Need some Freelance Invoicing Advice

Hey guys,

Been running my freelance business full time since January. Getting enough work but struggling with Invoicing/Quoting and charging my clients. At the moment most work I do is on consignment ($60 per hour) unless it’s an agreed website package. This is resulting in me earning an average of $300 per week and just paying my bills with has put a little bit of financial stress on me this year. With that said I do have enough work to charge more but I’m not doing it the right way. If my competitors can afford to rent office space and employ people and I can only just pay the rent I must be doing something wrong.

With that said I do have a big client who has given me a “to-do” list to roll out 12x OpenCart Multistores across the world.

We started on a hourly rate agreement and I have probably charged them for about 20 hours so far. What I’m finding though is it’s taking far too long to get through the to-do list. I have about 3-4 project timers running now and it’s getting into the hundreds of dollars owing on each project. My motivation has dropped a little as I don’t have any milestone payments set up and I’m kinda scared of sending them a large bill.

This business has 3x OpenCart Single Stores which currently syncs automatically with their Shipping/Accounting Cloud Platform. However last week when we set up their first multistore we found out that it wouldn’t sync with the Cloud Platform Last week I spent 5 days liaising with a Import Export Extension Developer in France and with some modifications to the extension I was able to work out how to put 9x CRONS together to export the orders to a substore. After 100 emails back and forth with the developer I managed to get everything running nicely. I have easily spent an estimated 25 hours on the project but didn’t have the timer running during the discovery and testing phase so now I’m not sure what to charge the client. Once this automatic feature is up and running on all 12 websites there won’t be much use for me anymore. Should I be sending a big bill at the end of each automated store or just one big bill at the end?


I would definitely split up the payments. For project-based jobs I invoice for a one-third deposit, one-third half-way through and one-third at the end just before delivery of the product. For time-based jobs with my hourly rate, I invoice on a monthly basis. By the way, I never charge hourly rates for a project - it restricts my work with the worry about how many hours it is taking.

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Hi WebMachine

I prefer this method as well but lately I’m finding more clients want the hourly rate. Not my preferred method for obvious reasons.

Then I would bill them for work done in regular time intervals. Don’t wait until the project is finished and then surprise them with a larger than expected invoice at the end.

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