My name is Gordon. I have been visiting sitepoint website for many years. I recently graduated from Full Sail University’s Web Design and Development program and decided to join the forum.
I recently acquired a project in which the client has not submitted a budget, but would like to have an estimate on hours for cost.
Basically it is a website that will be used for property management for individuals that own hotels, rooms etc. in Israel. The just is, the client wants a site that has a dashboard and allows for updating adding and deleting properties, along with many, many other user interface options.
Below are documents received from the client. I would like to know what others would charge for a project of this size. All help will be highly appreciated.
Sorry, I’m not sure about what you’re asking… do you need to estimate how many hours will the project take? or how much you should charge?
Because your invoicing should not be based on the number of hours but in the value your provide (that means the number the hours (=cash) they’re saving with an automated system, and how much they plan to earn)
Also, it is different if they’d be selling licenses for hotel and/or rental aparment owners (meaning that each hotel will have their own copy of the software) or if it will be a management system which will centralize services and offers.
The complexity in the second case is much higher by far.
I dont see any problem charging by hours, especially when dealing with any project with broad scope that can be constantly change. It’s an old argument on these forums, value pricing vs fixed project cost vs hourly billing, but IMO there’s no correct answer, so go with what you feel comfortable with. If you’re just starting out, hourly is the simplest, less risky option. Value pricing is incredibly hard to pull off, especially when you have equally competent competitors willing to just charge hourly.
I doubt anyone will be able to come up with an ‘hours’ estimate for you TBH, there’s not enough info there and we all work differently. Have you spoken to this client? What info do you feel you need in order to provide that estimate? Try to identify that and get on the phone to them and discuss it. IMO, you need to try to get some idea of budget as well - it’s hard, and often requires you to pull out a very vague, wide ranging estimate, but it’s going to let you know if you’re dealing with a dreamer. It wouldn’t hurt to find out how many other vendors they are speaking to (i.e. are you competing with ‘like-for-likes’, what are your odds of winning when bidding against 30 others etc), and other potential 'show stopper’s like projected launch date, any specific technology requirements for the site, whether they are able to pay you in the way you wish to be paid (deposit, monthly payments, milestone payments, etc) and so on. If you can, find out what’s most important to them - is it low cost, site functionality, ongoing support, etc?
I appreciate the answers and knowledge. My brother and I actually already have the account; he was hired as their designer. They do not have a developer and he is bringing me into the loop.
I guess to simplify things I will ask, if someone dropped these two documents on your desk what would your minimum fixed price be. I would just like a basic starting point. And then I ill try to move on from there.