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38

We do not have any kind of official contract That's a problem because this type of question is typically answered within the contract that the two parties agreed upon. We can't possibly answer your question with any certainty as we don't know what the agreement is between you and your client. You and your client need to talk and agree as to whether or not ...


22

The question really boils down to: when can I consider myself "competent" enough in a skill that I can take money for it. And the answer is really simple: You can take money for it when someone is willing to pay you for it. Especially with something like programming, you will never know everything. And things are changing very, very fast. So instead of ...


19

We can't answer this as the details of contract positions vary quite a bit from one person/company to another. What you need to do is contact the manager at the company and clear up whether they are they only paying for actual time worked or if they are also paying for time spent waiting for work. If they are only paying for actual time worked then you ...


13

Unethical people can be unethical completely regardless of any payment structure. Pricing high does not instantly make someone unethical. Perhaps that price for the three week project is accurate even though experience allows the work to be done faster. There are simply too many variables here to answer in any sort of definitive manner Here's a scenario......


11

TL;DR: Fake it until you make it. Position yourself as a consultant who can solve business problems with technology. Don't just say that you are willing to learn new skills, but also prove it by doing great work along the way using your other skills. I'm a UX designer with my own company. Many designers deal with impostor syndrome - even those of us who ...


9

Most often what I do is send the client a link.... Hi Client, Here is a link to the hosting package you'll need: (insert link here) Please follow the steps to sign up, including paying for the hosting. You can register your domain at the same time, so it should be a simple one-time processes. This hosting provider is one of the best I've ...


8

There are a couple reasons why I would not recommend the approach you're entertaining: In many cases, the client expects you to collaborate with their own employees while you are working. You may even need to work in a repo that they already control. Though it sounds like you aren't dealing with that here, since such scenarios are common, you ought to have ...


7

Generally speaking you wouldn't expect to be paid to do nothing, and they wouldn't expect to pay you to do nothing. The reason you're paid hourly instead of salaried monthly is precisely so that they save money when there's less than a full month's work to do in the month. However, if they genuinely need you to be sitting there ready to deal with issues at ...


7

Charge your normal rate - because, as you say, it prevents you from doing other work. Clients generally accept they're buying your time - so having varying rates could potentially open up a whole new can of worms. Keeping it simple with one rate for your time seems the best option for both parties as it enables more smooth collaboration.


7

First off, I'm sorry to hear of your endeavor and that you had to deal with a nightmare client like that. I think we've all been there at least twice. Now then, hindsight is 20/20, so let's be proactive. The Worst Customers The worst client a freelancer can encounter is hard to shove into one box as they come in all kinds. To name a few, there is the ...


6

Right up my alley! I worked for a company that charged even for my travel time, x2 (one for each way). It pissed off close customers, but I had to do as I was told. When I started working for myself, I offered the first 15 minutes of travel (you can vary it if you want) for free, in total. Any other travel time was billed at xx% of my regular rate - I used ...


6

Short version: the easiest way to bill ethically, is to match what you're selling. Longer version: My product is very clearly my time. Clients hire me to build custom web applications, and many times the specifications around that are very fluid (and they should be), so the client is really purchasing my time to work with them refining and building their ...


6

I have use both hourly billing and flat fee billing. I used to always favour hourly billing on the basis that I felt it was more ethical, but soon changed my mind about this. The main reason for my change of mind is that time is not always a valid reflector of the value of the work done, e.g.: A job might take longer but contain more repetitive unskilled ...


6

I will usually recommend a domain and web hosting provider for my clients, since they normally do not have any existing hosting, and don't usually know enough to choose one themselves. I will sometimes give them a couple of options to choose from and let them select which one they prefer. I am normally remote from my clients, so I will email them detailed ...


6

Traditionally as a freelancer it is your time and skill that is hired. So yes you bill for conference/meeting times. It is customary to build in a few hours for discussion with every bid. Some freelancers use a reduced rate for "consultation" but really that is your choice. For me.... an hour of my time is an hour of my time, whether that's and hour on ...


6

I like this question: I struggled with the exact same thing with meetings in general. Clients one hour away asking me to join in on a meeting. I usually ended up spending an afternoon with 2 hours travel and 2 hours meeting. So these days, I'll try Skype first. If the client doesn't want Skype I'll explain that I will need to invoice the time because the ...


5

I have a friend who is part owner of many hosting companies throughout the USA and Canada (he has dual citizenship), and he is able to have the customers sign up directly through him. I assume this is not the case with you. When you are creating the websites, you should be running everything off of YOUR servers, so you maintain control until all the bills ...


4

A way to do it, is to estimate the value of the CPU processing time against your gross margin on a regular (monthly/yearly) basis, versus a previous period (month/year). Example: Last month you've made $10.000. You have 10 CPUs. 5 of them account for 125 hours of CPU processing time/month. You've estimated that the CPUs processing time ...


3

I typically tell customers that these jobs will get fit into my schedule when possible, and that 1 day lead time is not sufficient. However, I have also on occasion charged more for bumping other work. When possible, I'd try to quote both rates to the customer up front - "If you want my guaranteed attention immediately, it will be $X, but if it can wait a ...


3

If you want a simple solution then you can look for a open source invoicing package at github, sourceforge or others, or you can set it up on an MS Access database if you need a little degree of customization. If you need a more professional solution then look for an ERP package like Odoo (formerly OpenERP), which includes CRM, project management, sales and ...


3

I just avoid invoicing completly by outsourcing it to oDesk. The time I spend invoicing clients is literally the time it takes to hit Ctrl + Alt + Page Up and then Ctrl + Alt + Page Down when I'm done. Yes, that costs me 10% (or I have to charge 10% more, if you want to look at it that way), but I'm fine with that for a few reasons. First, as you've ...


3

Probably the best thing would be to negotiate a rate in Euros. As far as their accounting is concerned, it wouldn't be much different from using a local freelancer. They can send you a check in Euros and you can have it deposited to a US bank, although you'll have a poor exchange rate and some risk from currency fluctuations. I've never worked with a French ...


3

Well, if it was indeed clearly understood by the client that you provided an estimate, then yes, it's okay to open a discussion with the client about additional time. Ideally, you should do this as soon as you are getting close to the original estimate. You can then negotiate with the client as to what may be needed to cover the additional time required. If ...


3

First off, if you failed to get approval of the design before building the design, well, the onus falls on you. To keep a happy client always get approval at milestones before moving forward. If you fail to get approval, then you open yourself up to working and working for free if the end result isn't what the client wants. Without the initial approval of ...


3

In my experience clients appreciate transparent and frequent updates about the project. I use a simple template that I send out weekly or biweekly that includes updates on planning and budget estimate. Either way, it's always best to inform the client as soon as possible when you will be going over estimate or budget. As long as you can explain why this ...


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