge $75/hr. for in-home service and $125/hr. for businesses, plus travel and parking with a minimum of 1 hour. I never discount the price unless the customer buys a block of hours in advance - otherwise, word will get around and you will lose business.

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This is true...

by Mr. D. L. In reply to Depends on your location ...

I live in Louisiana and the rate is around $100/hr. I usually charge based $85-$90/hr for businesses and $65-$70/hr for in-home with a minimum of 1 hour. I let the customer know that f you charge a minimum and sell yourself cheap.

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Use your normal pay rate to judge...

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

If you are a full time PC Tech or Administrator for a company and you make $20-45/hr, then I would suggest charging about double your normal hourly rate. If you are a full time consultant and your company bills your time at over $150/hr, then ask for about half of your normal billing rate (that's probably about 1 - 1 1/2 times your normal salery). This gives an approximate range of $45-110/hr. based on the level of specialty and skill you have.

I performed some specialized AD repairs and documentation last year. I think that I gave the customer a good deal because I only charged him $75/hr. I probably should have charged him $95, but he was a personal friend. Consulting services for the work that I did would normally charge $185-250/hr.

In your particular situation, where you are doing a system integration, I would suggest that you figure out the hours you think it will take you to get to perform the integration (probably about 35-40 hours maybe longer if you are doing cabling too). Then charge a flat fee of estimated hrs x your rate. Then tell the customer your hourly rate for any work after the initial project is complete and signed off.

Good Luck!

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Template for Prices

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

This is a start-up company that I work with on the side, and we do exactly what you've been asked to do. We essentially serve as the small business person's IT team. Feel free to email on the website.

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Do your homework

by siempresereno In reply to Template for Prices

Don't wait to be called upon. You call around to the competition and ask for quotes on everything from simple PC repair, i.e. backups, format, installing apps, virus and/or spyware removal, etc. to the more complex networking type jobs and get a feel for what is being charged and this way you stay ready.

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Hourly Networking Rates

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

You may wish to investigate Hourly Networking Rates:


Brad Reese
BradReese.Com Cisco Engineers
1293 Hendersonville Road, Suite 17
Asheville, North Carolina USA 28803
USA & Canada: 877-549-2680
International: 828-277-7272

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What to charge

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

I do a small amount of computer work on the side.

My rate is 50.00 an hour. This is way less than most commercial companies. But is high enough to discourage people who want to take advantage of my expertise and good nature.


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Small biz...

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

Hello. I run a successful small biz outside of my normal daily job (my career if you will). I found that, in the Long Island, NY area, I can safely charge $60-75 dollars an hour. Whether it's consulting or actual labor, this is the sweet spot. You cannot compete with the biggies - BestBuy's Geek Squad, etc - but you can win them over with your customer service and support skills. If you are very "user friendly", you will make a bunch of people happy.

See my website and feel free to contact me whenever!

George Boyce

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Price conveys quality.

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

Price conveys quality. If you do high quality work, charge accordingly. Crowe, the ninth largest accounting firm in the United States charges a snobby $250.00 per hour. Contract technical recruiters markup temporary workers 40 to 100 percent or more. Although the project may not really require it, PricewaterhouseCoopers will load a prospective client up with as many consultants that they can possibly bill for.

Depending upon the market you are in and whether your small business client can afford it, base your charges upon their ability to pay.

If you small business client is looking for CHEAP and are hiring a part-time person to escape paying professional charges and they have asked you to do it, they may already think you are inexpensive.

Considering that technology changes every nine to twelve months and IT job security is nonexistent, you may want to someday go into business for yourself. Now might be the time to charge the rate you would need to support a business operation.

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