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General Chat Thread, Done a freelance job, what should I look at charging? in General; I need to start installing/setting up more raid drives at those prices , takes all of 5 mins to setup. ...
  1. #46

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    I need to start installing/setting up more raid drives at those prices , takes all of 5 mins to setup. If only I got that much for every time I've setup a NAS , SAN or server raid over last 15 years.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    It isn't that the time it takes to set it up, I agree its quick and simple (even if a RAID controller card needs to be installed), it is the time to ensure it mirrors/stripes/distributes properly for parity, or doing nested RAID set ups (01 or 10) and ensuring they work properly.

  3. #48

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    Would you not just charge a fixed rate for the job, regardless of how long it takes?

    I never like it when IT companies quote an hourly rate. This is IMO an old fashioned way of working, as has someone has already said, the customer shouldn't be paying for us to sit and watch Windows install.

    Normally for this kind of work I'd quote £250, and even if the estimated work ran over a little, not change my price too much. We all know that some jobs go unbelievably smooth, and others hit snags along the way. You win some, you lose some.

  4. #49

    nephilim's Avatar
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    I do charge per job type...I don't do hourly rates. If the job is 15 minutes, I make my money, if the job is 3 hours, I make my money.

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    I would charge in the region of £200-250 for that as in essence its a complete system rebuild your carrying out there

  6. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    I do charge per job type...I don't do hourly rates. If the job is 15 minutes, I make my money, if the job is 3 hours, I make my money.
    This is how I do private work.

    Although the OP didn't agree a price before carrying out the work, I still wouldn't be looking at the job and calculating the time it took and multiplying that by an hourly rate.

    I used to work for a private company that charged hourly rates. It never seemed fair as obviously the more senior engineers would complete the more complex jobs a lot quicker than some of the less experienced engineers. The hourly rate was the same whoever went on the job.

  7. #52


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardinho View Post
    I never like it when IT companies quote an hourly rate. This is IMO an old fashioned way of working, as has someone has already said, the customer shouldn't be paying for us to sit and watch Windows install.
    Why not - it's necessary and in doing the job, you can't easily switch to another fee earning job. If the customer doesn't want to pay for that part, they can do it themselves.

    There is a lot of complaining in Edugeek that schools undervalue their IT staff. That is almost certainly true but this thread suggests people undervalue themselves. We won't cure the former without addressing the latter.

    Normally for this kind of work I'd quote £250, and even if the estimated work ran over a little, not change my price too much. We all know that some jobs go unbelievably smooth, and others hit snags along the way. You win some, you lose some.
    So in effect, the customer who's job goes smoothly is subsidising the customers who's job turns into a nightmare.
    Last edited by pcstru; 15th August 2014 at 09:26 AM.

  8. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Why not - it's necessary and in doing the job, you can't easily switch to another fee earning job. If the customer doesn't want to pay for that part, they can do it themselves.

    There is a lot of complaining in Edugeek that schools undervalue their IT staff. That is almost certainly true but this thread suggests people undervalue themselves. We won't cure the former without addressing the latter.
    Some RAIDs take 24 hours to build. So would you be charging for 24 hours work?

    I agree entirely that we often undervalue ourselves, but I'd rather be quoting a higher amount for my skills and not worrying about how long the job took. I bet nearly everyone on here is salaried, one big reason is because we are paid for our expertise, not for our labour.

  9. Thanks to Gardinho from:

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  10. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    So in effect, the customer who's job goes smoothly is subsidising the customers who's job turns into a nightmare.
    Yes, but where does it end? The open ended approach is going to ultimately not be economical for so many customers.

    Example - A customer has an old PC and wanted it to be rebuilt so that his less savvy Mother-in-law could use it for Word Processing. On face value, this looks like a piece of cake, no more than an hours work.
    You then realise that they don't have a driver disk, and that one annoying driver takes 4-5 hours to find. Would you then be charging them for 6 hours work on a PC that is probably not even worth £50? That just wouldn't make economic sense to the customer at all.

