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Thread: How much should I charge for <blank>?

  1. #1
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    The Minister of No Crap

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    How much should I charge for ___________?

    One of the most asked questions in the Boardroom is "How much do I charge for <fill in blank here>?". It could be websites, Flash intros, hourly rates, etc. If you are thinking of posting this question or have posted this question, read the following:

    Website Pricing... How Much Should I Charge?
    How much does a website cost?
    Work for Hire: Setting Fees and Getting Paid

    The quick answer
    The quick answer is simple. Charge what you're worth. If you don't know what you're worth, use this equation:

    Take the amount of time you would spend on whatever project and think of how much money would make you feel good about spending that much time on the project. Then charge that much.

    If you are looking for some sort of mechanism to calculate a website project, there is no "industry standard". Although, Template Kit does have some.

    If you're thread was closed
    If you're thread was closed, you were probably directed to this thread. Also, some of the Flash Kit members may have been a little sarcastic or even rude with you about your question. Don't feel bad or get upset. Everyone has asked this question and keeps asking this question to the point that the Boardroom has become nothing more than the "How much should I charge?" section of Flash Kit. That's why we're now closing all pricing questions and directing them to this thread.

    Scott
    Last edited by nocrapchurch; 11-17-2006 at 01:18 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member MG315's Avatar
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    wondering how long it would take for this to become a sticky. heres some links that might help ppl looking for pricing info:

    AIGA Salary Surveys of 2001
    Freelance Pricing Part I - Set Your Rate
    Freelancing Pricing Part II - Quoting to Win
    Web Pricing Work - How Much Should You Charge

    and you can always find good articles at http://www.sitepoint.com/
    Bill Erickson: resume | portfolio
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    Great Designs for $100

  3. #3
    Vox adityadennis's Avatar
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    thanx, this helped a bit

  4. #4
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    DEFINATLEY CONSIDER

    First of all what I would suggest is do something like what I am doing at the moment and a get a book on running your Consultancy.
    At the moment I am reading a book called Consultants by Alf Mayfield, published by Halstead Press Sydney Aust.
    Quick rundown it describes
    Elements of Success
    Marketing your service
    Recording Data
    Time And Money
    How to be a successful negotiator
    Writing reports and giving presentations.

    A book such as this will give invaluable knowledge.
    I suggest reading a book like this before you begin charging for your services, it will also give tips and ideas to keep clear and accurate records which will assist in justifying prices.
    A MUST READ

  5. #5
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    I MIGHT ADD

    Pricing Philosphy is based on the following?
    Income must cover expenses, with something to spre for personal satisfaction,and FUTURE DVELOPEMENT? (ie business expansion)
    Dont forget that folks.
    Maybe you guys are missing small inticate details to successfully adjust, modify and set prices ie have you guys thought of supplying your client some sort of deign report accompanying your work. I'm sure the larger web based org's would be.
    Remeber you guys fall into the contract employee status (ie no holiday pay, sick leave, maternity leave etc) organisations must be prepared to pay higher fees for your service.
    And dont forget the day will come wheneverbody ceases work, some alittle earlier than others, hush, hush.
    I guess what this also highlights is the need for efficient time management skills and updaing your skills and expertise, especially when dealing with computer technology

  6. #6
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    I HOPE YOU REALIZE

    Not only are you guys doing what you enjoy, providing a service for the client, helping him promote or market his business, but ALSO youre are foremost SOLVING A PROBLEM?
    Yes if the client had the knowledge, skills and time he would do the work himself.

  7. #7
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    thanx so much for the alistapart site
    its full of a wealth of info

  8. #8
    cartoonfox bacon man's Avatar
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    ok, whats the average price a (relativley) small company would spend on a simple(ish) website (ie: proffesional look, full flash (actionscript etc) (no complex stuff like advanced actionscript, php, myqsl etc))

    thanks.

  9. #9
    Senior Member MG315's Avatar
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    just make a practice website (or you could do this for your portfolio) time yourself, then multiply the hours spent by hourly rate and times by 1.5 (you need to factor in meetings, administration, revisions...). That should give you a pretty close estimate as to how much that site is worth. The real challenge comes when quoting a project and having to figure out how long it will take before starting it.
    Bill Erickson: resume | portfolio
    1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    Great Designs for $100

  10. #10
    cartoonfox bacon man's Avatar
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    thanks.
    whats a reasonable hourly rate then? i dont want to be too exspensive (as i'm just starting out) but i dont want to be too cheap (people could take advantage)

    if anyone who's a freelance webdesigner, tell me what there hourly rate was when they first started out, that'd be great

    thanks.

  11. #11
    Senior Member MG315's Avatar
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    i guess you could say i'm just starting out (been doing it a few months) and i started with and still charge $50/hr


    if we're not allowed to say hourly rates (which i think we should because average rates for design industry jobs are listed at AIGA) then i'll remove it
    Bill Erickson: resume | portfolio
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    Great Designs for $100

  12. #12
    cartoonfox bacon man's Avatar
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    ok, thanks.

    that helped me alot.

    thanks.

  13. #13
    cartoonfox bacon man's Avatar
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    wow! (sorry, i'm a complete newbie at freelance), i calculated that this site http://216.120.237.84/~cartoon/cartoonfox-design.html took me about 48 hours. its not even finished yet...but nearly. i multyplied it by 45, the multiplayed that by 1.5...i came up with $3456! wow, would this site be worth atleast that?

    thanks.

