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Going Freelance in the UK - Any Advice?

How to price my time on a freelance basis

11:05 am on Jul 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi all,

I have been working full time as a web developer for the same company for the last 10 years, but this pesky recession thing means it's looking likely that redundancy is on the cards.

Rather than find another position with another employer, I am very tempted to go self-employed, and I seem to have interest from a number of businesses I've dealt with over the years (both small and large) that they would have freelance work for me if I did this.

However, I've been a bit isolated from the financial side of the business, so I really have no idea what to charge, and whether there should be a sliding scale based on the type of project, or indeed, the type of client.

For instance, would you charge more for programming development such as PHP, .NET & C# rather than Flash or HTML layout? Is it best to structure a fee around an hourly/daily rate or a flat-fee for a project? What's a rough average (and this is probably more specific to the UK) development costs for the various types of work? I don't want to price myself out of the market, but then I don't want to leave money on the table either ;-)

I'm also wondering whether any of you guys either sub-contract other developers or have been a sub-contractor? I can imagine there will be some situations where I need to take on additional help to complete projects, and in those situations what is the accepted norm for the sub-contractor rate. The client isn't likely (I would have thought) to want to pay any more, so is it acceptable for the sub-contractor to take a smaller fee to still make it profitable for the main contractor?

I should stress that I have not *yet* left my current employer, so hold off on any offers of work!


12:14 pm on July 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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It's up to you whether you decide to price jobs on a flat fee or an hourly rate. If you go for an hourly rate I would suggest that it should be in the range of 35 to 50 per hour. I would charge the same no matter what type of work is being done.
12:27 pm on July 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Pricing is difficult. Some people expect the job to be done for 2p and others will be prepared to pay more than you thought possible.
About 10 years ago I was offered some freelance work (on top of the day job) by an ex colleague. I didn't want to offend him by saying no but wasn't keen so I quoted what I thought was a really silly rate. He paid without blinking.
Just remember to factor in sick days, holidays, training and gaps between contracts when working out what you need to charge to live on.

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