Freelancing – Project Price, Time Estimate

Newbies in freelancing will break their head for Project Price and Time Estimate for project. Of course, pricing and time estimate is one of the deciding factors in winning the project bid. How to quote correct price and time estimate in freelancing? Is there any logic or easy solution for price and time estimate?

Time Estimate:
There is no standard time estimate for any software projects. It is the programmer who asses the time as per his experience, skill set and pursue the client by convincing why he require such time. The more experience , skills, and confidence level the programmer has, will require less time at higher cost.

Follow your experience and instinct in estimating time. If you have already done projects which are similar to the requirement, time estimate will be easy for you. You can replicate the same time here. If the requirement is new to you, use function point analysis or use case analysis.

Honestly, what is right to you mention it. Never think if you commit for short duration, you will get the project in freelancing. Even if you mention long duration to complete the project, there is no rule that you will loose the project. All you have to do is give proper reasons for the time you required. Why do you require such time. Justify your stand. Break up the overall duration into simple units will be easy for the client to assess you.

If the client pressures you for short duration, never agree or skip the project. Finishing the project earlier than the agreed duration will earn you good feedback rather agree to short time and complete the project in extraaaa time. Your reviews/rating are important in long run.

Use your experience or use case model approach to estimate time. Be true to yourself and educate your client why you need such time duration to get the project done.

Project Pricing
Do not think if you quote lower than other bidders, you will win the project. Do non think if you quote higher than all the bidders, you will loose the project.

You need to finalize what is your rate per hour. Depending the experience, skill set, location, working time, you can fix your cost per hour. For a beginner $5 per hour or less is best deal. The more reviews you have, you can increase the per hour rate to $10 or $15 or more.

Multiply your per hour rate with the time estimate. Without any inferiority complex as whether you are worthy of such price or etc. quote the price.

Price Negotiations:
If you are dear need of project/income, you can negotiate your price upto fifty percent. Instead of doing nothing do something atleast get under paid.

If you are busy with project(s), you have sufficient bank balance and regular clients, never negotiate the price.

At any point of time never negotiate the time you estimated. You will be in stress if you negotiate project duration. Moreover even you reduce the cost for winning a project without reducing the time, you can manage the loss by getting other small projects in buffer time. You can work in two projects – one big project and one small cum easy project. Such way you can meet your cost, reduce at one place and gain at other place. By any means, keep the ball rolling.

Same task can be done at different timings and pricing depending upon the programmer’s expertise. For example: WordPresstheme customization: This can be done within 15 hour by an Joomla expert. The same can be done around 1 week or more by a Joomla learner. Both can complete the task in their respective duration. Both have their own costing difference.

Client will choose bidder as per his budget and urgency to get the job done. If he needs Joomla them customization to be done within 2 days he will choose the expert irrespective of the price. If he does not worry about the duration (let it takes 1 week or more to get the job done), but his concern is price, he will choose newbie at lower price.

Both expert and newbie have equal chance in winning the bid, depending upon client’s situation and how truthful are they to them self.

Do not avoid projects(?) whose cost is very low. I won a project, its cost was $5. It was a complex bug fix in javascript. The client was from UK. When I fixed the bug, my client released the payment, I received around $3 after deducting commission. I was not fed up. The client contacted me again directly and asking me to fix other bugs. Slowly the relationship developed. Later my client did not post projects in bidding site or forums. She contacted me directly over to my email or chat. She paid me directly, so no commission deduction. Later on, I billed her around $300 to $400 per month. The business lasted for a year. Later when I moved to higher salary, I handed over my client to my friend who was a newbie in freelancing and struggling to get a project outsourced.

Some clients want to test the skill and reliability of the freelancer. So they come up with simple budget. Do not ignore them. It is like an ice berg. You may be seeing the tip of the ice berg.

As a freelancer, you should be aware of your skills, quote according to it. Never fake the client. If you fake, you may win the project, but you may not get paid. Never never never fake your client.

Outsourcing and freelancing succeeds across the continents when reliability and relationship established, not because of price or time estimate alone.