What do you charge for service? It's an important question, but one whose answer often eludes many contractors, some of whom have been in the business for a long time.

Snips touched on this topic in last month's issue, based on a talk given by Marcus Metoyer Jr. at the Air Conditioning Contractors of America convention in February in Las Vegas. "Butch," as he is known, is general manager and president of Fay Lett & Sons Heating and Cooling Inc., Lansing, Mich. Metoyer also operates Omega Energy Consultants Ltd., which offers hvac training programs for private industry and hvac wholesalers.

A common mistake is for contractors to charge too little for their services, according to Metoyer. "Often times a small contractor mistakenly thinks that since his overhead is small, in terms of dollars, that he may sell his products and services for less than his larger competitors and still make a profit."

A common mistake is for contractors to charge according to what their competition is charging. Another common mistake is in marking up costs incorrectly.

"When I show them how to properly arrive at pricing, some say 'But if I charge those kind of prices I wouldn't get any work.' I tell them that if that's the case, then they should be in some other line of work."

For a schedule of upcoming training on service and other topics, phone 517-371-4100; fax 517-371-4105.