A flat-rate pricing model is a strategy in which all customers receive the same price on a service solution regardless of actual labor time, materials and supplies used in the job. Companies use this technique for benefits to both business and consumer, although there are some downside risks as well.

Up-Front Pricing

Budget-conscious customers often prefer to know up front how much they will pay for a job or project. Some even are willing to pay premium rates for a guaranteed price. Thus, a significant benefit of the flat-rate pricing model is the ability to attract customers and consistently promote one rate. This is useful in promotional communications when you want to emphasize your value proposition or the combination of benefits you offer for the price. Flat prices also protect against accusations of price gouging on certain projects or customers.

Packaged Rates

Flat pricing also makes it easier for your business to project revenue and average profits per transaction or job. Regardless of the time involved, you know how much each customer will pay. Jobs that involve, labor, parts and supplies have one package rate. This protects against customers analyzing the unit rate of your labor time. Instead, they judge the total price against the overall experience with the results.

Customer Alienation

A prominent risk of flat-rate pricing is the potential for alienating certain customers. Companies that make service calls often charge flat rates per trip. For instance, customers commonly pay a heating and cooling business $50 to $100 before the employee does any work. On a visit that lasts five to 10 minutes and requires a very simple fix, the customer is more likely to view the service fee plus any repair fees as too much. Similarly, oil change services often have flat prices, but the time involved in changing oil in cars can vary.

Cost Challenges

A fiscal challenge with flat-rate pricing is maintaining consistency and accuracy in project costs for jobs. If your construction business gives a flat-rate price up front and undershoots the estimate on hours to complete the work, you can end up putting more time and materials in than you get on payment. This is especially challenging when you package a price from multiple cost factors. You must be fairly confident in the typical time and costs to complete an average project or service job.