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JacquiPryor
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Hi Ainslee

That does sound interesting! Per hour or project is tricky, and is an issue I think a lot of service providers face irrespective of their field. I know I have faced it – and still do a number of years after starting my own biz. I’m in a legal space where consumers/clients are historically used to seeing a per minute pricing but the industry as a whole is starting to shift to ‘fixed fees’ so finding that balance can be tricky.

You mention time involvement will differ based on size of business etc. Are you in a position to guestimate time for small business v medium business v large business? (My thought here is perhaps a package of sorts based on size?)

If not, depending on what you see your involvement and role being – can you have a base project price of some form? for example “$2000 includes X, Y, Z” and set the scope out that will be included in that price and any further will attract $X p/hr fee (e.g. the follow ups/check ups etc)?

Keep in mind, after a few clients and projects you will have a clearer idea of time involved so initially it can be a bit hit and miss. Some projects you quote for you might spend more time but others less so it kind of balances out. Once you have that idea of time involvement it does become easier to say that you charge X amount per hour and ‘typically’ you would expect to spend X time on the project, and provide a bit of a range. I do this with some aspects in my business because the time does vary. I might have a typical 6-8 hour range but disclaim to clients that is subject to certain things. I then check in with the client if we’re nearing the top end of that range to see how they want to proceed from there. For some services I have a capped amount (for example, certain drafting of documents and things for me could see 15 hours work, but at the hourly rate that’s not viable for a small business so it gets capped at a fixed price for that task/project) so the client knows that irrespective of time the bill won’t be any more than that.

I’m not familiar with your field but I do hope this helps on some level as another service provider that battles with the per hour versus per project often – and, if nothing else just that it does balance out generally! Some you might lose a few $$ if you chose a project based fee instead of hourly but others you do win a few $$ in my experience.

All the best :)