  14. #14
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    The other thing to remember is that just because it took you, "48" or "x" amount of hours... doesn't mean it should have. Clients both big and small are more aware of these things. We've had designers take hours on things that should have taken 15 min.

    You need to set benchmarks..because many of your clients certainly will... you also need to be able to control those extra tasks such as meetings, etc.. even down to the amount of time it take to ftp files, etc...

  15. #15
    Senior Member MG315's Avatar
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    (probably doesnt belong here but i'd rather put it here than in one of the 100s of contract topics)
    I recently found a large collection of contracts, though they are mainly based on SEO and marketing i'm sure some of you could use them:
    http://www.onlinewebtraining.com/chat/contracts.html
    Bill Erickson: resume | portfolio
    1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    Great Designs for $100

  16. #16
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    That's a solid resource, MG15!

    Scott

  17. #17
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    For those just starting off. READ!

    I think this is an interesting topic. Sorta funny.

    I've been freelancing since 2001. Started this site flashbooty and I've done very well with it, and I believe mostly that success is due to being very upfront with people. So here's my tips for the work at home freelancer

    First. Never tell anyone your hourly. Not even yourself. If you work at home, its pointless to try to figure it out. Unless you bought an old punch card on ebay, why worry about it. Your success will be measured by actually getting enough clients (and $$$) to pay for rent, your car, your girlfriend, your goldfish....think bills to pay, not hourly rates on some website. You're making zero an hour if your ego made you lose a good client cuz you scared them off.

    More first timer advice....You're going to get more cheapos than "whales" asking you for stuff. Its rare to find anyone that isn't concerned about paying you AND their kid's braces that month. So in every negotiation, just try to put yourself in their position for a second. It'll help to keep things in persepctive. So be nice. Don't get frustrated if you think someone is trying to low ball you. Most likely they are just trying to make it clear they aren't a high roller without having to swallow too much pride.

    With that said. Of course aim for getting as much as you can. Do this by just asking people what they can spend. Ya gotta be careful with your phrasing though.

    DON'T SAY "so dude, like, uh, how much ya got"

    DO SAY "I'll try work for whatever you have to spend." (Which should usually be true, if you are taking a break from watching Dexter's Lab to respond to their email).... "BUT realize, I'm tailoring the final delivery for YOUR budget. The more you can spend is obviously MUCH better, less is obviously not as great." (try not to say, "less is worse")

    That should be your offer. Generally people want the best if they are personally invested in that project. So they'll be truthful about how high they can go, because its reflective of their own standard of quality.

    You think a guy with $1000 to spend, really wants to talk you down to $300 ? Answer: No. IF he realizes that the end delivery is going to be $700 LESS cool. Your goal should be to make that clear to him (and a whole seperate forum should be sticking to that later on)

    This isn't really an aggressive negotiating approach, but if you're reading this, you're probably new to being an independent something-something, and need the advice (and a steady workflow)

    Just remember. You gotta have some skills to show off. You really need to have a portfolio that'll make them wet their pants with excitement at the thought of working with you. They should know that if they want your BEST, its not going to be by holding back a few C-notes.

    So for the freshman, don't look at those rate sites. Don't get frustrated thinking you're worth anything the big boys make untill you've "made your bones"
    Work for $15-20 an hour if you have to. It might suck, but it beats Mickey-D's. Create your best as often as you can, and eventually it'll pay off.

    Here ends, Karma in the Workplace 101...the longest thing I've ever written.

    PS Free .fla's

  18. #18
    Senior Member MG315's Avatar
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    i disagree somewhat with your view on pricing. apply it to other industries. i know if i walked into a car dealership and said "how much does that car cost" and he said "well how much do you have to spend?" i would probably walk out and find another place to find a car. people want to get the best price they can, and the theory of making one pay "all they have" for something won't float their boat. you need to have an hourly rate, estimate how long it will take you to do the project and add a little extra in case you missed something - AND STICK WITH IT. that is the quote for the work, if they want to pay less then you will need to take away some of the functionality. have it broken up into approximate costs for each part of the project. if they want to lower it by $1000, consider not including a CMS.

    the point is you can't charge $300 for one person and $3000 for another (doing the exact same job) just because the latter brought more money to the table. to think that way is dillusional. its a buyer's market with an incredible amount of talent for dirt cheap available all around the world. if your pricing method angers the client, he will not hesitate to find someone else to do it better and cheaper. But by stating the hours it will take for each part of the project and your hourly rate, he will see you arent just pulling numbers out of the air and looking at the clients reaction to determine if you should go higher or lower.
    Bill Erickson: resume | portfolio
    1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    Great Designs for $100

  19. #19
    Flaxcreatures flaxdyzam's Avatar
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    thx interesting links


    Kind regards
    Pieter van Stee
    alias Flax
    Mail me @ pietervanstee@skynet.be
    Add me at MSN

  20. #20
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    Actually...

    ...to the guy who disagrees, I should have emphasized the part about tailoring the job to THEIR budget. So my $300 delivery sucks compared to the $3000 one. Which if the client realizes that, will almost always opt for using all they have to spend (if they want quality).

    My philosophy is to get the most responses possible. If I had a rate card listed that said "i make $75-$100 an hour", I'd get fewer responses, because most small business owners would run away, thinking I'm as expensive as their lawyer. Thats when possibly good clients start taking bids on Elance.

    I just think for some of the freelance rookies, they'll do themselves a favor to not scare off work. A kid straight out of college with little to show, shouldn't compare his rates to the professionals.

    When the forum comes up for "not-getting used" by an over zealous client when you've agreed to a flat rate, thats when I'll conclude this. =)

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