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Re: [vox] Consulting Fee?
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Re: [vox] Consulting Fee?

On Mon, Feb 06, 2006 at 01:19:17PM -0800, Richard S. Crawford wrote:
> webserver with MySQL, PHP, and MediaWiki.  So if y'all don't mind helping
> out a newbie to this field, could anyone suggest guidelines I could refer
> to when working out how much to charge (excluding the cost of the
> computer)?

I used to consult at $70/hr about 6 years ago.  It was easy to make money
at those rates then.

When determining your rates, you need to essentially figure what you could
reasonably make at a good competetive business, say $20/hr or $30/hr...
how good are you?  Then you multiply that by three.  The figuring is 1/3
to pay the labor (in this case you), 1/3 to pay the bills (office space,
power, lighting, etc, company overhead), and then 1/3 for profit.

If you don't want to take the job, add another 1/3 to "make it worth your
while".  If you like the folks, or want to sweeten the pot, you offer them
a "day rate", like I charged $500/day rather than $560/day for those
$70/hr rates.  As a rule, I don't bid pc work, it's always time and

All that said, I'd personally expect $100 to $125/hr if I was to do this
sort of work.  Remember, there is alway more questions, hand holding, etc,
and people always want a "quick question" answered, but don't want to pay
for that 15 or 30 minutes of your time.  If they value you at those rates,
you know that you're valued, respected, and listened too.  Too cheap and
you get messy ugly jobs.  Too high has almost no downside... you either
get the work (yeah), or you don't.  If you didn't need the work anyway, no
big deal.  If you did need the work, you just lower your rate a bit on the
next job to make sure you get it.

Oh, and don't fall in the trap of varying your cost depending on what type
of work it is (ie webdesign at X, server builds at Y).  Nobody cares.  The
only ones that will care, are too cost concious anyhow to make it fun and
enjoyable for you.  Business people, at the end of the day, want to KNOW
that if they through X dollars at this problem it will go away.  Keep it
simple for them.

Lastly, I've been out of this type of adhoc or independent contractor work
for nearly 6 years.  So, keep in mind the market might be vastly different
now than I'm expecting it to be.

Ted Deppner
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