31

Your best course of action with these kind of clients is to try and get the main scope agreed up front. You can then give the client a fixed price quote, based on how long you think it will take you. I would also be inclined to add on a contingency of maybe 20% to account for the inevitable small changes that they will want to make. You will also need to ...


26

I simply state, "Sorry. Pricing is set and rates are non-negotiable." I haven't run into an instance where that offended anyone. I may not get the work but, if they won't pay my rates, I don't see that as a problem. You aren't required to explain anything to clients in terms of your business structure or calculations. Actually going into too much detail is ...


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 ...


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 ...


10

I typically leave it up to the client to decide. I'll offer them an hourly rate, but also offer to work with them at an hourly rate to work on the project definition and then quote them a project rate based on the fully flushed out project description. The real key with any kind of fixed rate work is to be sure you know what is needed, to be sure that ...


10

First, I usually do hourly up to x hours or just hourly, but I do some fixed bids too. In general fixed bids are preferable for a customer if the scope is very clear, and they are preferable for the consultant if the price is higher than the hourly would be. I would say that most of my fixed bid work brings me more per hour than my hourly rate. What I am ...


10

Per hour, my rule is, I bill only for time spent, and for all of time spent. Build in a buffer to your estimate, but if it is an estimate, be prepared to invoice above or below. In general when I produce an hourly estimate I put in a buffer of 50-100% depending on unknowns because if I can bill under estimate customers are happy. Some times, customers ...


10

Simple, either raise their pricing or drop the client. It's business. There's little point in working even a few hours for less money than you could earn with another client. Businesses typically do not provide individual pricing merely because you've been doing business with them for a while. Hi [client], As of [Month day year] pricing for my ...


9

When a client asks you for fixed-price, in essence the client is asking you to absorb the risk. Unless your specs are done in mind boggling detail, the client is going to assume that anything caused by poor communication is a cost that you are going to absorb. So here's a fair exchange: if the client has the capability to alter the requirements, then you ...


7

There are many good ideas listed in answers above, and I agree with most of them. However, to my mind, the main thing has not been spoken out: The minimum wage means minimal (or zero) profit margin, hence, it is associated with maximal risk I can afford. A single tiny step down, and it won't worth even starting. Hence, I have to be absolutely certain on ...


7

There is no formula for magically determining the number of hours a task will take based on complexity. Rather than agreeing to a fixed price, you might want to break your project into milestones and give an estimate of the number of hours between milestones, and charge hourly. This is most important especially when you consider the fact that as you finish ...


7

Short answer: depending on what role you are acting during the communication. In the case when calls and meetings naturally belong to receiving your tasks, reporting your results (including weekly/monthly meetings), or resolving technical issues, I would say that the rate should be the same. However, if you help others getting their tasks, balance these ...


7

You should definitely charge for Skype time. You're not only being paid to write code, but help your client accomplish their goals. You are a consultant as much as you are a laborer, and the time spent explaining, brainstorming, and helping are all part of that. I would inform the client that you are charging for all time spent on the project. It's ...


7

First off, charge by the hour. Without knowing a great many details about your expectations for payment, level of skill, customer expectations, graphics, whatever, it's impossible to come up with an accurate estimate that is going to make you happy. Here's the deal though...you are in the same position. Fixed price gigs almost always (in my 30 years of ...


6

Your first mistake is telling your clients that you're a student. It's not something you are required to share with them. We're all students in some way or another. Your clients, or potential ones, might have some money to spend on a project but it doesn't guarantee that your work will ever earn them one thin dime. So as you're gaining experience, your ...


6

Peter MV's got some good points. State your rate. But bump it up a little higher than what you're really looking for. If the client doesn't complain, GREAT! If the client does complain, knock your price down - a little at a time - until the client is satisfied, but of course don't go lower than what you were really looking for in the first place. This ...


6

As a long-time IT consultant, I generally like to charge the same amount regardless of whether the work is done face-to-face or over Skype/video conferencing. However, there is one situation in which I might charge less. If the client is allowing me to do the video conferencing in lieu of driving to a physical location, then I might charge less. By ...


6

If you are spending more than an hour on the requirements, then absolutely! Remember, you are the professional, and if you are giving away free advice, they aren't going to pay! Walk into the situation with all the knowledge you know. Let the client know about some of your previous work, and let them know that if the discussions about their requirements ...


6

Any combination of: A) We can certainly set this up as a [fixed bid/hourly contract] instead if that makes it easier for you. B) Projects with unique requirements will, of course, entail negotiation. For the scope we've discussed [our standard price applies/I've already applied the appropriate discount of X from our base price]. C) No. D) If there's ...


6

Go hourly whenever you can. It will solve all these issues. Then clients do want fixed-price projects and in such cases do a few things: Add MAX number of changes you will undertake for free in terms of colors, fonts, effects and other such things. this does not apply to bug fixing. Calculate some percentage as extra time which will cover or unplanned ...


6

As Entrepreneur I cannot see the value to pay per hour. It is exactly the opposite metric - I am interested in the work done with minimum hours spent. And freelancer paid by hours is incentivised naturally to increase the number of hours. I just feel it is wrong base for collaboration. Shouldn't we be looking instead to align our goals? Care about quality, ...


6

In 5 years of working with this client, your skill level has probably increased: you definitely do the same job faster than 5 years (and even a year) ago and most likely you do your job better. This (and not graduation itself) should be the main argument in the negotiations. Your client can now get from you per each hour more than before, and therefore it is ...


5

I'm going to go with my favorite accounting answer on this one, "it depends". The direct answer to your questions is that for international developers I've heard them charging anywhere between between $12 to $55 per hour. The more roundabout answer is it depends on the client. Unless you are working through a third party you have the opportunity to conduct ...


5

Your hourly rate would totally depend on your own skills. If your client is a technical guy, it will take him, say, one hour of Skype calling to understand how good you are. I run a startup web development company. My hourly rates as per my skills and expertise (for all clients, irrespective of the geographic location) are somewhat like: PHP - $12 - $18 ...


5

That's a good question, but I don't think there's any purely logical answer to it. A surprising amount of business is still conducted on the honor system (with each side taking different things on trust). I have freelanced primarily in editing for print publications, and a little bit in design and writing. Some of my clients want an hourly fee, and others ...


5

I tend to work out all of my prices on a estimation of the time of the project as it is currently defined, +20% contingency. I will then look at how this fits with their budget, if I forsee they will be repeat clients and require maintenance I will often take this price lower. I would recommend you do it in this way. Pricing "by page" generally devalues you ...


5

While it is generally true that a more experienced person can command a higher rate than a less experienced person, pricing is much more complex than that, making such a formula impossible. Consider just a few of the following additional factors that affect price: Location Upper limit that the market will bear Urgency (some people will pay more for speed) ...


5

Never ever bill by the hour. It's inherently unethical, and you're leaving money on the table. I've written extensively on the rationale, which I won't post here, but you can read it here. Summary: I’ve found the biggest problem a consultant will encounter is a client who is unable to articulate value. You have to help the client understand the difference ...


5

I'm freelancing with mobile apps now. Estimating prices has been far more difficult than the coding itself! Time estimation It is possible to estimate time required. Break it into a to do list. Nothing on your list should take more than 4 hours to build. Break it down further. Something like Upload data (?? hours) can be broken down into Prototype sending ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible