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Flat Rate or By the Hour?

Posted on August 16, 2012

Category: Business

From all the kinds of emails we get, asking for help with various graphic design problems, about 75% have to do with pricing and the problems inherent to that area. You see, determining exactly how much you’re worth is often tough. Especially if you’re a new freelancer. So if you’re stuck about charging either a flat rate or by the hour, we’re here to help.

  1. Flat Rates are Often Best: As a general rule, we very much like to charge flat rates. Why do we do this? For a number of reason, but mostly our own initiative. You see, by charging a flat rate we have essentially billed the client for a specific number of hours. This means that we theoretically have that many hours to complete the design before we’re working overtime without payout. This makes it unbelievably easy for us to focus, and more often than not, that added pressure keeps us working quicker. This won’t work for everyone, but the math involved is undeniable and quite sensical.
  2. For Redesigns, Charge by the Hour: If you create a full website for a client, only to have them return a week later with a small change (or an handful of them) be sure to charge them by the hour for the services that you render. Charging a flat rate seems sort of priggish, and you’re more likely to make additional money by charging for the hours that you actually work. Also, this encourages your client to return with more changes, especially if you work quickly enough for them.
  3. Hours for Content Creation: If you’re creating content for a client, be sure to charge them for the actual hours that you work. You see, a content creation project may come in several stages some of which may go more quickly than others. As such, you want to be sure that you get the most possible money out of your time investment. In other words, charge by the hour to make more profit.

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