  11. #55


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardinho View Post
    Some RAIDs take 24 hours to build. So would you be charging for 24 hours work?
    Not necessarily. If the job was on a customer site, I'd charge 'callout' to cover the need for multiple trips to the site. That said, I've done jobs where that wasn't possible and where the customer has been paying £180 an hour, essentially for me to watch a little hourglass spin round while my programs ran.
    I agree entirely that we often undervalue ourselves, but I'd rather be quoting a higher amount for my skills and not worrying about how long the job took. I bet nearly everyone on here is salaried, one big reason is because we are paid for our expertise, not for our labour.
    I'm salaried but my contract clearly relates that to time. When I have to try and work out whether self hosting exchange is better value than a cloud approach, the staff costs are worked out based on peoples hourly rate and how long they spend on exchange tasks. Their expertise affects the rate and we presume, the higher the rate, the quicker/more efficiently they do things. If you take unpaid leave, your salary will be docked based on that hourly calculation. Perhaps the experties/labour is like space and time, so inextricably linked it's impossible to deal with them separately.

  12. #56


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardinho View Post
    Yes, but where does it end? The open ended approach is going to ultimately not be economical for so many customers.
    A good consultant should maximise the value a client gets from their time without cutting their own throat in the process. If someone want's to run a monster PC with RAID etc and they don't know how to do that, then why should they expect someone who does know, to supply the expertise and labour on the cheap.

  13. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    A good consultant should maximise the value a client gets from their time without cutting their own throat in the process. If someone want's to run a monster PC with RAID etc and they don't know how to do that, then why should they expect someone who does know, to supply the expertise and labour on the cheap.
    So how would you approach the analogy of the £50 word processing PC?

    Who said anything about cutting their own throat? As I've already stated, I'd be charging £250 for this, which is a comparable daily rate to Teachers and other professionals.

    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Not necessarily. If the job was on a customer site, I'd charge 'callout' to cover the need for multiple trips to the site. That said, I've done jobs where that wasn't possible and where the customer has been paying £180 an hour, essentially for me to watch a little hourglass spin round while my programs ran.
    I'd feel pretty mean about doing this to an individual. Less so to a business.

    We all have our own way of working. One point I do agree with is not undervaluing ourselves. Thankfully I'm in a position where I'm not desperate for the money, so I can pick and choose private work. I'll often quote high so it is less likely that I'd get the work. Fixing home PCs is often just not worth the hassle.
    Last edited by Gardinho; 15th August 2014 at 10:30 AM.

  14. #58

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    This is still nearly all moot without the context from the OP. For all we know his friend could have just wanted a 6 pack of Stella and a meal at the local Harvester.

  15. 3 Thanks to synaesthesia:

    Arreks (15th August 2014), Gardinho (15th August 2014), Sunnyknight (15th August 2014)

  16. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    This is still nearly all moot without the context from the OP. For all we know his friend could have just wanted a 6 pack of Stella and a meal at the local Harvester.
    I doubt it somewhat, haha.

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    £50 an hour is my standard rate for anything I do, plus travelling expenses at £0.45p per mile.

    Picking up on some of the points people have discussed above, I think people greatly under-value their time and their skills in this industry and people (clients) expect something for nothing. It's a bit like musicians that get a hard time about charging £200 for a couple of hours performance, it's easy to forget that you're paying for much more than just their time. I charge that rate based on my skill set and accumulated knowledge of the last 11 years of doing this job in a professional capacity, it's a professional rate and if you want me that's what you pay. I do make exceptions for close friends and family of course, that goes without saying, but I do still charge people and I invoice showing a discounted rate.

    I know it seems a bit harsh, but I urge you to value your time and your skills or people generally start to take the piss and you end up spending all your free time doing things on the cheap for other people - just look at the fees places like PC-world charge for the most simple of jobs and people do pay them.

    Mike.
    Last edited by maniac; 15th August 2014 at 12:54 PM.

  18. 2 Thanks to maniac:

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