Freelancers, you are doing yourself no favors by charging by the hour and I guarantee you can make more money if you fire your hourly rate business model.
You charge WHAT per hour??
Often I find when clients push to find out an hourly price, they tend to just disappear because they made assumptions based on that number.
On one hand, it’s likely they are price shopping or believe they don’t have the budget to work with you.
On the other hand, whether they could have been a great client or not… you just lost a sale to “sticker shock.”
You’re Penalizing Efficiency
When I first started freelancing I was pretty slow at building WordPress sites. I sucked, honestly.
It would take me a week or more to get a site fully into WordPress with all the bells and whistles built in.
These days, I’m down to hours on the process. If I billed an hourly rate I would be penalizing my efficiency.
When working on hourly projects there tends to be an expectation to finish as quickly as possible.
Since when does quickly as possible = great product? It doesn’t and it never should.
Working under pressure of not going over a budget or exceeding a ceiling of hours is bad for your client and for yourself.
Nobody does their best work quickly as possible.
Provide Value in a Solution
I work with a lot of small businesses and generally they have very basic needs from a website.
It needs to showcase their business and answer what, why, how, when, and where.
If I provide a site that is well built, answers all those questions, and helps them drive more business… does it matter how long it took?
I’ve been thinking more and more about weekly pricing for most things. Then I’d be 90% on a single project for a pre-determined amount of weeks.
Of course sometimes I’d be using 1/2 weeks.
Drew Poland says
I feel like that may not be sustainable in the long term. I guess it depends on the type of projects and hours you work though. Clients would want a “full work week,” I imagine. Unless you really define it out in x amount of hours per day or week, but then do they feel cheated on time? I think some wouldn’t see the appeal – they will assume you can’t do squat in less than 40 hours/week.
I try not to work more than 16-20hrs a week. I take Friday off, so that’s about 3-4 hours a day at the top because e-mail is a time suck (for me anyway) and will easily eat the other few hours.
Probably 50% of my work is theme modification and building onto existing sites. If someone needs a few hours of work I can’t sell them a 1/2 week unless it’s priced pretty high. You could flat-fee it at an average week worth of income and then take the rest of the week off though! Which I guess is sorta the same.
You never really know until you try it I guess.