14

A retainer is a fee payable in advance for ensuring your availability to serve a client, and comes with a service level agreement. For example the agreement should include: Duration (inc termination provisions) What it includes... usually the first X hours What it doesn't include... Response times, both in which you will respond, as well as by which you ...


9

An exception or two can be made. When you do so (fix bugs for free, outside your economic/contractual agreement) don't forget to remember to your client that what you do is a favor/exception because you know it is only a one time request and because you appreciate him/her as a respectful/respectable client. Imagine that at his/her turn was (maybe) in the ...


7

One approach I've used in the past is to simply tell customers that I no longer provide this service at an hourly rate, but that I could provide ongoing support on a flat rate monthly basis. Then I explained what this new service includes. In my case, I offered a guaranteed response time of X days, bug fixes, and priority service whereby I drop other non-...


6

For my client I work on them based off the deadlines that I set. If I have two sites due the same day I will work on the one that is gonna take the longest and needs more advanced programming incase I run into any problems. I don't think a client needs to pay to be priority, unless that is something they are willing to do but that should be discussed up ...


5

It sounds to me like the company wants a part time employee, without paying the extra costs. Don't fall for their trap - you are worth your time, and it does not matter where you live. If you decide to move somewhere expensive, that's on you - if you decide to move somewhere cheaper, that's on you. The company should not care if they do not need you ...


5

You don't get free maintenance on a vehicle (unless you've paid for it, which means it really isn't free) or it's under warranty. Likewise, unless you handed over your code and specifically mentioned a warranty in your contract (which can be oral), then it was delivered AS-IS, and the client needs to pay. Most markedly, the client also needs to understand ...


5

I understand where you're coming from: you aren't doing as much work in your opinion, so you don't want to charge your full rate. I'm going to tell you though... CHARGE YOUR FULL RATE Why? Because, as a Freelancer, you are the professional, and companies need to realize that. As I state in other answers, you are being hired for your expertise, not your ...


4

When working on multiple projects, distributing work and time is a personal choice (you can work on the most complex project first, on the highest paying first, on the oldest client first and so on). Generally, I try to steer away from retainers, but if I do use such practice, I make sure I pause work immediately when the last payment expires and resume it ...


4

Although Avonelle Lovhaug has an excellent write up, I'll give my two cents as an answer. First off, the only retainers I've used have been with 2 very good clients that I've known for years; they know me well, and I know them well. When I did the retainer agreements, one of them was a lawyer, and I trust him to draw up the contract, and allow areas for us ...


4

Most clients don't need a retainer and aren't going to accept one. To be honest it sounds like you are trying to secure extra free income for yourself by trying to convince all of your clients to pay you on retainer, which isn't a good approach. Never try to strong-arm a client into such an agreement. So shall I be a b**ch and act like "we don't have a ...


4

A retainer is a set monthly fee for you to take charge of a service or for responding to and fixing/repairing/updating/sorting your customers' issues/problems/changes out. An hourly rate is where you add up your time spent per week (say) and invoice them per hour. The benefit for the customer of a retainer is that they know what your role is (as specified ...


3

I've done a fair amount of freelancing over my career, here are some answers to your questions. Can I suggest a 40hr/week retainer contract through my consulting company? Yes! As long as you're not breaking the law, your contract can say pretty much whatever you need it to r.e. compensation. My approach to this type of commitment (i.e. requested number ...


3

As a general rule, it seems reasonable to me that you NOT do maintenance work for free after they have suspended your development contract and pay. However, there might be a few exceptions: If it is written in your (now suspended) contract that a certain amount of maintenance/bug fixes will be done at no charge. If you feel that providing one or two bug ...


2

One of the glories of being a freelancer is that you can be flexible. So you can craft a retainer agreement that makes sense to you, and it doesn't even have to be the same for each client. Regarding your specific questions... Duration? There are advantages and disadvantages to a lengthy contract. One disadvantage is that if it turns out the customer is a ...


2

Ongoing site maintenance was probably 30% of the work I've done previously and been paid for hourly. Your prior agreement included maintenance as paid work. Now he wants to change that and you to work for free - inappropriate. You can be Mr. Nice Guy, as a couple of posters have suggested, to help them through a rough time, but yeah, tell them your aren't ...


