Jack Arnold’s Transformation from Time and Material to Flat Rate

By Todd Liles Jack Arnold’s Transformation from Time and Material to Flat Rate
Jack Arnold to Switch from Time and Material to Flat Rate copy

Jack Arnold is a Time and Material electrical contractor from Chicago. He suffers from the same headaches all Time and Material contractors suffer from: inconsistent pricing, complaining clients, low profits, and unclear systems and procedures.

I’ll fully admit that I didn’t know that Jack was a Time and Material contractor when he signed up for our Sales Training Class. I met Jack through Facebook, and his name became familiar through our online interactions. After offering several helpful tips, and sharing several articles, Jack decided to test the waters by attending his first Sales Training Program. Jack’s first experience excited him so much, that he has decides to transform his business.

Jack is on transformation journey. It’s a journey that will take his company away from Time and Material, and into the world of Flat Rate.

Transformation journeys take time. They are not instant, and they are not without ups and downs. What will be different about this post, is that you will get to take the journey with Jack. This post will live, and change over the course of the year. You will see update from time to time as Jack’s company grows and changes.

The PRESS PLAY for Sales Training in Austin, TX was Jack’s first exposure to a Flat Rate Sales Training Program.

The Class is ofter a first step recommendation for contractors looking into our company. The class is a way to “test the waters” in a safe environment. Plus, it comes with a money back guarantee, so there is virtual no risk of loss. (Except for all those high profits a company could be missing out on by staying home.)

At the end of the Sales Class, Jack was very motivated to say the least. So motivated, that he decided to stay for 2 more days to Attend the Owner’s Series Training.

The Owner’s Series – Higher Profits on Purpose

The owner’s series is an intense 2 day workshop. The purpose of this class guide business owner’s into a business of sustained growth, revenue and profits. Which is just what Jack’s Time and Material company needed.

The next four points will highlight lessons from the Training Programs, and point out 4 severe limitations of Time and Material versus Flat Rate.

#1 Higher Profits

There is money to be made in Time and Material. If done well, there is actually plenty of money to be made in time and material. So, I’m not going to tell you that you can’t make money doing time and material.

I will tell you that there is more money to be made for the average contractor in Residential Flat Rate.

Why do I believe this?

The answer has to do with size and reputation.

The Time and Material companies that are making good profits, are typically big outfits with a reputation for being specialists with exclusive right-to-work agreements on particular pieces of equipment. I know this to be true; because I was a Liebert, Carlyle, Danfoss, and Solidyne specialist at a Time and Material company. We were part of a select few contractors authorized to do the work on these systems in our area.

These exclusive agreements allowed us to charge more per hour, and send more specialists to work on the problem. Because of our “special skill sets,” price complaints were kept to a minimum, because “Who else can do the work?”

If you’re a small outfit, it can be next to impossible to lock in these work agreements.

That’s where Flat Rate Residential works so well. You have an opportunity to make great margins with every client.

Each client presents an opportunity to make a great first impression, and to establish a long term relationship. In addition, your Residential clients are not going to question a well presented Flat Rate Program, like they will Time and Material. Which leads to point #2.

#2 Consistent Pricing

If your prices are inconsistent, then you open yourself up to damaging accusations and potential claims of “price gouging.” This may seem counterintuitive to you. After all, a Flat Rate Repair can average more than a Time and Material Repair. Yet, Flat Rate is protected from claims of “price gouging.”

You may be asking yourself, “Why is Flat Rate protected from claims of price gouging?”  Here is why:

  • Preparation: A well designed Flat Rate System is built in advance of the service being provided to a client. It is part of a company’s business plan. This plan has accounted for the cost of doing business, and can be referenced when needed. This form of preparation prevents false claims of accusation.
  • Printed: Time and Material repairs can not be predetermined and printed in advance of the work. This is a big problem with Time and Material. Without a printed system, the client is always left to wonder, “Am I getting a fair deal here? Is he going slow on purpose?”
  • Permission: We train on a Flat Rate System that seeks permission before work is done. The client gets to say “Yes” or “No” to the recommendations being made. This leads to a greater sense of client control, and therefore boosts client satisfaction.
  • Protection: Under Time and Material, there is very little protection for a client when it comes to items such as “warranty” and “guarantee.” Flat Rate Systems build in a warranty period as part of the repair. This provides a client with a greater sense of value in regard to the repairs made. This sense of value decreases price sensitivity, and the feeling of being “charged too much.”

Consistent pricing brings a lot of benefits to you and your company, and one of the greatest is that client’s prefer flat rate companies.

#3 Clients Prefer Flat Rate

Most of our economic systems are built upon Flat Rate Pricing. If you are in the market for a car, house, pack of gum, education, computer, cell phone, or gallon of milk; then you expect to pay a predetermined price for that product. A predetermined price, or a retail price, is another way to say “Flat Rate.”

As a society, we expect and prefer a Flat Rate System. It’s easier. It’s less to think about, and less to manage.

#4 Clarified Systems and Procedures

A Flat Rate System demands that a company clarify their systems and procedures. In many ways, I think this is why some people do not move their companies over from time and material. They simply do not understand how to create systems and procedures.  This creates an anxiety factor, and a fear of “screwing it up.”  Many contractors find it simpler to just stick with what they know. Unfortunately, this will limit their long-term success.

In order for a company to reach its highest level of success, they must have an implementable system of procedures.

Systems and procedures are the guidelines for growth.  A process that allows you to grow your team with expected results. Results that can be replicated. This is critical for any company.

Systems and procedures also serve as a guideline for excellence.  A standard of excellence that is proven and ethical. Without a strong set of systems and procedures, a service company can expect limited results.

Want Help Implementing Your Flat Rate System?

You would not be alone if you did want help. As a matter of fact, you would be joining a community that has guided thousands of contractors to huge results, and happier lives.

There are a couple of ways that you can start your journey of transformation. The first step could be to fill out the form below, and talk with one of our coaches. The talk is free, and just may change your life.

If you are in a position to attend a class (like Jack did), might I suggest CLICKING HERE to read about our Programs.

For the contractor that doesn’t know where to start, this is where our company excels at getting results. Service Excellence Training teaches a training system that we refer to as PRESS PLAY.

PRESS PLAY is a nine step process that guides the owner and his team the maximum results as a flat rate contractor.  We teach the system to every position of your business. We know how to guide the owners, managers, sales team, service techs, and client service representatives to the highest level of success and flat rate.

Here are a few testimonies to prove it:


Jack Arnold is a perfect example of a Time and Material contractor gaining new focus and new purpose. He is taking huge steps in laying the foundation for a great Flat Rate Service company.

I grabbed this photo from his facebook page. This photo represents in the real world the changes that are taking place in his mind. Jack is transitioning from Time and Material chaos, and is moving into the Organized World of Flat Rate Systems and Procedures.

These small changes over time will result in massive momentum!

If you want help implementing your Flat Rate System, then fill out the form below:

UPDATE: 01.17.2017

Jack is continuing his journey, and has taken an even bigger step towards his goals by joining our Monthly Coaching Program.

The Monthly Coaching Program is our most personal approach to training. It includes intensive Owner, Manager and Front Line Training with your very own Business Coach.

Once Jack is up and running with his Business Coach, I’ll post some updates with his goals and progress.

The Jack Chronicles


The Transformation of Arnold Electric

Jack’s Journey – A Success Story in the Making


Jack Arnold’s Flat Rate Transformation

Jack Arnold Journey Part 2

Jack Journey Part 3



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