How To Charge For Your Services – A Guide For Developers

NOTE: This is the second in the series of our Developers Corner episode. If you missed the first episode, you can read it here.

For developers and business owners, both in and out of technology, pricing is a huge issue. This week on developer’s corner, we look at project pricing from different angles — as a company, as a startup and as a freelance designer/developer.

Pricing as a company

How do you come up with a good pricing that is neither too much nor too little as a company?

First, you need to understand the human and time resources the project will use. Estimate how long it will take your company to execute and how many people will be involved. Will it take one developer four weeks to build? Will it take the UX/UI (User Experience/User Interface) designer two weeks to complete? Make provisions for the back and forth delays between your team and the client. You need to also estimate the support the project will need after delivery, like staff training for the client’s staff.

Next, you need to know what other resources the project will make use of and how much they cost. How much is the fuel you will use for the estimated project duration? How much are you paying the developer and designer? How much are you paying the other people involved in the project execution, like the project manager.

Lastly, you should consider the project location. If the project is to be executed in a location that is different from your base location, you need to factor in your travel expenses (flight ticket, accommodation, etc.)

SEE ALSO: Who Is A Project Manager?

After checking all these, you should have a fair idea of how much the project running cost is and how much profit you want to add to your bill. The final charge should favour both your company and the client.

Pricing as a startup/freelance developer

The first thing to know is that you can’t be too rigid in your pricing. Prices are not fixed, they vary from client to client. To help out, last week, I went around to chat with some developers and designers to find out how they bill customers. Here is what some of them had to say:

According to Joseph Abah, a web developer:

Websites used to be charged on how many pages you want done, but now, you don’t know how many pages a website could be because of the dynamic content involved in web development, so no more page charging. As a PHP web developer, if you give me job and you request your project to be built with C++, I will charge you more because of the technology required.

Sometimes, pricing depends on the client or the job. The same job that could be done for a one-man business for N100,000, I may do for Dangote at N1 million. I build WordPress sites for N100,000 even if it’s going to be a welcome page, but if the site is for a high profile company, I am going to charge higher. If you charge less, you probably won’t get the job because you will look unserious.

Before charging on a project, you need to understand the concept, the cost and the timing of the project. These three things — timing, platform and client — will play a big role in the whole project.

SEE ALSO: Understanding The Business Side Of Geeks

Doyin Kazeem, a UI/UX Designer, says:

There are three things to consider when charging for design work:

  • Who the client is

  • How long the project is for

  • How much is required to deliver the project (This includes internet, electricity, etc)

For any freelance developer or designer, you have to be flexible for pricing because there are different clients with different cultures and you need to know how to adapt to their need.

A mobile developer, who only wanted to be identified as Sunday, says:

To bill for mobile application development, you need to understand:

  • Your client

  • The project’s technology requirement (if you are going to use the knowledge you have or acquire new knowledge to deliver the suitable application)

  • The project time (if it’s going to be a service that will take a lot of time, especially with support)

So, next time you are thinking of charging your client, these insights by people in similar situations could help you. Special thanks to the team at INITS Limited for taking time out to speak with me.


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