Current PC Onsite Repair service owner checks in.
I currently charge $49/hr and usually have a full dance card booked for the next 2-3 business days. I charge an extra $10/hr for nights and weekends and many people opt of find a way to have me over during normal business hours.
I started at $35/hr until my phone book ads kicked in, bumped to $45, about 2 months ago I was booked 8 days out at average 5 billable hours/day at one point so I bumped to $49.
The local average is about $65/hr for storefront shops.
Small business is what pays the bills. Home user work is what you do until you have a solid base of businesses giving you work.
I also offer free pickup/delivery.
Recently I got so busy I had to hire a sub to start doing some of the pickup/deliver work. I pay him $30/hr and a typical repair runs 2-3 hours. So I make $40-$60 or so for booking a pickup, dropping it to him, having him do the work, and returning it to the customer. Nice little bonus when I can do a drop between onsite calls. Sometimes he picks up/delivers from me (he dropped one off and picked up 3 this AM).
Hourly charge is the way to go. I always specify 1 hour minimum@$49, if its something royally stupid like installing RAM or plugging the computer back into the wall I charge $35 for 30 min labor. If I cannot fix something, no charge, if I can and you opt not to have the repair done, $49.
I usually estimate a virused out machine as 2-3 hours including cleanup and wipe/reload windows if needed as well as rescuing any pictures, itunes libraries, documents, favorites, outlook email files. all the usual $147. On average I run around 50% of the price of Geek Squad.
Today was a fun day, converting a small bus from a local piss poor ISP to DSL and email hosted by godaddy. New router, setting up email for a few office folks, explaining everything to the boss, teaching how to access mail remotely, sharing printers, etc. The bill, just shy of $300 including the $49 basic router. If I could do that every day :D.
Get quickbooks, go to a class or get someone to teach you how to use it properly. Many businesses will want monthly invoices of accumulated hours. Trying to juggle who owes you what and for how long is what quickbooks was made for. Warning the online versions do not support this type of account handling last I heard.
Its a fun biz for a mostly solo self employed type, total operating budget is around $2k/mo including:
1/4 page phone book ad
A Honda Ridgeline with graphics
high speed internet
As mentioned I do end up giving alot of free help or bill for 2 hours then spend 45 min answering Q about something PC related after it.
and I gross around $6k/mo (including about $2K gross in parts sales).