What do you charge to consult on a system and set it up?

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by glen, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. glen

    glen Lifer

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    1. Research and design a simple system - an office with 1 PC designed to run specialty softweare, like architectural software.
    2. Set up the system: unplug old PC, plug up new PC, move all the files over, get it running, etc...
     
  2. FelixDeCat

    FelixDeCat Lifer

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    Nothing.
     
    #2 FelixDeCat, Dec 17, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  3. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    Depends on the particulars. Purely business, and no friendship or financial hardship involved, I'd probably charge $300 over the cost of the hardware.
     
  4. superccs

    superccs Senior member

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    At least 6 figures, because it is never that simple.
     
  5. Zaap

    Zaap Diamond Member

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    Similar charge as lxskllr.

    Unless it's a close friend: make up an agreement and get it signed that covers your responsibilities as far as future servicing of the hardware/software. Cover yourself so likely replacements are covered within the manufacturer warrantee. Exempt yourself from responsibility from any dicking around any other tech-help does to the computer. IE: "My cousin said he was really good at fixing computers so we brought him in... boy did he really dick this thing up. You built it, so fix what he screwed up". Uh, no.

    Most people are reasonable, but sometimes you'll run into the types that think just because you build/set up hardware for them, you're on the hook as tech-support/fix-it guy/IT/PC teacher *forever*, so it's best write up a contract that makes it clear this won't be the case.

    I've got my 'standard agreement' I use whenever I do builds for small businesses and non-friend/family individuals, and in 15 years or so I've only had to resort to citing it about 4 times.
     
  6. jumpncrash

    jumpncrash Senior member

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    I usually charge 100 bucks on PCs for individuals, buisnesses can be more, but I'm usually gonna charge later on down the road for service anyways, so I try to keep the initial markup on the lower side.
     
  7. glen

    glen Lifer

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    any more info?
     
  8. MustISO

    MustISO Lifer

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    Figure an hourly rate and a flat rate. For a business, I would expect to charge something like $100 - $150 for this type of work. This is assuming 2 hrs of work.

    If I think it's only going to take an hour, choose an hourly rate ($50 - $70).
     
  9. cboath

    cboath Senior member

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    I've found out the hard way - when dealing with business, do not underprice yourself. Quite a lot believe if you don't charge enough, you aren't good enough.

    A few years ago we were going to install and SBS system at a local business and then convert 15 machines from various older versions of windows to XP and get everyone hooked to the network. We gave them a price that was low (basically break even) because we really wanted to do it and use it as a reference going forward. They chose someone charge 3-4x our rate because they said our price meant they didn't think we knew what we were doing (trust me, we knew exactly what we were doing). We even explained why and they didn't care.

    Some people.

    As far as individuals go, i've learned that hourly is a good method. Simply because when you do one price, they seem to tag on a lot of 'by the way, while you're here' items that they never mentioned before. If you're on hourly, you can say, sure, 'but that'll be another 1-2 hours you have to pay for, your call'.
     
  10. kleinkinstein

    kleinkinstein Senior member

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    $300. More if their are hoards of peripherals and goofy networks to negotiate. Then $150/hour to return for support, changes or more setup.
     
  11. DrGreen2007

    DrGreen2007 Senior member

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    $55..but
    I buy computers through my work discount, but charge them retail price
    - its $55 as long as its not a rush
    ....help adding printer...$55
    ....how do I do this in Outlook?....$55
    ....I cant find notepad....$55
    ....I got spyware and pop ups...$55
    $100 if they need it overnight
    (thats for computers..not servers..all my customers are on yearly contracts for server support)
     
  12. smakme7757

    smakme7757 Golden Member

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    This is a major reason why i don't do this sort of stuff anymore.

    People always expect too much.

    I still get phone calls from people i used to work with who i havn't seen in years saying 'My network does't work, can you drive over and fix it'.

    Then when you tell them they will have to pay they get all shitty. As you said, you do them one favour and they expect you to keep helping forever.
     
  13. thestrangebrew1

    thestrangebrew1 Platinum Member

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    I should've done this with my bro in law. He's driving me nuts. The bastard just clicks away and then calls me and tells me his internet is slow or he's getting popups on his main screen (can't even call it a desktop for crying out loud.) This guy is unteachable. You mind sharing your standard agreement? lol
     
  14. sze5003

    sze5003 Lifer

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    I used to do this stuff for free for friends of mine. Don't do that! They will call you every week after visiting porn. Charge as much as you can but be fair. I would even charge more than the geek squad cuz their prices are ridiculous. Some poor lady at best buy was quoted around 120 bucks to setup an in home router. I laughed so hard behind her inline one day and half those people know little to nothing about computers.
     
  15. smakme7757

    smakme7757 Golden Member

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    $120 isn't much though when you consider the expenses. I doubt they make much money of those sort of things.

    1. They have to drive to and from her house which costs money in both petrol and wear and tear on the vehicle.

    2. The guy has to get his wage

    3. The company most likely pays taxes on wages or some sort of tariff

    4. Added costs if the router is defective, he would have to drive back and get a new one and drive out again all while the little lady only forks over $120.

    Honestly though i've also smirked when people pay for that sort of stuff, but i'm pretty sure i've had some guys have a laugh on my behalf when i take my car in to get the break pads changed - which costs more than getting help with a router.
     
  16. sze5003

    sze5003 Lifer

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    Yeah they just charge a lot for other stuff in store as well. Including checkup, cleaning the pc, running antivirus. This stuff if people googled could save their own money. I'm sure we are all taken for a ride at the mechanic.
     
  17. cboath

    cboath Senior member

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    A few years ago I was told that the geek squad rate to come out to your house to troubleshoot/fix a problem was 150/hr. Even if they pay these guys $25/hr, after one hour, their total on the guy is less than $50/hr (after insurance/taxes/etc).

    I can also remember a story the news did here just prior to that. They took a PC and half unplugged the hard drive cable. They called 5-6 different repair places to come look at it. The results were simply astounding. ONE company found the cause accurate as a loose cable, plugged it back in and apologized for having to charge her $45 for the service call. The rest were, shall we say, less than honest. Once place told her there were tons of things wrong and that it'd be about 450 to fix it properly.

    I realize that's a bit outside the main topic, but it's a reason our friends trust us. They know we're not going to pull stuff like that which is something you actually have to worry about.