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How do you charge clients?
per hour 10%  10%  [ 2 ]
per project (fixed) 43%  43%  [ 9 ]
depends from client to client 48%  48%  [ 10 ]
Total votes : 21
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:07 pm
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Hi All,

How do you charge your clients for the work that they assign to you...

I have faced this problem many a times before and still do...

Clients do not give complete requirements and tend to modify a lot of things/concepts before the final release. Well, the problem is I have been working at a fixed cost and clients usually get upset if I tell them that I might have to hike their price....

I have been considering charging on a per hour basis... how does it work and how do you track how many hours you have actually worked and how does your client actually believe that you have actually worked on it. Further, if you developed something and have a bug in that code, do you charge for it on a per hour basis or dont till the time the problem is not solved.....

I have many questions pertaining to the per hour mode of development..

Thanks in advance for the help.

iBizConsultants
http://www.ibizconsultants.com


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2003 8:31 pm
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Location: Maine, USA
I would charge per hour, but my state of mind currently and work enviornment disallows it without a feeling of guilt.
I usually charge per project, because when I work on things, I find it hard to just sit down and code. A lot of time is taken to think about how to do it, and I'm easily distracted by music, TV, AIM(mainly), and other things (even this forum pulls me in when I should be working at times..).

If I were to work in a better enviornment however, where I could concentrate, I'd charge hourly.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 2:58 pm 
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Location: Cambridge, MA
generally, I prefer a flat fee and try to gauge the clients PITA factor before submitting a bid. If they seem incomptant and unsure of what they want, I charge more. Also make sure that the spec is clear so at the end you can charge more when they want 100 small changes.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 3:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 4:24 pm
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Location: Bothell, Washington, USA
per hour almost 100% of the time.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2004 6:03 pm
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Location: usrlab.com
Per day.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 12:11 am
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Location: Leuven, Belgium
per hour (almost all the time)


but if i get the feeling im not charging enough (or the cops gave me a speeding ticket that week) i might add some hours :P


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:22 pm 
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Thanks guys.... for your replies.

I do prepare a spec document (at times if the project demands it, otherwise its usually with mail). Some clients that I have increase work a bit at a time which adds up to more time spent on the project than was alloted.

In such cases how should a person communicate with his client that he needs to sheel out additional $$$ ( :D ).


And I did not understand what PITA is as mentioned by "magicrobotmonkey".

Thanks
iBizConsultants
http://www.ibizconsultants.com


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:36 pm 
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Location: Bothell, Washington, USA
PITA = pain-in-the-ass/arse

When I create a spec/contract, they are alotted a certain number of hours. Their acceptance requires them to pay half of the final amount. Once the hours are spent, they are required to pay the rest of that half, or get a new alottment if they wish to continue. If they choose not to continue, they will recieve all materials upon payment of the former half. My clients under this only receive images or my own controlled environment's interaction. They do not receive any code or finalized images until final payment is received.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:12 pm 
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PITA... LOL (like this acronym)

Thank you feyd...

I have one more question about conducting business.... i bet you would be in this situation before... how do you manage time between projects and marketing. If you already have a load of two to three simultaneous projects running parellel, do you actually spend time on marketing and if yes and due to your efforts of marketing you get the project for development.... how would you manage this 4th project. Would you outsource it to someone or honestly ask the client to wait for a few days before you could personally start with his work.

Thanks
iBizConsultants
http://www.ibizconsultants.com


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:30 pm 
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I have never needed to market my business at any level. My clients find me in their own ways, I never ask exactly how they found me. I don't even maintain a portfolio site for potentials to look at for the most part, only a physical one when I need to actually travel to a new/potential client.

When I get multiple people asking to use my services, I tell them I can't accept anything at the moment, because I'm swamped. I try to be as honest as I can. If they don't mind waiting (oddly enough is often, despite the urgency some seem to have).. then I'll get to them when I can. For the most part, I refuse to keep more than two clients active at any given time. This is more a function of how I work, or how quickly I work, than my ability to handle multiple clients.. Only when I'm waiting on client A do I work on client B, pretty much..


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 12:17 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2002 10:16 am
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Location: San Diego CA
I charge by the project (fixed amount) whenever possible.
If my arm is twisted I will charge by the hour.
About half my work is no charge for non-profit organizations.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 5:40 pm 
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
I have been charging by the hour lately and it has worked very well as long as i deliver in small increments. The clients seem to be happy as long as they see continous progress. Also they are aware that changes cost money so they come up with a better requirement list than they would otherwise. And they can't squeeze more work out of me without paying for it.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:35 am 
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Thank you for all your replies....

One more question that pops up in my mind is:

The time that you calculate spent on a client, does it also include time spent on studying requirements document, research, bug fix, chatting with clients for clarifications, etc..... i.e. do you sum up all time spent for the client once you are on the machine or on the desk doing your clients designing or architecturing work.

Also, how do you keep a track of time spent.... do you maintain a detailed log file.... e.g. 10/10/2000 time spent from 10:00 AM - 12:00, 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM, etc.

Thanks
iBizConsultants
http://www.ibizconsultants.com


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 10:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2002 5:59 am
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Location: Law, Scotland.
Interesting - most people say they'd charge by the hour but only two people have voted for that. Would have thought was the safest route but I suppose it makes it harder to get an initial payment (regardless of whether it is 20/25/30/50%) before you start the project.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:05 am 
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Location: Middlesbrough, UK
per project, but one client i work for extensively i charge him much cheaper as i know he's an excellent person to work for, ie. informative, knows what he wants, unlike many of my past clients

charging per hour for large projects which is pretty much the only thing i do now, is completely inefficient and i doubt clients would like the £20 / £30 * 100+


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