|Charging parameters and amounts|
I've only ever done websites for myself before, and over many years have helped a few friends for 'beer money', but over the last few months or so, a lot of people have asked me to do other more complicated things on their websites and feel that I should now ask for something financial, as it's starting to be not only friends that are asking, but friends of friends as well!
The thing is, how do you set out what your charging rates are please? There seems to be so many variables! They may have just one or 2 updates a month, others may have 1 or 2 updates a day! Some may require help with images, some might not, some have many pages on their websites, some only have a few, etc, etc, etc.
Also, any ideas on how much, either in pounds or euros and I know it's a 'how long is a piece of string' question, but any ball park figures would be really appreciated if you could please.
Also, are there any forums or groups that are as friendly and helpful as this board, but dealing more specifically with these issues above please?
Any help, advice and tips much appreciated.
My opinion is that your prices shouldn't be based on the time involved, because how long it takes you is none of the client's business. The only thing he should be (and typically is) concerned about is, "What is the worth or value of this website to me?" So rather than time-based billing, I prefer a value pricing model.
In a nutshell, value pricing is when you help the client determine the project's value, then charge a portion of that value. Value is based on what your client is going to get -- what return he expects from this website. In other words, what does he want to increase or decrease, and what is the value of that increase/decrease to him? It may not be monetary; you might save him time, eliminate stress, relieve a pain. Whatever that is, get to the bottom of it.
If it is monetary, then put some hard numbers to it. Suppose your client wants his website to help increase his business by 10 percent. How much does that additional revenue represent over the next 12 months? For some companies, an additional 10 percent in annual revenue would be in the six figures. When your client begins to see it from that perspective, nickel and diming over hourly rates and how long it will take you becomes a thing of the past.
There's a saying that goes, "Until you establish value, any price is too high." So even if you don't want to charge based on the value, I still recommend that you take client though this process to establish what that value is.
Hope that helps.
Many thanks John, those ideas do definitely help.
I was trying to get away from invoicing the clients on an hourly basis, and was thinking of somehow getting the clients to pay on a monthly basis and that gives them, (depending on how much they pay per month), so many hours maximum per month of my time.
That seems to be the best route so far, but open to any ideas at this stage.
I'd keep the maintenance separate from the project itself. As you said, some people may only have an occassional update and may prefer to use you as needed. As for people who need regular updates, what additional value can you provide in exchange for a monthly fee?
Another thing to consider is implementing a CMS for clients that want to update their own sites.
I was trying to even out their payments, rather than making bigger payments in one go.
Is CMS more profitable generally?