[thelist] Re: RE: Re: consulting fees

david.landy at somerfield.co.uk david.landy at somerfield.co.uk
Wed Jun 16 03:58:47 CDT 2004

Diane Soini wrote:
>a) I don't know the going rate in my region or how my current salary 
>relates to it (higher or lower?),

One way of doing it is to work out an hourly rate that makes you feel happy
to do the work, estimate the time it will take you, double it (at least!)
and then quote the client an estimate. You might want to guarantee that to
within 15% - 20%, given that everything stays to spec. (Make sure you have a
signed-off spec!) Get the client to understand that changes at design time
cost x, after build they cost 8x. And they will be extra to the quote.

>b) I don't know if fees are best quoted hourly, by piece, or flat,

Could be any of the above.

>c) if I knew the going rate, would I ask for the same for a church web 

There's no such thing as "the going rate"! There will be a range of prices
for similar services, here in the UK anything from 10 pounds per hour to 25
or so for simple web development. But then again, could they get a templated
solution for less? If so, you may have to compete with that, or motivate
them to hire you for the extra service they will get.

>d) I did not know or ask what the scope of the project was,

See (a) above - get the spec signed off by the client just below where it
says "i hereby agree that any changes to this spec after xxxxx (date) will
result in extra cost to the project"

>e) I figured it was better not to say anything about money without more 

Good call.

>f) I don't know enough about the paperwork I would need to maintain, or 
>about taxes or legal matters involved (which is why I was interested in 
>a book or something), and

Find a friendly accountant? Don't know the details in the USA but here in
the UK you can get advice for free from eg the Citizens Advice Bureau.

>g) I don't consider myself a graphic designer and so am not sure if 
>graphic designer freelancing is the best model for how to go about it, 
>or if maybe there is another, better model to follow. I'm not sure how 
>to convey that I am not a graphic designer to people who hear the words 
>"web designer", either.

Have a look at off-the-shelf template solutions for them? That may well be
their best bet, depending on their requirments. You may want to do an
initial consultation/research with them for e.g. $100 - $200 (or for free,
if they are your local church and want to do them a favour, or in exchange
for advertising to their members... up to you) -- just to get their
requirements flat and then go from there. They will thank you for your
knowledge and overview even if you don't end up writing anything for them!

>can use. I know because I was once on the giving end of that and I was 
>not comfortable with it at all.

That's a pity you have that on your conscience. Sounds like one worth
cleaning up if you can still find the person.

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