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Thread: Family & Pricing

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Family & Pricing

    I have sort of a problem here. I have been doing graphic & web design for a while now and I am just getting started as an "real" freelancer (I had a few jobs with people I know so I didn't have any contracts or set prices and stuff like that in the previous). I am alot older, experienced, educated, and serious about business. The freelancing thing is on it's way. I have had a few clients some that I know and some that I didn't, and none of them have had any big issues about pricing and such.

    So here's where it gets it gets difficult. Most of the people in my family have thier own businesses. In the past, (say when I was back in highschool), I did a lot of work for them such as logos, business cards, flyers, and stuff of that nature for little money or no money; like $20 to type up a few flyers and forms. Thing is now that I know about pricing (plus gained some skills over the years), I generally went up to the standards (and maybe even a little lower than some on a few services that I provide since im startig out). Now that a lot of them know that im starting something for myself and that I can do a lot more than I could before they want a little more done for them; but they don't want to pay the price. For example: family member "A" wants a website in flash (and html) with a lot of interactivity and extra scripting for thier business selling their own merchandise. Not only that they want me to give them a few ideas for some of the merchandise to be sold since I too work with my own merchandising. They only want to pay me $100 to do both jobs, they may have $50 extra dollars in the budget (which is like giving a tip to a waiter). Maybe in my pre years I would have jumped, but now im serious. Family member "A" thinks they are paying more than needed and was appalled when they saw that it would be about $60hr just to do the site. Because I need the money, I even went half on the whole project. They still thought that $30hr (website) would be too much. So im basically ready to drop them altogether (I know thier family) because I cannot go any lower for anything. Familly member "A" as well as some others are all wondering why they can't get projects done for the same price as they did way back when I was like 16 and in highschool. Well im not in highschool anymore. Im trying to run a business here but because they are family I would like to help them out somehow, someday.

    So at the moment im moving on with other projects and they are still pestering me about prices and how they can't find anybody else to do it (because a few of them went looking for someone else and found about the same thing and higher). I even got, "I know this kid who can do it for $75". I used to be that nieve kid (but I was in school for it and had the programs, so I knew something about the design process). Also "Some Kid" sounds like some kid with frontpage and the paint program listed in the start menu.

    I guess what I want to know is how do I deal with it? I have decided that I would not do it for less than quoted. I want to say, " I can't help you until you plan for a bigger budget, and no one else is going to help you either" , but that is not nice. The pestering is getting on my nerves. I love my family but I really dont want to deal with this. Help!

  2. #2
    Spartan Mop Warrior Loyal Rogue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    The Pit of Despair
    This really is a personal situation as opposed to typical business.

    I guess it depends on what "family" means to you and how "close" these relatives are.
    We are the only ones in both my and my wife's families with a web design company therefor family members come to us first when they need any web or computer related work or advice.
    We don't charge close family members for this but it's understood that our client's projects have priority.
    My wife's sister has been waiting about two months for the completion of her site but she understands as a business woman herself that we are extremely busy with several projects right now and that we need to take care of paying customers first.
    I also have a cousin who's a mechanic and has never charged me for repairs.
    Do you think I charged him for his website or brochures?
    On the otherhand, there are some family members I wouldn't have a problem with charging or even refusing work.

    I don't know how experienced you are or what kind of portfolio you have to show but it sounds like it wouldn't hurt to spend some "freetime" helping out you family while filling out your portfolio if you don't have any immediate paying projects.
    If you do have paying clients lined-up then by all means take care of them first and let your family know that you don't have any spare time to work on their sites and leave it at that.

    Again, this is something that's a personal issue and depending on a poster's relationship, how they were raised and what exactly "family" means to them, you are going to get a wide variety of advice on this but in the end it's going to boil done to your personal feelings.
    Good luck.
    "Just go make web and stfu already." - jAQUAN

    "Twitter is a public display of verbal diarrhea that comes out in small squirts." - Gerbick

  3. #3
    Vote for your dog
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Planet of the Grapes
    Lets see...

    the simple question is ...

    They want .. lets say .. $2000 of work for next to nothing

    What does their business do that you can get $2000 for next to nothing.

    If they would be willing to exchange services with you go for it! even if you collect sometime in the future. If they are the type of person who would tell you ..."But I can't give it to you for $100 it's worth $2000" then you know that your too busy to help them out.

  4. #4
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Grand Rapids, MI
    A "Friend" recently came to me excited because, as he puts it, "This other guy has been ripping off my friends for their websites... I mean, he's good and all, but $2,000 for a website? C'mon! I told them to come and talk to you!"

    Hah! I just about wet myself.

    I kindly let him know that if his friends would balk at that price, they might rather lose my phone number. These guys get paid more than that in their work just for waking up in the morning.

    The bottom line is that this is a business, like any other. You can't run it on favors, because you can't eat favors, and favors don't pay the bills. Even if it's family. Kindly drop the hammer, and move on.

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