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Invoicing Web Dev

Discussion in 'Business & Tax Advice' started by drahcirwalsh, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. drahcirwalsh

    drahcirwalsh Newbie

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    I am in the process of starting a new web development firm, and I'll be sending out my first few invcs later this weekend. I was curious about the methods that some of you use to collect pymt for your web svcs.

    With my first company, when I was young, stupid, and horrendously underpaid I would charge one-off for my svcs. Half down and half upon completion. It probably goes without saying, but I just ended up with a lot of half-paid invcs. Then when I acquired a hardware repair firm we reorganized and devoted a person to managing invcs full time. We tightened the contracts, required a retainer, spent more on legal, and charged per hour, invcing monthly. We were still undercharging, but the money was in the bank. I sold out of that firm over the summer and I'm starting another web dev firm.

    As I'm now back to a one man operation (contracting all work out) I was considering using a new model, and I'm hoping to get some feedback. I closed on three projects this week, so now I'm building out the contracts. I intend to invc for 50% of the estimated project csts, and then bill every hour worked at 32.50, invcd biweekly. In essence, when everything is complete, I will have billed at 65/hour. I'm hoping that this will help mitigate risk.

    All clients have agreed to this without much question, and I think that it might be a decent way to mitigate loss if a client decides to drop the project. Most of my contractors are pd between 18-25/hour so I still have a little profit from the down pymt alone.

    Have any of you used a method like this before? What are your thoughts?

    Also, how should I handle project scope expansions later on? I was thinking of treating them as separate projects invcd in a similar way.

    And lastly, what is your average monthly service charge for SEO and site maintenance?

    Thanks for any feedback!

    (The auto moderation bot for new members is intense...)
     
  2. drahcirwalsh

    drahcirwalsh Newbie

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    Holy hell. It should not have taken me that long to get around filters for a well-intentioned post. Why could I not submit that for manual review?

    Sorry for all of the abbreviations.
     
  3. LostConnection

    LostConnection Senior Member

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    Manual review would just waste the time of moderators, and the automatic moderation for new guys is definitely worth it, even though still some spam gets through it every day. You'll understand why it's quite strict later if you decide to enjoy yourself here and hang on a little longer.

    As to the invoicing, I cannot really say from experience as I charge 100% upfront for everything I do (counting out the exceptions made for friends on the odd occasion), but skimming through your post it seems sensible enough. You won't sell the service by spending your own money, but the clients pay upfront for the contractors, and that is good. Takes the risks off your wallet.

    Good luck with this company mate.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. drahcirwalsh

    drahcirwalsh Newbie

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    I've also considered invoicing all up front, but I think that I'm being ballsy enough invoicing at $65.00 an hour as a 21 y.o. "freelancer". Once I've established this new business a little more, I might reconsider invoicing full projects.

    Thanks!
     
  5. LostConnection

    LostConnection Senior Member

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    No problem!

    And naturally, when you can say 'we know what we're doing, as we've been doing this for 287 years', you can triple your fee and make everybody pay upfront. It really is about knowing your customers and how much you dare to ask them for. I'd say you have a nice and realistic target, without selling yourself short.

    Good luck mate!
     
  6. takers

    takers Regular Member

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    When you say web development, are you talking about website building and programming or are you just offering SEO and site maintenance?
     
  7. drahcirwalsh

    drahcirwalsh Newbie

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    I should have explained that a little more: It's development, seo, and ongoing maintenance. So we'll be developing sites from the ground up, establishing blogs, revamping social media presence, producing social media marketing plans, and maintaining their site long-term. All content will be coming from us.