I've been getting asked recently for quotes on web design jobs, either converting joomla sites to wordpress, or completely custom wordpress websites. I decided that i would like to charge hourly rather than by project, but the thing is I find it quite difficult to estimate how many hours a job will take, or giving quotes.
Also what if you quote a client for a job and it ends up taking much much longer, you're kind of bound to the original quote.
Another thing ive noticed is that people don't seem to appreciate the value of web design. I quoted someone £500 for a job earlier and got told "they dont have anywhere near that".
Part of me is thinking, is it really worth my time then considering how many hours will go into it?
We all have this type of thoughts at some point or another and they do come from time to time.
Probably, you'll need to learn to find another type of client that appreciates your job a bit more. But to do so, you need to know yourself, the level of knowledge and expertise you have, the quality of your job and how much you think that it will take you to do a particular job.
On top of that time frame, you need to add another 20% of time. Just to take into account things like sick days or some holidays (which you may or may not take... probably you won't if you didn't calculate the amount of time that it would take properly) or some major problem (such as that your house is flooded and you have to move. These things happen)
You may want to add a bit more of time, just in case. So instead of a 20%, maybe a 30%.
After that it is when you give your quote, time schedule, etc.
Now, customers tend to ignore you quite a bit. If a project is delayed because of the client, and it is his fault and you can prove it... that's not problem. You can add a clause to the contract that if the customer doesn't answer to your queries in certain amount of time, you'll charge X more, or that you will consider the project finished with no possibilities of refund or something similar. Just make sure that your customer knows and understands your conditions from the very first moment.
Part of becoming a professional freelancer is to learn how long certain tasks will take you, so start timing yourself when doing tasks for your own sites. Investigate what similar freelancers are quoting for similar jobs, gauge the kind of fees your customers are generally paying your competitors. Over estimate hourly jobs, add extra to fixed price quotes - lay down the specifications in great detail and charge extra for anything they request beyond that spec.
You'll have to learn as you go along. It's a good idea to be completely upfront with any potential customers, tell them you are just starting out in the business, perhaps offer them an introductory fee for the first project to take into account your inexperience and to make allowances for any teething problems.
Or do some freebies - that way you build a portfolio and gain valuable experience (such as, not doing freebies anymore ....)
I agree, track your time and practice estimating. There is no need to 'pad' your hours when you get good at estimation, and when you are on an hourly rate you are NOT bound to your estimate (unless you explicitly say so). However, if you want to grow and retain clients, you'd better be a good estimator and not to too far over.
Estimation is not as mysterious as people think - it just takes practice.
Yes you are - we all have those lessons along the way. But sometimes you take less time that you estimate so you end up ahead on those jobs. As long as it evens out you'll be okay.
When you find someone who says that, RUN AWAY! Don't get hooked up with clients who don't understand or appreciate the value in what you do. They typically end up super draining and not worth the effort.
Well the main issue with quoting rates has been that the client always finds "better rates" and there are tons of freelancers providing jobs at ridiculously low rates. How they arrive at such low rates has been beyond my imagination for many years (in this business since 2000).
There are a list of costs which are not arrived at by most freelancers and initially they do provide very low rates only to either not complete the project or not survive long term in business.
Positioning your business at a specific level is important and one must learn to say no to jobs / clients if they feel they are not getting their moneys worth. I have remained without work sometimes, but I guess its better than not getting your works worth.
Like you said you quoted £500 and the client said that their budget is no where in the range. For them you must say, if you need any help, let me know once you get the site done, because most of the times I have seen clients spend amounts on the "low cost" work and then understanding that it would have been better to pay a one time cost and get work done at a higher price, than getting "low cost" work done multiple times only to arrive at the same amount in the end.
Like others have mentioned, check out what other regular freelancers / web agencies charge for such projects and take a call. You will then need to decide how much you wish to earn per year. Say if you want to earn £50000 per year then add around 20 to 30% to this which includes extra work done, one off non paying clients, etc. That would be appx around £60000-65000. Now divide this by 12 months / each month by 23 days (considering sundays and alternate sats and vacations you take as holidays) / and each day as 8 hours. So the figure you would arrive is appx 25-30£ per hour. Hence, based on your requirement, this figure would change and you need to charge accordingly for the projects. Hope that helps.
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