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Do you dread pricing design jobs when you don't know how long they'll take?Have you ever had to quote on a design job but you have no idea how long it will take to complete it? If you're familiar with Project Based Pricing or Value Based Pricing then it isn't really an issue. But if you're one of the many designers who bill by the hour you may dread this scenario.
In this episode of the Resourceful Designer podcast, I talk about what you can do when you have no idea how long a project will take. Be sure to listen to the episode for the full story.
Pricing design jobs by the hour.
It takes a lot of practice to correctly guess how long a design job will take to complete. Notice I used the word “guess”? Because that's what it is, a guess. If you guess wrong you could loose a lot of money on the job. The only way to protect yourself if to pad your guess by overestimating which isn't good for your client.
But what if there's another way that works for both you and your clients?
Actual time billing.
When the scope of a design project is such that there's no way to determine how long it will take, offer to bill for the actual time you spend on the job.
Many clients will accept a contract stating you will bill them your hourly rate for the total time you spend working on their project. This is the easiest method and it benefits both you and your client. You know you won't loose any money on the design project, and your client knows they won't overpay on the job.
But what if the client is worried you'll take too long?
If your client is hesitant to sign your contract, you could offer a maximum price for the project. You bill them by the hour for the time you spend working on the project up to the maximum price, providing the scope of the job hasn't changed.
This option should satisfy worried clients and make you look good when you come in under the maximum price. Just be sure the maximum price you set is enough to cover any unforeseen complications that may arise during the project.
How do you handle pricing design jobs with undefined time lines?
Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.
Questions of the Week
Submit your question to be featured in a future episode of the podcast by visiting the feedback page.
This week’s question comes from Tim
How many works/projects/clients do you normally allow yourself to take in simultaneously within a week?
To find out what I told Tim you’ll have to listen to the podcast.
Tip of the week Get your Clients to pay for it.
When it comes to hardware, software, plugins, fonts etc., If you need to purchase something for a specific project then you should be charging the client for it. Even if it's something you will be able to use in the future for other clients. There is nothing wrong with telling a client you require something to complete their project and including it on your invoice. You can then use that item as a selling feature or service you offer for future clients.
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Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org