12 September 2009


  • Sep 12, 2009


I am considering asking for a raise.
A 33% one at that.
I am fairly confident I will get it, seeing that I am the CEO and majority shareholder as well as the sole employee.

It is not because I need the money.
Just the opposite.

I have too much money, not enough free time (well, maybe not "too much", but more than I need)

I am hoping that a moderate price increase will discourage people from calling me.
The decrease in work would be made up for by making slightly more when I do.

I justify raising my prices to myself in two ways:

1) I now have 3 years of experience.  I have all sort of fancy equipment.  I have moved hide-a-bed sofas, large potted trees, and several 600lb safes.  My repair skills are getting increasingly refined (as I get to practice on my clients houses).  I am gradually moving along the skill level scale from day laborer toward contractor.  That experience makes me more useful.

2) I am still well below the standard moving company rate.  Not long ago I got a call from someone who wanted to hire me to unload a U-Haul from a local move.  I pointed out that the cost of the U-Haul rental alone would be as much as my charge, and wouldn't include a laborer (me).  I priced the job at about $130.  She was immensely relived, and told me she had gotten several quotes, all above $500!
At the new rate, it would have been $160; still far below what she was told elsewhere, and in fact still competitive with renting a truck and trying to do it all alone, (including a dolly, blankets, and insurance makes a one way U-haul rental $155)

Wow.  I was on the fence when I started writing this, but after doing the math just now, and looking up U-haul's rates, now I am quite sure!

So, anyway... I'll leave my minimum where it is, at $50.  Going up to a more divisible number means I will be able to charge to the nearest 15 minutes instead of the nearest half hour.  And I'll be able to afford to make my no car discount $10 off per hour instead of just $5.
Also, I am instituting a sliding scale.  If someone genuinely can't afford even the discounted rate, I will add in an additional $5 per hour poverty discount.
I'll count that at $10,000 (approximately the federal poverty line for an individual) even though things are expensive in the Bay Area, because I don't really buy that things Americans have gotten used to calling "necessities" really are.  Granted, I don't have kids, but I did live nearly half my adult life on less than $10,000 a year - and pretty comfortably at that.  Of course, I will trust my clients on their word regarding income.
I'll also add something explicit on my pricing page about tipping for people above the median income for our area (about $50,000 for a family, $35,000 individual).
I had been excited for a while about having a sliding scale, but couldn't figure any reasonably simple way to institute it.  I think having a base rate, but with exceptions, will be the best way to accomplish it.

I'm thinking beginning of next month.
So if you need something moved, recycled, or repaired, you may want to schedule it quick.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you ask a question, I will answer it.

NEW: Blogger finally put in a system to be notified of responses to your comments! Just check the box to the right, below, before you hit "publish"