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Guest Live Design

Freelance Rates

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Guest Live Design

Ive managed to get some freelance work at the moment but im finding the pricing structure difficult to judge. For those out there doing the same are you charging per hour or per project? If so how much would you suggest a UK designer with a masters degree and a years experience should charge?

 

cheers

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Guest Bucyrus
Ive managed to get some freelance work at the moment but im finding the pricing structure difficult to judge. For those out there doing the same are you charging per hour or per project? If so how much would you suggest a UK designer with a masters degree and a years experience should charge?

 

cheers

 

I do freelance product development cad design, and I charge by the hour. Some people may charge by the job, but I have rarely found that it is possible to define the job well enough to give a fixed price quote. Everything usually ends up being more work than anyone expected, so a fixed price quote can get you into trouble. The course of design usually meanders as different options are explored and rejected, and the customer is liable to introduce more parameters along the way. These variables make it difficult to predict how much time the work will take. They also make it difficult to agree with the customer on how much the project has increased over what you had actually priced in your quote.

 

I can’t suggest how much you should charge, but I would emphasize that you do everything possible to make sure you get paid. If the customer is a large company with a good reputation, there is not much to worry about. But smaller companies that you don’t know, or start-up companies, or individual entrepreneurs can be very risky. Often, if there is a problem getting paid, it is not that they simply refuse to pay. They just want you to wait a while. They may want to make your compensation dependent on the success of the project they are developing. They may also become very demanding of your time and continued service once they owe a large balance, and are dragging their feet on payment. They might feel that they can make these demands, knowing you will comply because they owe you a lot of money, and you do not want to make them mad for fear of them refusing payment or delaying it longer. Promises of payment in the future are not worth much if they violate your original agreed terms. I read a rule of thumb that a debt that is more than 30 days past due is statistically considered to be 80% uncollectable.

 

What I try to do as protection is to simply tell the customer that I cannot let the balance owed get very high. I ask for no money down, but I want to get paid upon completion of each small segment of work. With customers such as small companies or individuals, I try to get paid in intervals of two weeks or less.

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Guest csven

Based on what I've seen of your portfolio, my assessment of the quality of your Master's thesis, and that one year of experience doing something, I think you should charge US$500/hr.

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Guest matt___

I work in exactly the opposite way to Bucyrus, which I guess goes to show you're probably not going to get a definitive answer. I have an hourly rate which I use to calculate the price of a project (though it varies depending on the amount of work and how it fits with other projects) but I never disclose it to the client. Instead I estimate the number of hours, calculate the price of the project (or more usually, break it down into a number of stages), then add 25% and give the client the price range. I make it clear that the lower price is based on the brief not changing and the client making timely decisions, and that the higher price allows for 'contingencies'. I then do everything possible to try and bring the project in at the lower end of the range, especially if it's a new client - it builds a lot of trust that I'm not trying to rip them off.

 

There's a few reasons why I work like this. Probably the most important is that from experience I've found if you quote daily or hourly rates, you attract clients for whom the price is more important than the quality. And then you end up in bidding wars with other designers the client claims to have got quotes from (though of course you never know if this is true or not). Good clients are interested in the quality of work and whether you can be trusted to meet a deadline; the price is secondary, provided you are not charging extortionate rates in relation to your abilities. Another reason is that once a client knows your hourly rate, you can never increase it by very much.

 

I'm not saying it's easy to work like this (I once had a guy shouting at me down the phone that he couldn't believe my attitude, and that he would tell everyone he knew not to hire me). But I manage to get interesting projects from good clients without too many problems. I've also found that simply calling yourself a consultant rather than a freelancer leads clients to view you in a different light.

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Guest gonzo_ID

I charge on a per project basis which includes an hourly rate and a markup. the project will always include benchmarks where client has to sign off something he has to pay for something and i always ask for at least 30% of the total project up front. that means by the time the last payment is due, you have most of the payment already.

 

The best piece of advice I can give you is work out your own rate based on the FreelanceSwitch Hourly Rates Calculator, work out how long you think the project will take, add on 20% income tax, add on 8% National Insurance and on a bit for rendering pens, printer ink, coffee, etc. and that is your rate.

 

I would also recommend checking out the rest of the site as it has LOADS of useful information about freelancing.

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Guest under-dog
Based on what I've seen of your portfolio, my assessment of the quality of your Master's thesis, and that one year of experience doing something, I think you should charge US$500/hr.

 

 

 

Am I reading this right $500USD an hour??

 

Can I assume this is a typo?

 

I need you to negotiate contracts for me. At this rate with an average work week of 40 hours for 52 weeks the yearls gross is $1,040,000USD. That would be nice indeed.

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