Don’t Cheat Yourself!

Steve Stone
Contributing Writer

Don’t cheat yourself, your family, or your employees. If you are not flat rating you are losing. I began flat rating in 1992 approximately 25 years ago and it changed the lives of many including my own.  My business went from 6 trucks to 32 trucks 4 years later all because I made the decision to start flat rate pricing.

Flat rating can be called different things such as upfront pricing or straightforward pricing. At the end of the day it does not matter what you call it. It means you are providing your customers with a guaranteed price for a product or service. Flat rate pricing is not something new. You buy things everyday that are flat rated and probably do not realize it. Say you are at Lowes looking for a new refrigerator. You see 3 refrigerators with several options each being offered at a different price. Normally, the price difference depends on the number of options the refrigerator has. This is flat rating. Many industries use it, including plumbing, HVAC, electrical, and carpet cleaning just to name a few. You may even find that people outside of the service industry like Lowes take part in flat rating.

When your technicians are at a job and begin explaining to the customer what needs to be fixed, they can expect to be asked the question “How much will this cost me”?  With flat rate pricing your technicians explain the different options in good, better, and best terms. This allows the customer to make the decision based on what they want to spend. We have talked in past articles about your technicians being the face of your company. Providing a service to a customer is not about price, it is about the perception that you give your customers. Flat rating not only makes the visit at the home easier on the customer and technician, but also for you as the owner to run the company by having fewer complaints about what is being charged.

If you are not currently flat rating you may be asking the question “How do I switch to flat rate pricing? It’s simple. If you are not currently flat rating you may be asking the question “How do I switch to flat rate pricing? It’s simple. There are several different companies that offer modules that will help you determine what you should be offering as your flat rate. The module allows you to plug in information like cost of material, labor, and maintenance fees, which takes the guessing game out of what to charge. One of the great things about the companies who offer this service provides the same to other industry professionals like you.

When you chose to start flat rate pricing the whole dynamic of your business changes. You are able to increase your number of trucks, hire new employees, offer 401k’s, insurance, PTO, offer sign on bonuses and even give yourself a raise. The lists of benefits are endless. The sooner you start flat rating the sooner you will see money on your bottom line. Everyone wins!


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