How much should I charge?

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Thread Starter
Jan 14, 2007
I'm not sure if this is where I should post this, so if it needs to be moved, please do so.

I am going to be installing a server and 2-3 desktop PCs at my Mom's office. I will be researching their needs and figuring out the specs for the server and PCs for them. The server will be running Windows Small Business Server 2003 and I will be setting it up as a Domain Controller. The desktop PCs will be running XP and will joined to the domain.

I will also be installing several software applications on both the server and the desktop PCs, as well as setting up shared drives on the server for both public and private files.

There is also the possibility of restoring files from the old PCs and server to the new PCs and server.

I have done this type of work before, but mostly for myself or friends whom I did not charge, so I am not sure what to charge for this type of work. Any ideas?


Oct 2, 2003
it can be quite difficult to work out fees.
If you are going to invoice the company, then you need to consider you will pay Tax etc on the fees

you could work out, how many hours you expect it to take and then what hourly / Day rate you would charge.

But are you doing this as a favour for your Mum - then its not market rates
Oct 7, 2008
Get quotes from other companies, and then charge them based on that. All in all it depends on how much you feel your time and experience are worth. Also keep in mind that it is your mother's office. Ask her if she has been telling everyone who will listen "oh my son can do it for cheap!" Take every factor into account and charge them accordingly.
Oct 11, 2006
There are market rates depending on your area and expertise.

For example. Lets say it takes me 10 hrs to do a certain amount of work and I charge $75 per hr. You come in and say "I'll do it for $50 per hr", but your experince with an office enviroment, spec'ing and building the 3 computers ends up taking you 25hrs... that becomes a problem. 10x$75 = $750. 25x$50 = $1250 And then you have that "favor" rates, etc etc.

When I first started charging people (after about 10years of NOT), my rate was $25. I still don't charge as much as BestBuy/GeekSquad's $125~150 rate... but I'll adjust depending on the business and how much I like them ;) Either full rate or discounts.

Is a server actually needed? What kind of backup solution is in place? Will they actually use the backup system? I have clients that do and those that don't bother.

Of course, for a friend - a few hours of my time, I charge a shared large pizza and soda-pop while talking chit-chat. ;) (Or something like that)


Retired Trusted Advisor
Jan 29, 2006
if you do a good job and charge a preferential (lower) rate - your good name will spread & you should then be inundated with help requests.Then you can increase the fees on the basis that you now need to pay an accountant, rent storage space etc etc.
Apr 2, 2002
How much liability are you able to absorb should something go wrong?

Before you go messing around in a "corporate" environment, you should register a business and have it insured.
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