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Print pricing advice please

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by Bmap, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. Bmap

    Bmap New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I really struggle with pricing, I want to provide value for my clients but I also work hard on my projects and consequently spend a long time on things.

    I've done lots of reading regarding pricing and there's a few articles out there but it still seems like a bit of a dark art. I do have an hourly rate, sometimes, for the amount of time things take this either seems too much or too little. What I try to do is use the hourly rate as a baseline and then nudge it towards what I think the job is worth or what the client is expecting to pay.

    I am being told (a lot) that my pricing is too low, even by my clients so I'd like some help from you guys to steer me on to the right path.

    For example here are some drinks menus:

    Apologies for the links, the uploader crashes my browser and when I try to link the images I'm told they're too large.
    Please have a look though, they should be single clicks straight to the images.

    I really would welcome any advice on costing this job, needless to say it took some time to the assests and compose the jobs. What I'm looking for is something reasonable for the client but doesn't sell me short.

    Many thanks in advance!

  2. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    What are you charging for those designs and how long does it take you? Do you also handle the printing as well as the design/artworking?

    The easiest answer to give is to quote an estimate/fixed price based on your hourly rate x average time on a job + extra time for client feedback. You know how long it takes so you should be able to give an idea of cost. Your hourly rate should be a figure you've worked out that takes into account your monthly expenses, business expenses, etc. You're running a business and you need to be able to earn enough profit to take home a wage after all that work.

    You'll lose clients because your rates are too high, and you'll take the odd low-blow when you undersell yourself, but that's a learning process. Use that experience to price accordingly. Don't forget it's not just time you're charging for, it's expertise and experience too.

    Another option is to work within a client's budget. If they come to you with a budget and you can produce something in that time (based on the previous calculation) then do it. You may have to cut some corners or not spend as long on a design but that's the way it is.
    Stationery Direct likes this.
  3. Bmap

    Bmap New Member

    Thanks, yeah I hear you about asking for a budget but I find people aren't keen to show their hand in that regard.

    I guess what I'm asking for is help setting the compass. For example if you were to deliver the three jobs above to a client, how much would you think they'd be expecting to pay?

    I'm interested to see what figures people come to and how closely that aligns with the figures I've settled on. :)
  4. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    I know what you're asking but I can't really give a price for the above because I'm only seeing your final outcomes at face value. Without seeing some sort of brief or having an idea of the client's budget, I can't quote for it. It could take me half a day, or it could take half a week, it depends on the client feedback and their budget.

    Knowing the budget gives you a cut-off point which allows you to say to the client, "We have X hours time left, make a f*cking decision already" or something of that nature.

    To give you some idea of cost, I charge £25 hourly/£200 daily, which is about average for a designer of my level, and is based on what I need to earn to live comfortably. It also takes into account slow periods/late payments. If I only have a week's worth of work in a single month, then at least I know that I'll have enough to cover my living expenses for that month.

    I tend to focus on web, interface and UX design though, which I charge daily/weekly for. Taking on a job like this probably wouldn't be worth my time, but if a potential client came to me with a request for a menu design, that's what I'd quote – £25 an hour, or £200 a day. I don't drop my rates because A) I don't need to, B) I can't afford to, and C) why should I?

    The important thing is to charge what you need to live. If clients are saying you're too cheap, then up your hourly rate a little at a time, but if you can live on what you're earning, there's no real hurry, though you should price according to the market and your needs.
  5. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

  6. Bmap

    Bmap New Member

    I'm pretty similar to you, I aim for £30/h. Like you said if you have a bad month you cover the basic expenses and anything above that is a bonus.

    Thing is, from the few sites I've found brave enough to post their prices the three jobs above would come out between £350-500 which seems like a lot to me. Is £250 too little?
  7. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    It's not about what it costs, it's about the value of what you do. How much money will these bars make in a single busy night from all the punters looking at these menus and ordering the drinks that you've made easy to read and understand? One bar sells champagne at £350 a bottle, so they can afford to pay a decent rate!

    If you're charging £30 an hour and it takes you 10 – 15 hours to do a menu, then that's what you should charge. If it's too much the client will go elsewhere (and likely save you a lot of hassle). If they want what you can provide then they'll cough up. Stick to your guns, you'll be better off in the long-run for it. I've NEVER thought to myself "man, I really wish I'd dropped my rates to get that client" because cheap budgets indicate cheap clients.

    Charge what you need to and you'll find your client list will fill with work and people that are of a much better quality.

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