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  1. #1
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    Charging for Learning/Researching

    Do any of you charge your clients for time spent researching new applications and software to better their website, and also for the time spent learning the new program?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Design Your Site Team bronze trophy Erik J's Avatar
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    IMHO, that learning will gain next clients too and the cost should be seen as maintaining your tools.
    Happy ADD/ADHD with Asperger's

  3. #3
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Whatever you charge a client for should be addressed in your project agreement. If you need to research something in order to complete the project, you should provide your client with an estimate of the cost of that research. Never blindside your clients with extra charges if you want to keep them in your client list.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  4. #4
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    I had a situation where, before accepting a job, I told the client that part of the project was out of the scope of my skills, and that I would outsource it, and told them the cost. There's no harm in saying your comfort level - in fact, they'll probably appreciate knowing upfront that you're looking to the experts in certain areas.

  5. #5
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    In the past, I have told the client upfront that I would charge them half the normal fees as I learn the new program/application, because I felt that it benefits us both, especially benefitting me for the future.

    Thank you so much for the replies. I feel like I can trust information from these forums.

  6. #6
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBWDesigns View Post
    In the past, I have told the client upfront that I would charge them half the normal fees as I learn the new program/application, because I felt that it benefits us both, especially benefitting me for the future.

    Thank you so much for the replies. I feel like I can trust information from these forums.
    I think that's a good strategy for building client-provider relationships. I do something similar, depending on how well I like my client.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBWDesigns View Post
    In the past, I have told the client upfront that I would charge them half the normal fees as I learn the new program/application, because I felt that it benefits us both, especially benefitting me for the future.
    That's a really smart idea. It's honest, and rewarding for the client and you. I really like that idea. It shows that you care about their best interest, and acknowledge that learning, and being on the forefront is an important value to you.

  8. #8
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    I don't know about the suggestions above. I think I would approach from a slightly different angle.

    I would build in an "invisible" research levy that allows you to essentially bank money away for the time that you need to research. For example if you normally charge $60/hour, start charging $66 or $70/hour and put 10% of it away for research purposes.

    Improving/maintaining your skills shouldn't be something that you always need to do out of your own pocket. All projects require some level of research whether it is design or software research, or just a new CMS or framework that you are going to use. Make sure you pass on as much of this as you can. You are spending time on their project and if the client expects you to stay up to date with all the latest technology (which they will expect) then they should be contributing to your technical skill development.

    With regard to going 50/50 with the client. This approach won't cut the mustard when you are dealing with larger clients or run a company with a number of employees. It will just make you look unprofessional or worse the client will try to take advantage of the situation.

    I know each circumstance is different, but just a few extra things to think about with this matter.

    Cheers,
    Colin
    Colin Burns
    http://www.cmsadvantage.com
    Founder & CEO, cmsadvantage
    The premier CMS for Web & Graphic Designers


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