How does one come up with hourly rates that are fair?
by Gary Cole


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There are hundreds of methods of coming up with an hourly rate because there are hundreds of factors that need to be considered. I am simply going to pass on how we charge and perhaps it will help you set rates for your business.

We have rates for "our standard service area" that allows up to 30 minutes of driving to the event. Basically a geographical territory. Lucky for us Dallas has a great highway system and we can get anywhere fairly fast. From there we have concentric circles that extend out every additional ten minutes driving. We then add $10 for this PER HOUR. Corporate rates allow a $10 per hour discount WITH A MINIMUM OF TWO HOURS AND IT MUST BE FOR MULTIPLE BOOKINGS. In other words their first event they do not get it. Once they are doing an event every month they we might start to drop some of the extra driving charges. Also if it is over 3 hours then we might also drop some of the driving charges.

We also charge extra for events booked less than 48 hours in advance because we have to scramble for workers. In our case we have about ten active workers. They call on Wednesday to get assignments. If there  are no events for them they plan their weekend. Also if it is during peak travel time (rush hour) then we charge extra because it can be a real hassle to get to the event. We also charge extra for holidays because most would like to spend holidays with their family.

Our expectation is the customer will be providing us with a table, chairs or other specific items to face paint. Everyone knows it is a real hassle to lug around all this extra stuff. Some venues you might have to carry this through multiple parking lots or up several flights of stairs. If we have to supply this then we charge them for wear and tear on our chairs as well as the extra physical labor. I assure you party planners make a fortune by charging for tables and chairs. Why shouldn't you charge for this?

 I know this sounds like a complicated list of parameters but it really is logical and makes good business sense.

 Gary Cole

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