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I have a project with a client and I don't know how to put a price on it. I mentioned that we can do either hourly or fixed price project. He said that it would be better to do everything in 2 week sprints on a fixed price.

I don't know how much to price the project. Should I ask for $5k-$10k per week? The project is very important to the client, meaning that he is getting great value out of it. I estimate it will take me 3 months to complete.

On the other hand I'm a bit afraid to do it as a fixed price because I might underestimate as it often happens.

Are there any resources to read that can help me with this?

  • There is way too little context to be able to tell you, but $5-10k per week sounds huge. – Harry Cover Mar 26 '18 at 20:08
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    No one here knows anything about you, your skills, your experience, your region/location, the market demand for your particular skill set, your overhead. Not to mention the project, the size of the client, the area of client services/products.... How on earth could anyone here price ANYTHING for you? – Scott Mar 26 '18 at 21:33
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    Maybe I should rephrase the question. What I'm really asking is "how do I find the nerve to ask for 40-70k when my biggest project so far has been 10k".. – James Kroning Mar 26 '18 at 22:57
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    If you never ask for 40k, you'll never earn 40k. :) There is always a risk you may lose the job regardless of what you price. You should really avoid bidding any job with the "I have to ask for less so I can be certain I get the work" mentality. You end up undercutting yourself more and more and more... – Scott Mar 27 '18 at 9:02
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    Make sure you and the client know how long that fixed price will take you. Don't fall into that trap. How about fixed price per week? I have a project that was fixed price and was supposed to take one year (2 week sprints). We're on the 3rd year now. We changes to fixed per week after the 1 year deadline. The client wasn't willing, but we told him to take the project elsewhere. In any case MAKE SURE you set a timeline when the money should run out. – Indra Mar 27 '18 at 13:22
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$5k-10k weekly is for a high-end senior consultant, probably with a minimum project duration (set by him) and no maximum limit. Sorry, but I doubt you fall in this category (you wouldn't be asking the question).

Maybe suggest a price per sprint, without estimating the number of sprints. Base your pricing on your skill level, compared to what the market can offer (are you unique in the World ?).

An option can be to perform a first spring without commitment, then make a more precise estimate of the total duration. This will be safer for both the customer and you.

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Two-week sprints are exactly that, sprints that last for two weeks, they are not fixed on the features that are planned.

Those are targets, but if something isn't finished, it moves into the backlog and can be allocated to the next sprint, so fixed prices for two-week sprints shouldn't be a problem.

The rates you're mentioning would equate to $240-480k/year (based on taking 4 weeks off), if you're in Silicon Valley, this may well be reasonable, but in a lot of the rest of the world it would be a bit on the high side.

In the UK top-end contracts seem to top out at around £600/day, or £144k/year, about $190k US.

For a ballpark idea if the rate is reasonable, consider the salary you would otherwise be getting if you took a regular job, consider what multiple you're looking at (say you could earn $80k with a regular job, and you're asking for $240k, that would be a 3x multiple, which would be reasonable), if you're proposed multiple is over 4x, you may be aiming a little high.

Saying all that, your best bet may be to have a good idea what the minimum you'll accept is, and meet face to face and discuss, get an idea what kind of budget they have, and you never know, you may be able to get the rate you want, or more, if you're very lucky.

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The question is very limited in itself. But to me I charge according to my expertise and the amount of time it requires for me to complete a specified task.

Let's say I'm charging US$50 for a 1,000 word article and am spending two hours to complete it. In this case my hourly rate would be US$25/hour which is great. However, if someone even offers me a 10,000 words project at US$30 per 1000 word I'd reject, because the amount of time I'd invest would be the same and my price would also go down to just US$15/hour.

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