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Usually I end up with $30-100 to charge them for. But
I sometimes end up with a client who has acumulated only $5 or $10 worth of charges. This is annoying for me to bill and I imagine is annoying for them to pay. This is especially true for non-profit clients that get my discounted rate and are on a budget so they don't request many changes.
I have been billing in 6 minute increments. Is that too low? I've recently decided to keep a running total and bill them only when it exceeds $30, but that is annoying as well.
What do other people do?
It goes a long ways in customer satisfaction when your clients know they can get a small change done quickly, and usually at no cost. I'd rather make a client happy and improve their business for free, than to waste time invoicing and look petty.
If you go this route, just make sure you don't let clients take advantage of it. But any GOOD client will appreciate and not take advantage. Those that do try to take advantage of it, maybe you don't want them as a client anyway?!
If questioned about payment for it, simply state you are just rolling that small piece of work into "project xyz" that has already been billed. You aren't telling them you'll do free work for them as long as it is small, but they get the satisfaction of not having to pay for it.
Giving an existing client 2 minutes of my time is a great investment in encouraging them to come back to me with much bigger tasks/projects.
However, make sure you indicate this on their next invoice. Since I host most of my clients I'll just add a line on their next invoice that indicates the date the task was done, brief description and that $0 was charged.
If they see that 3 out of 4 times you've done something for free they are less likely to make a fuss about your prices when you charge them for their next big project.
Quarterly is frequent enough that they won't forget what you've done, but infrequent enough not to be annoying for small amounts.
I'd also bill 10 or 15 min increments to simplify my own admin
A lot of CC processors do not like quarterly billing.
I personally prefer to bill month on month. I don't like small amounts either, so I suggest you make sure they aren't!
A call, an email, a response....all worth $100 in my books before we start to talk about the development costs. I never bill for less than $100, which is just about the minimum cost you can ever pay if you want to deal with me!
We are not plumbers....no offence meant to plumbers!
If you are worth your salt, you should be paid that value....and it is rarely going to be less than $100.
I have been told recently that my rates are too low - that I'm not charging for overhead. Or rather I'm charging for "the overhead of a poor person". =)
Thanks for your replies people.