I didn't even click that link to probably know I was one of those who was hell raising about that flat rate system.
But something that I've come to understand is I was flat rating all along, just on "specific" things or when I hear "insurance job!" I always jack my 1st hour up to make it worthwhile for the phone calls of "why you wrote this or that" phone time.
I'm still hourly for the most part. I try and shoot for $90 for that first hour. With materials of any amount I'm trying not to pull out of the driveway making less than 3 figures for my time in that first hour, and even then, I feel like I'm robbing myself at that rate not charging enough.
I let my guard down a few times this week and lowered my price given the time and short distance from the shop. I could of milked them out to justify but I was too busy on the clock.
I have such a customer base that if I went flat rate on them right now, forced them to sign an invoice with lots of legal jibber jabber, I promise I'd lose 2/3rds of my clientell as they would wonder why I would be charging more than before.
I'm saying that because flat rate systems do charge more for tasks that were consumed on the hourly.
Is that a bad thing? That answer can only be found with the recipient of that charge. If they see you at the grocery, the post office, or church and won't even take a look in your direction, you know the score. Doesn't matter if they signed the docs or not.
People, most people want a fair wage for a fair amount of work. It's not their duty to decide that; it's ours.
To each their own and you won't get a fight out of me what system you use. I'm always going to have a job with the methods I'm running. I've raised my rates $20/hour in 6 years and the majority held with me.
I could go another $5/hour but I just need to think of other ways to remedy this earnings gap I see in my business practice.
Anywhere I go, I should be collecting $100 minimum for my time for that first hour. It just isn't worth it otherwise and I'd rather put more time in just to get that 3 figure number to keep operations correct.
There's always a $10 FRPT/FSG charge on all bills now to make sure I'm covering fuel, flux solder gas and full roll paper towels.