I'm writing a proposal to do some recurring work for a client. I'll be selling them services, packaged into a unit, and they may need none, or several of these units in any given month.

The question is: how should I charge for these units, given that the amount I'll sell to the client each month is variable?

Ideas I can think of (some better than others):

  • simply bill up-front at order time for each unit (or 50%, or etc.), which could result in an invoice per week if things heat up - lots of paperwork
  • charge a fixed retainer, then charge the balance at the end of the month (or refund the retainer), which balances risk somewhat and ensures I get at least a little bit of pay no matter what
  • bill at the end of the month, assuming all risk myself

What's a common way to handle this pattern? Are there others I haven't thought of?


Without you providing more details I would say the most common way is to bill at the end of a period (month,week etc.)


  • If you have considerable external costs.

  • The customer or the market often has problems with unpaid bills.

(encountered the latter with call centers, where the network providers used to offer prepaid contracts due to a high number of bankruptcies in the market)

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.