Going to talk a bit about billing again today, more specifically dealing with email/project management time.
Something I always include on estimates is a specific amount of time for dealing with emails and project management. I move the number of hours up or down based on the scope of the project. Now I also state that the time is subject to change. So if we start to come close to our anticipated hours, I let you know and we figure out how many hours to bill.
So why do I do this? I’ve been stuck in 2 hour meetings/calls on projects way to many times. When I didn’t include it on my estimates I had a real hard time justifying to a client I should be paid more for it. Now it’s on the estimate and anticipated.
So when a client chooses not to read the documentation, and asks me to explain something they pay me to find the answer and write it out for them.
See they made the choice that it was not worth their time to find the answer, so they asked me. The only way it’s worth my time is to be paid for it. I don’t mind looking up answers for you, but it costs.
One of the podcasts I’ve recently started listening to is Unfinished Business. In episode 2 they talk about pricing as well. They deal with long meetings by using a day rate or a week rate. I continue to think about changing my pricing to that structure, but I’m still not sure how I’d deal with client emergencies (like a site down).
The second problem is finding clients that are willing to jump in on a day/week rate. I don’t like working with big corporations, way too much paper work and internal politics. I do like working with smaller business owners.
Telling a small business owner that they can pay me $700 – $800 a day to work just seems like a bit much.
But then maybe I’m not valuing myself enough.