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Hi Kathy

I like your idea. I had something the same when I was trying to work out how I could start again as a soloist.

From my income calculations, I would only accept 6 clients. That basically gives each customer 7 hours a week (or close to your 25 hours a month) – yes I would work on Saturdays. 6 clients Mon-Sat.

I was asked by a potential client how that would work, and how many hours I’d provide to them on a weekly basis for that weekly “retainer”. Well, as a case study, I’ve done three hours for them this week (I’ll be charging an hourly rate) and that is purely because I am doing it after hours, so I have to wait till the next day until I get a reply on questions I’ve asked.

As it is, they’ve already gone over the weekly “retainer” cost I calculated simply by charging them an hourly rate. If they had chosen to go with my idea, they would have been charged less overall already.

I must say here though that this is a customer I’ve been working with since 2004 – it was an idea I ran past them to see if it would fly. As you can see, they weren’t keen on it. They preferred to pay the hourly rate, and I think that boils down to them having to pay the retainer upfront and not knowing exactly what they’re paying for.

An hourly rate is a nicer income, but their reluctance to go with the retainer option didn’t fill me with confidence to go out to the marketplace and try to sell it to others. Maybe given your example, I should try it.