Now that's an interesting subject. Actually, two subjects:
- How to determine the price for one extra hour of my work
- How to determine the total cost of outsourced hour of work
Ad 1) For me, that depends on if I am currently happy with the amount of work I have, and what kind of client wants it.
- If I want to have more paid work, then I charge my hourly rate (which is calculated in such a way that it includes my working time, time needed for "switching the context" to that project, other costs, reserves, etc.).
- If I do not need the work, but I want the client to be happy, I will do it for my standard rate as well.
- Otherwise, I multiply the rate so that the resulting number is enough for me to cover the loss of free time (I really do base this on how I feel); this is usually between 20-100% extra (unexpected weekend work is always 100% more for me – I consider weekend time essential to regeneration of body and mind and I am not willing to part with it).
Ad 2) I approach this more strictly (although I make sure I wont get paralyzed by analysis):
(Hourly rate of outsourced workforce * number of hours needed)
+ (time needed for testing the result myself * my hourly rate)
+ reserve for additional last minute work and snags.
I approximate the testing time as 20-50% of the amount of time needed for development I would go for 50% if it is one hour of work. Of course if you can trust your contractors, you can lower this estimate, but you need to test; you don't want to hand over product with low quality to your customers, right?. Even in consulting, you "test" by proofreading whatever goes to your contractor, checking for mistakes, weak parts, redundancies, accomplishment of the goals, etc., and ensuring that you are handing over a high quality product to your customer.
I add 20% of the original amount as the reserve; it is usually about right.
And that's it – if the number is lower than doing everything by myself (with the price calculated per no. 1) – I would consider outsourcing the work.
As you can see, outsourcing the work would usually end up being more expensive than doing the work myself if it was only for a one hour job...