Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Decatur, AL
    Posts
    53
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Development Fees (Access 2000)

    Hi everyone! I made a classic mistake and agreed to take on a development project for a business associate without first discussing my fees. I know, quite dumb, but they were in a big time crunch and I was anxious to help. As you can imagine I busted my you-know-what and delivered a product that they were absolutely tickled with. Since they are completely computer illiterate, they have no idea of the effort that was expended and, consequently, offered an insulting compensation amount.

    I have always taken on projects with a formally quoted lump-sum fee based on the complexity, schedule, etc and this has worked well for me. Obviously, there is an hourly rate for further enhancements, installation, and training.

    What I need is to show this "friend" what the going market value of custom software is. I know this is an awkward question, but I would appreciate fellow developers responding with their rates and the area of the country in which they work. Since this is an open forum, I obviously can't offer confidentiality, but this is the ONLY reason for my request.

    Thanks in advance to all.
    Kathi Mills

  2. #2
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Crystal Beach, FL, Florida, USA
    Posts
    3,436
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 34 Times in 34 Posts

    Re: Development Fees (Access 2000)

    Like you, I tend to like to work under a fixed-price contract so everyone knows up-front what it will cost. I never want to "surprise" a client with a larger bill than expected.

    It is hard to tell you what the market rate for custom software is, because it depends so much on the complexity of the application. How long did you work on the project? And what is the compensation offered to you when put on an hourly rate? Does the client not understand the amount of time you spent, or do they just not understand what going rate? Perhaps the client doesn't appreciate the entire development process (system design, coding, testing, installation, etc.)?
    Mark Liquorman
    See my website for Tips & Downloads and for my Liquorman Utilities.

  3. #3
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    190
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Development Fees (Access 2000)

    I agree with Mark. Depending on the complexity of the system you are developing for any given customer could determine your asking price. Now if you charge an hourly rate then it is easier to determine since a more complex system would take you a longer period of time. Now the only thing I can suggest for you to do is demonstrate the time you put into there system and make them understand it was a lot longer process than they may think.

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Newbury, Berkshire, England
    Posts
    712
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Development Fees (Access 2000)

    Pricing the development of a software package.

    There was a post on the Access L forum about this some time ago. I can

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    Posts
    16,775
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Development Fees (Access 2000)

    If I were you, I would forget trying to convice this "friend" that they should pay you more. Settle for a glowing letter of recommendation and a hard lesson.

    You might want to make it clear to them, though, that they got a special deal from you as a sort of introductory package and make sure they know how much money they saved. Of course, they *might* feel guilty enough to offer more, but I wouldn't count on it. Just make it clear that they wouldn't get it for that rate another time, because you don't want them telling their friends about this great, CHEAP developer!

    Personally, I learned the hard way not to do fixed rate projects. I never had a single one that I didn't lose money on because all the client remembers is the initial quote, never all the extras and add-ons he requested and got.
    Charlotte

  6. #6
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    1,862
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Development Fees (Access 2000)

    <hr>I never had a single one that I didn't lose money on because all the client remembers is the initial quote, never all the extras and add-ons he requested and got.<hr>
    This raises another question for experienced freelance developers. Do you recommend always getting a contract in writing that outlines all of the specifics - base price, add-on prices, etc. - before beginning work on a project?

    Also, can anyone share some independent consultant-related websites (such as how to write proposals, contracts, etc...)?

    Thanks in advance <img src=/S/bow.gif border=0 alt=bow width=15 height=15>

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    Posts
    16,775
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Development Fees (Access 2000)

    <hr>getting a contract in writing that outlines all of the specifics - base price, add-on prices, etc. - before beginning work on a project<hr>
    <img src=/S/rofl.gif border=0 alt=rofl width=15 height=15> Most of my clients haven't figured out what they want done even *after* the project is completed.

    If you can get all that, go for it. I have never been that lucky, but that is the nature of the kind of work I do and the kind of clients I work with. They think that since I'm the programmer, I should magically know what they want and need. Some of them get quite annoyed when I try to pin them down on enough details to even begin a design. A common cry is, "just make it work the way it does now", which ignores the fact that they don't currently have a functional application and that they hired me to do something else. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>

    I've learned to ask the right questions and to never believe the client when he tells me they'll never want to do it that way. Yeah, right. A month or so later, they'll suddenly require whatever they said would never be needed. Since I didn't believe them in the first place, it won't be a crisis because I designed for the contingency.
    Charlotte

  8. #8
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Evergreen, CO, USA
    Posts
    6,623
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 60 Times in 60 Posts

    Re: Development Fees (Access 2000)

    FWIW, we typically do projects on a "not to exceed" basis, and try to be fairly explicit in describing what it is we are going to do for a client. (We also try to be pretty conservative in terms of the effort it is likely to take.) Clients are really uncomfortable with an open-ended approach until you have worked with them for a while. So we usually say this is going to take N hours of development time, and our rate is $X per hour, so this is how much it is going to cost you. FYI, our going rate at the moment for Access development, which we publish on a rate schedule, is $95 an hour (in metro Denver) - we charge more for development in SQL Server and in other development areas. How well does this approach work? Probably one project in four we go over the not to exceed amount significantly, two in four come in fairly close, and one is under a fair bit, and we give the client the break on that.

    I also agree with Charlotte that the best you are likely to get out of this specific situation is a glowing recommendation from your "friend" that will hopefully persuade others to use you in the future.
    Wendell

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •