As Freelancers we can decide whether we are going to charge for our services by the hour or per task. There are certainly merits to both of these options and as a freelancer I have taken the recent decision to transition from charging per hour to charging per task.
At this stage of my metamorphosis I am feeling positive about this change and in this article I am going to outline many of the reasons why I am so optimistic about this system of pricing whilst addressing some of the most common concerns held by Professionals regarding charging per task.
On a personal level
It is always important to properly recognise the value of our goods and services. Most of us wish to offer a fair yet competitive price but we should also take some time to consider the profit margins of our clients.
If we are rendering goods or services to the client that are more than likely going to end up being retailed by them or utilised in another money making way then we must consider the possibility that we are at risk of underselling ourselves. Offering a task based system of charging can help to remedy this problem.
Many clients might compare their own hourly rate of pay to the rates that we wish to charge them which might result in an unfavourable reaction to us by the client. In separating the aspects of time and money we avoid the probability of this type of negative response from potential customers.
For Freelancers, it can sometimes be difficult to estimate the number of hours that it may take to create, edit or assimilate work, if we charge $50 an hour and complete a project 2 hours shy of the predicted time frame then this can sometimes be a disappointment. If we charge a flat rate fee then we know exactly how much cash we will be walking away with and we gain a little more motivation to get the job done in good time.
When we are asked to give a timeframe for a complex job it can be difficult, we may be unsure if it will take 6 hours or twelve. If we are too vague, then the thought of an hourly rate which might roll on and on can make the client nervous or worst case scenario put them off altogether. By taking into account how many hours the job could take and by analysing the complexity of the work it is often easier to come up with an exact figure, this instils more confidence in the client and you will come across in a more organized and trust worthy way.
Pricing jobs in a pay per task fashion also gives us the flexibility to undertake work that we might otherwise turn down for various reasons. It makes that job which is not so interesting to us seem a little more exciting if we can put a price on it that makes it worth our while.
Paying by the hour
Paying by the hour often dictates that we set up a timer or stopwatch whilst we work, sometimes this can feel restrictive and it can taint our creativity or drive. It is always going to be important for the freelancer to keep a track of time but through fixed pricing we might escape our neuroticism for counting the hours, seconds and minutes for a little while at least.
One of the major concerns for Professionals with regards to fixed pricing is that Jobs may take longer to complete than anticipated, this might be true for an inexperienced person who has not necessarily got to grips with their own capabilities and limitations but the established worker will usually find that they are usually fairly accurate in estimating time frames.
Another good technique
It is a good technique to decide upon a number of hours that is between how long you think it should take realistically and how long you visualise the job taking if hidden complexities crop up.
You should also bear in mind that the client may not particularly knowledgeable about the level of expertise required to complete a given project. When the price is high it is normally assumed that the work is particularly skilled and after all you are an expert in your chosen field.
It is important to be aware of the rates that your competitors are charging; don’t assume that your peers are charging much more than you because they have skills that you are lacking. It is often more likely that they are charging more money because they can.
If you test your assumptions from time to time then you might find yourself surprised. We must be open to different perspectives regarding our skills and how we are viewed by other Organisations, we might need to change tactics and make ourselves more assessable in hard times for instance.
Your first price should always be at the top end of what you suspect your work to be worth it is always useful to investigate the current market and to consider inflation rates of and so on.
When considering advertising at a fixed rate you should think about how many your rates fluctuate depending on the finer details of a project. If you realise that you are adjusting your price to suit these complexities then fixed pricing might not be suitable for you.
Finally assess your clients
It is also wise to assess your clients and the nature of their businesses on an individual basis. Fixed pricing is worth considering when you have a price in mind that would make the job worth your while.
The most satisfying aspect of Task based pricing is the flexibility that it offers, you can set your prices to in relation to how much work you have, and how appealing you find the work. In the short term task based pricing can be less straight forward than charging by the hour but it is definitely a system which can work in your favour when you learn how to use it.
About the writer: Serge is the founder of GiftIdeas, a gift suggestion engine with a human touch for great gift suggestions for any occasion. Birthdays, corporate and Christmas gift ideas can all be found at giftideas.ws
I'm Louida from Atlanta, Georgia and I'm a mother of two daughters, blogger, and full time working mom at a Business Consulting Firm.
I love helping others learn how to start working from home on the internet free to supplement their current income.
I also blog at Productreviewmom.com
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