Why Flat Rate?

electrical flat rate, electrician pricingFlat rate pricing has been used successfully by many other industries for some time now. However, for some reason, Service Electricians have been slower to make changes to the way they do business than other industries….until lately. With many contractors being forced to look for ways to cut overhead, decrease waste and increase profits during these hard economic times, many have noticed that the one common denominator that all of the most successful companies have is Flat Rate Pricing.  As a matter of fact, if you check with the largest and most successful Electrical and  HVAC service companies, Automotive Service, Fence Installers, Telephone, Cable, and Satellite Installers in your area, most likely you will find that they are all using Flat Rate Pricing. Why? Because it WORKS!

If you want higher earnings, happier customers, and happier co-workers, flat rate billing is the way to go for your electrical service department.

The Problem With Time and Materials

  • Time and material pricing is no price at all and only leaves the customer “Hoping” that the bill won’t be too high.
  • When customers have no idea how much their bill will be they usually says no to options, no to upgrades, and no to preventative maintenance or membership agreements.
  • Callers will always compare your Hourly Rate to their Hourly Pay. This means most customers will think you charge too much whether you make money or not.
  • The faster you and your technicians get the less labor time you bill out on each service call and the less money you make. There’s no incentive to become faster or more efficient because it only costs you money. In other words; The better you get, the less money you make!
  • Customers are more apt to complain about having to pay for phone calls, trips to the supply house, trips back and forth to the truck, time spent talking about the work, vs actually doing the work.
  • Customers expect the clock to start the minute you start working and stop the minute you get done. They don’t care if they spend another 15 minutes looking for their checkbook or 10 minutes telling you about their neighbors dog.
  • Customers will compare what they can pay for an item at a big box store with what you are charging them.
  • Many service electricians don’t figure in the fact that up to 50% of a technicians time is un-billable. These are hours spent in traffic, travel to and from the supply house, sitting in the supply house waiting for service etc. Flat rate billing takes all of this into consideration without bringing it to the customers attention.
  • With time and materials, you tell the customer what the repair will cost after the work is 100% complete. Is that fair?

Flat Rate Pricing eliminates ALL of these problems!


What is Flat Rate Pricing Exactly?

Flat rate is simply giving the customer a firm up-front price before any work is done. This price includes all parts, ALL labor and sales tax which in reality is all the customer wants anyway; a bottom line price.

Let me put it this way: Let’s say you go to a restaurant and order a steak, but instead of seeing prices on the menu the server said: Well, we charge a set up fee for our table of $5.00, for our cook we charge $40.00 per hour billed in 10 minute increments and then $2.00 per ounce of steak, $4.50 for potatoes, $2.00 for string beans $1.75 for a roll and a $2.00 surcharge for the cost of propane. That sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Well, that is what T& M billing does. With Flat Rate Pricing, we simply say, the steak is going to cost you $21.95.

Most contractors already flat rate much of their work. You flat rate every time you bid a job, write a proposal, or sell a service agreement.

How Does the Flat Rate Express Pricing Process Work?

Flat Rate Express Pricing is easier than time and material pricing. Your technicians carry a book, tablet or laptop with them that has the price of all common repairs; the things you do 85% of the time. They look at the problem and the accessibility needed for the repair or installation and turn to the appropriate page in the book in front of the customer. The customer knows that everyone pays the same price because it’s in writing. They can either say yes or no but from experience, rather than setting an appointment with someone else the answer is usually yes! If they say yes you get to work if they say no you politely thank them and leave. It’s that simple!

How Big is the Flat Rate Express Pricing Book?

The Flat Rate Express Pricing books don’t need to be very large. In fact, you probably do 50 basic repairs 80% of the time. Our book is less than 150 pages and contains more than 230 of the most common tasks used by electricians.

Will technicians like it?

No, they will not like it; they will LOVE it!  Many technicians are very good at doing electrical work but when it comes to talking to customers about prices, many hate it. Truthfully, many techs wind up guessing and ballparking the job and then if it takes longer, they either shortchange themselves or make the customer mad. Your technicians would love to be able to remove the pressure from them by simply pointing to a task on a page and saying “Here is our price”. Our Flat Rate Express Pricing guide will do just that!

What’s In It For You, The Business Owner?

  • You will Make More Money! By getting paid for ALL Costs, Including Non-billable Hours.
  • Reduce Complaints. Customers Authorize the Work BEFORE the work is started.
  • You can Offer Higher Pay and Better Benefits to Your Technicians which helps You Get and Keep Great People.
  • Offer a Guaranteed Price. Your Customers Will Love Your No Risk Pricing.
  • No Haggling Over Invoices. Few People Argue Over a Price they already agreed upon!
  • Technicians Love It! They can Copy Repair Descriptions and Pricing Right Out of a Book to your invoice!
  • Less Calculating Means Fewer Mathematical Errors
  • By Uploading the Optional Catalog Codes as an Item into your billing software; pricing and reporting will be a snap.
  • No need to hire an estimator for service work because the technicians and Flat Rate Express Pricing Guide take care of that.


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