I’ve decided to abolish hourly-rate quotes for all my projects, or at the very least make a concerted effort to. It’s a good way to ensure that I get paid for my work, but I think the benefits outweigh this. Here are a few reasons why:
When you have 20 hours to fill, and you finish the project in 10 (which happened to me TWICE last month), if you’re billing by the hour it’s hard to justify putting the other 10 in to relatively minor changes. However, if you’re a classy guy like me and you choose to deliver quality work, you are welcome to spend the other 10 hours polishing and generally turning a good site into a great one. This, rather than being inexpensive, is what you want to be known and remembered for.
While I do think it helps business relations when I come in a few hours under my estimate, it’s not worth the risk of overshooting. Plus, this way you can collect a proper 50% up front – which you should always always do no matter who you are.
Sometimes I sit down, and even though I have a few moments to spare I feel I can’t work on a project because it’ll only be 15 minutes. When everything is progress-based, pressure is alleviated. I can work on it when I want, and it’s done when it’s done.
No Tracking Time
Although I do have this product Tasksy that’s built around tracking time spent working and then invoicing it, I must admit that it’s a bit of effort. Happily, Tasksy can be used to bill by project too, and it’s always good to keep track of how much time you’re spending, both for your and your clients’ benefit.
No More Outsmarting Yourself
Have you ever had a stroke of genius, and accomplished in a few minutes something you thought would take an hour? It happens to me slightly more often than the inverse, which means that I tend to overestimate. Plus, it sort of takes the piss out of doing something really clever to realize that you’ve just cheated yourself out of income.
I admit it’s harder to sell people on $x hundred dollars flat, rather than $x per hour. But, it will be worth it in the long term. I hope.
Here’s a post on deciding when to use project pricing, from wakeuplater.com. Unfortunately, poor Samual Ryan is either overworked or dead, so the blog is defunct.