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Thread: Contractor hourly rate

  1. #11
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    In comparison to other provinces is it a fair rate? Not taking into account I am an MIE, just as a normal sparky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ians View Post
    In comparison to other provinces is it a fair rate? Not taking into account I am an MIE, just as a normal sparky.
    hi ians

    I find your dilemma quite interesting. I had the same challenges in my construction company. I was/is only an IE. Though i had different rates for different kinds of jobs the one rate that was always under fire was the electrical rates. In my opinion charging 550 an hour is more than fair for an MIE. In Joburg you wont get complains but in CT and KZN people don't want to pay proper rates.

    I was "forced" to adjust my rates per hour and got away with about 350 per hour. I later realized (as some comments mentioned) that i had to charge smart rates and not expensive rates. I started quoting 2 hours for jobs where i normally would have done them in one hour. Initially i was spending one hour on site and then i rush back to office to cleanup there, not mentioning the prep work i did before. thought i did not want the customer to incur more than necessary costs. Silly me . Later I quoted 2 hours and this included my prep, travel, cleanup. I was still giving a very good service but i covered more of my lost time and was indeed able to ask lower rates.

    I will agree on one thing.. the "Fly by night" or "backyard" electricians is killing the market for the good guys out there.

    I guess my advice, tip would be to find the balance between fair to you and fair to customer. And also try working more for companies than private guys. less hassle with companies.

  3. #13
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    As a IE and in the business since '85 I've stopped quoting hourly rates long ago. Of cause I use it to determine the quotation but don't specify it. For instance, installing a plug will cost x amount, that would include material, consumables and labour. The price can vary depending on what is involved i.e. length of cabeling etc. I hardly ever have issues with customers complaining. Don't neglect to include travelling / preparation etc. costs.

    Sent from my GT-I9500 using Tapatalk

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    No offense, but you could employ some 'technikon' students to do it for much cheaper and they get a reference. if you really want to get it done better, you need to look at what you have that other's don't. a little more of an offense would be to point out that in South Africa people are very lazy. it comes from our racial diversity, where we do not trust each other for some reason.

    So, you need to price yourself better. if you were to make it 'quicker' - your service that is - then you could try to do it in less time, and, those are manufacturing hours. the problem is it doesn't mater how long it takes as the demand for productivity in south africa is so low due to the recession and lack of funding for customers. this mes they are doing nothing, fixing the thing doing nothing, then complaining about lost hours, yes?

    Now, if you were to clean your equipment faster, for a start, you could try to use one barrel of acid or some sort of fast cleaning agent. then you could use it multiple times, scraping the dirt off the top, if that is where the dirt goes, or pouring it into the other barrel if the dirt is at the bottom, yes?

    Then, you could do the electrical stuff yourself! just wire the same color wires together, or switch the machine on or off. that is what is called for, not some flipping nuclear power plant maintenance
    .


    I see others have "smiled" at this ............... I'm having an absolute roll on the floor moment at the ignorance of this post !!

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    At the end of the day, it is you that make up the price.
    Some jobs are straightforward and for some jobs you should allow contingency [explained to your client before you start with the job]
    You will learn from experience that for some clients you are too expensive and other will give you extra if you take care of them and not just focus on making money. It is true that prices charged differ from province to province with the key on being flexible. I for one will give discount if i don't have another job to go to, while lifting my price if my calls increase. In Economics its known as : The Price Elasticity of Demand.

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    I for one will give discount if i don't have another job to go to, while lifting my price if my calls increase.
    Except that if you do give a discount if you don't have another job to go to, then your turnover/income drops twice (for the discounted call & the non next call)

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    Quote Originally Posted by HR Solutions View Post
    Except that if you do give a discount if you don't have another job to go to, then your turnover/income drops twice (for the discounted call & the non next call)
    a rather complicated conundrum...lol

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    My concern is that other contractors in KZN are charging as little as R280 per hour per team.

    Could this be why my little business is still operating after 24 years.

    Every day i see new contractors, with new vehicles and teams and a couple months later when i ask the sales guy behind the counter what happened to that contractor. The response is, "Damn we got screwed for R100 000 or R500 000 when the contractor went bankrupt."

    These contractors which come and go, just F%^&** the industry up for the rest of us.

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  10. #19
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    You can say that again. I do not work according to an hourly rate. I work my quote out according to the task at hand and the circumstances. I also adjust according to the financial status of the client. Being a micro business it is easy for me and it works. I charge different rates for working on a DB compared to clipping a cable to a wall. When my work load gets a bit much I up my prices and go with the flow.

  11. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ians View Post
    My concern is that other contractors in KZN are charging as little as R280 per hour per team.

    Could this be why my little business is still operating after 24 years.

    Every day i see new contractors, with new vehicles and teams and a couple months later when i ask the sales guy behind the counter what happened to that contractor. The response is, "Damn we got screwed for R100 000 or R500 000 when the contractor went bankrupt."

    These contractors which come and go, just F%^&** the industry up for the rest of us.
    I agree with you 100%.. these fly by nights is messing up the industry.

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