It’s really hard to figure out how to price services as an independent consultant. Half of your potential clients are too cheap to pay anything and whine even if you say OK to a job that pays you less than $20/hour. The other half think that if you’re too cheap, you don’t represent a self-respecting and experienced entity in the business world — they have a lower limit, but they still have an upper limit. Well, make up your minds. I’ve made up mine. I have a strong pricing structure, and I know exactly what my limits for flexibility are. I adjusted my website to reflect that certainty, mainly by keeping my prices to myself, and from now on my quotes are going to be pretty firm.
Rationale for my pricing structure is based on the fact that I can’t possibly bill for every minute of the day — I am my own marketing, sales, accounting, administration, etc. If I bill for half my time — 20 hours a week (or 40 hours every other week, or 80 hours a month) I’ll be lucky. When you pay a fully staffed organization for their time, you are paying for overhead. Now my overhead, the salaries for every role I take in the organization known as Eclectic Tech, LLC, is accounted for. I am pushing for project rates wherever possible — then it doesn’t matter if I’m done in 5 hours or 50 — you know what you’re paying. No questions. That means I have to be very specific about outlining exactly what is and is not included in the price.