12-17-2001, 04:38 PM
How much should I charge for writing a custom program for a company?
Basically it's a timekeeper program that will track the hours people work. They log in and do their times. There would also be printable reports, and an admin mode to edit the records. The contents would be saved to an encrypted .ini file.
So...what do you think a program like that would be worth to a company?
Plus...would it be best to be paid hourly, or in a Lump Sum?
My regular pay with the company is only $8.00 an hour...and about 10-15 hours a week. If I programmed it per hour then I could be at the office to test it and get input, etc....but if I get paid by lump sum, then I can do the work at home and in my spare time....
What do you think I should do??? And how much should I charge?
12-17-2001, 05:54 PM
Don't concern yourself too much with the money. In the current IT job market, be happy you have a client at all - and make sure they want to get you back!
While you are in the design stage, look out for opportunities to plan enhancements for the future (plan them without actually building them in!) After they're happy with version 1.0, you can sing the virtues of version 1.1!...
Do a really solid job based on their requirements, add a few bell/whistles for effect and keep the initial costs down.
Nobody likes the sound of a "lump sum" - it's bad for their ears and can be bad for your pocket, especially if you haven't done many of these "jobs". Find your market value and charge them that. Be honest, it'll pay off!!
12-17-2001, 06:06 PM
One other consideration, and this really has a lot to do with how you are
paid. Do you plan on keeping any or all of the rights to the product. Doing
it hourly almost guarantees that you have no rights. As a contracted
amount, you still might have no rights, or you could include those rights as
part of a contract.
12-17-2001, 08:29 PM
Well...in 6 months I'm moving out of the country....so getting me back could be a problem. ;) Although with the internet....distance doesn't have to be a barrier.
Anyway....thanks for your posts, but it doesn't really help me much. What do you think I should do. I've never created programs for pay before, and don't feel that I'm a great programmer.
Think I should volunteer for this project??? And maybe work on it at work in my spare time at home and work?
12-18-2001, 01:28 AM
One thing that could be dangerous is doing it for a lump sum
as apposed to hourly. The demands never stop coming. I
have a couple of friends that went that route and they ended
up averaging maybe $5.00/hr.(mind you the clients were very
picky). By the same token the client has to really trust you to
not over charge the hours.
I work on an hourly basis only.
12-18-2001, 02:57 AM
The trick to working for a lump sum is to agree the feature set very tightly before you start and then get it written into a contract (or least a co-signed agreement). That way you can have a non-moving target. Once that is achieved you can charge for any upgrades they want.
The other thing is to try to get half the total amount up front. That way, if they do start causing problems over payment then you are not left out in the cold financially.
Also if you are supplying a hardware/software product then you should always get full payment for the hardware (either as part of your initial deposit or as a separate item) so that if they scrap the purchase then you are not left holding hardware that is devalueing by the second.
12-18-2001, 04:53 AM
$50 / hr would be a low minimum for something like this.
12-18-2001, 06:17 AM
where I work now, i get paid per hour, they had a little project so they gave me a 10$/hour, once the little project was complete, in time (realy important), they suddently had more and more project to do so then i told them that i was done working for 10$/hour, i now have 16.50$/hour. i consider this salary ok since i'm still a begginner, i only have 9 mounths of experience besides college.
now i have another project on side line that i'm planning to sell. this one i don't want to be too expensive because it could reach a lot of clients and i don't want the price to be a barrier. i'm planning approximitly 2000$, the other similar applications where around 1500-3500$ but with half the features.
to go with the others, i would say do it per hour but get a raise even if you only have 6 moounths left working there or if you think this application could be sold to other people then price it as a lump sum but don't expect the amount to be too big but on a bigger run you'll make money on it.
hope this helps
12-18-2001, 09:44 AM
For what it's worth. We bill custom software at $95-$165/hr. Depending on the complexity and the customer. (Repeat customers usually get a better rate).
And they're glad to pay it.
And writing custom software is not the same thing as working as a programmer for some company at an agreed upon hourly rate.
Also, how does one live on $8/hr?