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How do you charge for your work?

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  • #46
    Re: How do you charge for your work?

    Originally posted by DaveM View Post
    another thought.

    If a customer pays what is needed to get what he wants, he is happy. If he scrimps on price and gets less, he will never be happy.
    Or, to quote Will Rogers, "It's not what you pay a man, it's what he costs you that counts."
    Peter
    AlphaBase Solutions, LLC

    [email protected]
    https://www.alphabasesolutions.com


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    • #47
      Re: How do you charge for your work?

      Originally posted by forskare View Post
      Exactly!! That's why I posed the question, What does simple mean? Every time I get what appears to be a slam dunk case, something happens I didn't count on. There is no such thing as a typical investigation and there is no such thing as a typical app, unless it's off the shelf and then, there are customer needs it does not address.
      Exactly!! There is no such thing as a "simple app". Each has their own unique requirements and thus complexity. Maybe there are exceptions where you are providing cookie-cutter apps, but I think that is quite rare.
      Peter
      AlphaBase Solutions, LLC

      [email protected]
      https://www.alphabasesolutions.com


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      • #48
        Re: How do you charge for your work?

        Originally posted by Jenny Earnshaw View Post
        We have said we could do a web based version but they are adamant they want a desktop one.
        Build the desktop with the web components and you' have about 80% or more of the web app done.
        TYVM :) kenn

        Knowing what you can achieve will not become reality until you imagine and explore.

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        • #49
          Re: How do you charge for your work?

          Exactly!! That's why I posed the question, What does simple mean? Every time I get what appears to be a slam dunk case, something happens I didn't count on. There is no such thing as a typical investigation and there is no such thing as a typical app, unless it's off the shelf and then, there are customer needs it does not address.
          As a system designer/developer, banish the words "simple" and "typical app" from the vocabulary!

          Simple is in the eyes of the beholder and when it is a client, every little extra request (aka "project creep") is usually perceived as "simple" [translation: inexpensive or no cost to implement]!

          This is the reason for always adequately scoping out a project when submitting an estimate, with sufficient "small print" to cover you in the event of contingencies/extras. Unfortunately, as this takes a little time, many don't tend to bother or they make their project specs so abbreviated/broad, that they are subject to misinterpretation ... with subsequent bad feelings.

          To throw in a few freebies on a project that you have made good money on is one thing, but to screw yourself ... and do so regularly ... is not good business practice!
          Last edited by Paullm; 04-18-2013, 03:41 PM.

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          • #50
            Re: How do you charge for your work?

            Paul has the framework as I see it too. For not straight forward single track module.
            There has never been a client whose needs are "simple".

            What they need is all they see.
            What they don't see are the checks and balances, audit/cross checks, what if, future possible new options. Time consuming functions for reversals and corrections. Then finally closing all leaks, escapes, ways of fiddling

            Before getting the framework right - firstly the scoping, add to that the flow - talk and walk through the logic and spatial layout as the customer AND the team leaders doing the work.
            Break down into team modules if that's the case.
            Only then can you really provide the logic in the same procedural order as the customer thinks. Minimises manuals, explanations and training.
            If the scoping report and exclusions are not sufficient to gain the clients confidence then a quote for full system specification.
            That would include all fields, layouts and options, with sample output. Remembering then that is the system logic and design and the client can shop it around.

            For the time required there's a precise formula;-

            TITIN*(1 + TaF%) per logical segment + overall(Security/Menu framework + Installation)
            to this add 50% plus a factor of HDCA
            Then speculate up or reduce to what you think the customer will accept and not less than you don't want the job.
            And write off any time you spend learning some new stuff.

            TITIN = Time I Think I'll need
            TaF% = Testing and Fixing - probably no less than 50
            HDCA = How Difficult the Client Appears
            Last edited by Ray in Capetown; 04-18-2013, 05:36 AM.

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            • #51
              Re: How do you charge for your work?

              There is a lot of great advice on this thread from seasoned veterans so I thought I'd compile a summary and post it when this thread seems to have run its course. Keep it coming and stay tuned.
              TYVM :) kenn

              Knowing what you can achieve will not become reality until you imagine and explore.

              Comment


              • #52
                Re: How do you charge for your work?

                Since this has expanded beyond basic billing. Here are some other notes based on my mistakes.

                1. Progress payments. Set milestones and get paid when you reach those milestones. I have had several projects get cancelled midstream for a variety of reasons (customer runs out of funding, change of leadership etc) I get left with an unfinished project and no money.

                2. Be specific in your proposal. Take some extra time and build out screen shots of features and forms. Use this as your reference when the customer asks for extras. They will. Every time.

                3. If it is a large enough project, charge them for the proposal. Call it project design. Charge them a fee to setup the design and then tell them you will subtract that from the final project bill if they go forward. This is a good way to gauge interest and commitment. Once they see how much tedium goes into software design, they might not want to go forward and you won't have wasted time. Plus you'll get a feel for how they work.

                4. Give yourself time. If you think you can get it done in 2 weeks tell the customer 4-6 weeks. This gives you time to panic over little bugs and things you have to figure out.

                5. Give your customer deadlines. Many times you will need information from them. Maybe you are duplicating a form or hooking into an existing database. Don't let the delay of information effect your project. If the customer doesn't provide the information in a timely manner, your delivery date gets extended.

                6. Communicate your issues. Obviously you don't need to tell the customer that you don't know how the new UX control works, but let them know if you are missing information, have questions or need guidance on something. Guessing an answer will only create more work for you that you won't get paid for.

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                • #53
                  Re: How do you charge for your work?

                  Here you go Ken, for your info pack - the concepts seem sound enough...
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