So in setting up Technology Made Simple I did a lot of research. You have to know what other options are available to customers in order to have a service and a price that is fair and attractive!
So I looked at other trainers in my area (Birmingham UK) doing what I am, and found very few who offer a similar service. Sure there are bigger training centres who offer courses but they are in general very expensive and they don't travel out to customers. I know from being a trainer of technology for many years that these types of courses can be very intimidating for the unfamiliar technology user too!
So I looked at other services such as personal fitness trainers and teachers of musical instruments - and that is where my decision on prices largely came from. Most musical instrument tuition is around the £30 per hour mark if you travel to them, the same is true for personal fitness trainers. My price of £35 per hour takes travel times into consideration and, so long as you are within a reasonable distance from me, the price is set (longer journeys may involve a travel surcharge).
But then I thought, since I am a specialist in Apple products, how much does AppleCare cost...
Here's the page for reference:
The first thing to note is that AppleCare charge on a per incident basis, not per hour like I do, so your support time could be just a few minutes. They also won't be looking to further your knowledge in any way, just fix a problem that you are having.
If you are having an issue with an iPad, iPhone, iPod or Apple TV AppleCare will cost £25 for a single incident of support - actually not too bad if you have an in depth problem but in my experience most problems on these devices can be solved within a matter of minutes and the biggest problem is a customer not knowing how the device actually works. For customers unfamiliar with their device this could mean multiple calls and, of course, multiple payments of that £25.
If your problems are based around the Mac and 'consumer applications' including iPhoto, iMovie, Pages etc. Then AppleCare charge £35 on a per incident basis. So if you need to know how to take a picture from iPhoto and email it to a friend, that's £35, tomorrow you need to know how to organise your pictures effectively, that's another £35.
When we get to the Pro Applications that I teach such as Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro X or Motion 5 Applecare will charge £85 per incident. That's a large amount for one incident but reflects the extra training the support staff must have to help with these problems.
The cost of AppleCare makes me feel good about the prices I am charging and the service that I offer. Not only will I cost less for the vast majority of customers but I will focus on teaching you how to use your technology, not just how to fix the problems you have today.
If you have problems with your technology I would love to hear from you. Let me help you to not just be fixing a never-ending list of issues but to get a deeper understanding about where these challenges are coming from and what you can do to conquer these challenges yourself; believe me it feels great to work through problems under your own steam when you have the skills to do so.