2

Ok I see several things in your situation: Client appears to be in financial trouble, but is trying to get you to work for free, to bridge them with their customer. You need to decide if client's woes are temporary, or if the client is going down the plughole. (Did the client pay your last invoices?) Do some discreet investigating. If you have other clients ...


2

What client suggest is not good for both of you because: it has too much overhead value you are giving to client might vanish relationship when value vanish gets worse relationship gets worse, you can't continue working together And you need to convince client that a retainer with you is the best option: you developed site and and are familiar with it, a ...


2

I use FrontAccounting (which is Web based, but on my own server, not in the cloud). My handling of retainer-based client probably also works with some other packages. Let's say a customer buys 100 hours at $90/hour. There are two separate aspects to this: billing, and tracking the hours used. They may or may not be linked. I handle them completely ...


2

For holidays, just email the client in advance to give them sufficient notice, and don't charge your retainer during that period. If you are sick, let the client know ASAP and again don't charge the retainer for that period (although if the client pays well enough, you might want to remain available even when you're sick).


2

I am mostly in the same boat as you, so I'll offer my experience. First, what kind of work would you be expecting to cover with the maintenance agreement? Are you going to fix their phones? Are you going to fix stolen equipment, or Domain Admins who have ran wild with the DC? Are you going to switch out all their computers on a set schedule? Or are you ...


2

A retainer is a way for a client to book (reserve) you for a certain amount of hours per week or month in case something urgent comes up in his project. He will pay you monthly reservation whether you worked for him or not. Also when he comes to you asking to do something, you do it immediately. Retainer is good stable source of income. Bad side is ...


2

I've been contracting/consulting/freelancing since 1994 (and like you, also Irish). I apply discounts when the relationship is long term, and I can get more expensive when it is short term. It's no different if you go to cash and carry to buy beer, discounts are applied to bulk. Are they offering you any contract? You might have heard of the zero hours ...


2

Offer a discount only if they will PREPAY. You'll be in a crappy mess to offer discount, tie up two days a week, and then have to fight to get payment when it's time to invoice. You can't get the time back. Turn the request for a discount into an advantage for yourself, and not just an advantage for them. Keep the same standard rate. Maybe discount 10%, ...


2

Maybe don't call it a retainer, because what you are really offering is a maintenance contract -- which you should attempt to include in your initial development contract. The client can accept the monthly maintenance fees (which would guarantee them a certain number of hours per month - and offer a discount to sweeten the deal).


2

Give him one hourly rate (higher than normal) for emergency services and another (your legacy rate) for, say fix this in 1-2 weeks when it is convenient for you. Then tell him the choice of a flat monthly service. Both situations will be convenient for you, whatever he chooses. You will be wasting your time persuading him and philosophizing about what is ...


1

I recently did an analysis after couple years of my uncle pestering me to make him an ecommerce site. I really wanted to, but considered having to stay on top of security updates for the various open source components(even with automatic updates for the OS/stack from a cloud host). I couldn't provide that level of service affordably, consistently, and ...


1

This is actually an opportunity. I know, it sounds a bit crazy but it isn't. Without the request to fix the bug: It is unfortunate, but at this point and for all intents-and-purposes, your relationship with the client is over. In my experience, there is no recovery from "I can't pay you" - even when it is predictable and notice is given. There is so much ...


1

If you are a seasoned expert, you are passing on years of knowledge and industry expertise on a personalized basis - that is worth a premium. This sounds like a good fit for a 'Mentorship Guidance Contract.' (You can Google 'Sample Mentorship Contracts' for some examples). Charge your full rate. I would suggest 2hr minimum sessions for this type of ...


1

In general I think charging for priority for routine work is a mistake. However, there are some exceptions and a few places where I do charge for priority. These are the exceptions and not the rule. In general I charge extra for urgent support. The reason here is that if it is urgent and I have to jump off something for another customer, I need to let ...


1

I'd recommend structuring the retainer agreement such that you provide a certain amount of value to your client for a certain price per month (flat rate makes sense in this case). Forget about the hours - just focus on serving them and making them more money than they spend on you. Here's an outstanding example of a retainer agreement that doesn't even look ...


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