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Thread: Traveling to meet a client

  1. #1
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    Traveling to meet a client

    So I have a client who want to meet with me but to do so I'd have to drive about an hour and a half to meet him. I was wondering if other designers charge mileage fees or something like that? (im very new to all this).

  2. #2
    Senior Member MG315's Avatar
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    (this might not work for you but it works for me)

    When preparing the quote, I factor in traveling and meeting time. I charge my hourly rate * how long it takes to drive there and back and the average length of a meeting * how many meetings i expect (usually one or two before the project begins, one to present the proposal and go through it with the client, one or two to show client the progress and check to make sure everything is good, and one final one where we get final payment, they sign off, and site goes live. it all depends on the scope of the project). You are, however, taking the chance that the first two meetings and drives will be not paid for if they don't accept the project, but that's life. you don't make every sale and you can get some reimbursement out of overhead if necessary.

    But this is my experience and i havent had any clients i've had to drive to that were over 2 hours away. If they wanted to meet with me in new york I would expect them to provide the plane tickets and accomodation (if neccessary).
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  3. #3
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    It depends on what relationship you are establishing with the client. Are you meeting to consult with him on developing a web strategy, or is this a sales call?

    Although it's nice to meet a client face to face, there's really nothing that cannot be accomplished over the phone. Most of our clients are spread all over the U.S. and we don't get to meet with them.

    If you do decide that you want to target your geographical area, you will be more effective if you keep it within a certain square mile radius (say 25 miles) so you won't spend too much time traveling.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. That sounds about right. I asked him to give me an idea of how long the project will take to see it's worth my while given that I'll be charging by the hour.

  5. #5
    Tech Designs CEO CNL83's Avatar
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    All those extra charges listed might discourage the customer. I try to limit all the small extras as much as possible.

    I for one do not like reviewing my bills when they have all kinda lil extras. I like flat fees and thats it.
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  6. #6
    Lunch is for wimps. erova's Avatar
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    i think it depends on the situation and your relationship with the client.

    if it's just to talk about a proposal or where you haven't landed the work, you're in a tough bind.

    if you've just been rewarded the work and you're charging hourly, i'd charge accordingly.

    if you're under retainer and the client is remote, i'd hit them up for the whole thing, plus expenses.

    but recently i had to drive from dc to philly for a project i quoted a flat rate on; overall the project is going smooth, i'm makin a decent dime on it, and i'll probably get some more work out of it, so i kept my mouth shut and hauled ass up 95 and was back in time for happy hour.

  7. #7
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    mockup

    I heard this used by a rep from Info USA they contacted me and asked if I would like a mockup page free of charge with there search engine of people and businesses. I sent them the logo and they took care of the rest. This thread has gone from what a mock up is to sales and marketing. GO FIGURE!
    DBarselow

  8. #8
    Lunch is for wimps. erova's Avatar
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    Re: mockup

    Originally posted by DBarselow
    I heard this used by a rep from Info USA they contacted me and asked if I would like a mockup page free of charge with there search engine of people and businesses. I sent them the logo and they took care of the rest. This thread has gone from what a mock up is to sales and marketing. GO FIGURE!
    whatever you say.

    genius.

  9. #9
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
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    Re: mockup

    Originally posted by DBarselow
    I heard this used by a rep from Info USA they contacted me and asked if I would like a mockup page free of charge with there search engine of people and businesses. I sent them the logo and they took care of the rest. This thread has gone from what a mock up is to sales and marketing. GO FIGURE!
    Did somebody walk into the wrong conversation here?

  10. #10
    Freelance or Bust thodya's Avatar
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    Don't itemize travel time for standard project introductory meetings, and certainly not for sales calls.

    The average small scale web development project is going to involve 3-4 meetings, one at the beginning, one mid-way through, and a couple to wrap up at the end. Factor that into your project fee. You're going to get some complaints if your client can see on their invoice that you're charging them $80/hour to drive to see them, so factor it in somewhere else. And let's be honest, 2 hours of driving equates to maybe $10-15 of gas, out of a $3-4k project that's pretty small beans, and it's just the price of doing business. If $15 is sounding like a lot to invest on the project, then chances are it's not worth travelling for.

    Of course this only applies to clients within a reasonable driving distance (2hrs). If it's further than that, or requires flight/accommodation, they'll either foot the bill, or they're probably not the kind of company you want to be working for.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by thodya; 01-28-2004 at 09:05 PM.

  11. #11
    FK M.D. pheck's Avatar
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    the government pays you (read tax savings) $.36 USD per mile driven if you chose to not depreciate your car. when i drive to client meetings or other on-site visits, i get the miles driven off my odometer, and when i go home, go into my accounting software, put in the number of miles, and then make it a reimburseable expense and select the client for which it was done. this line item then simply goes into the invoice. this reimbursed expense is separate from time i spend at the site and the wage that comes with it. this makes it very easy. i don't have to figure out how much to charge them for driving, etc. i just use the standard government expense and transfer that onto the client's cost.

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