Fw: offsite rates

Subject: Fw: offsite rates
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 14:50:57 -0400

I think the answer to this is...maybe. Lots of factors to consider.

>I would like to troll the masses to gauge how you set your rates. Do you
>have a higher or lower rate for offsite vs onsite rates?

I massed the trolls and asked them this question 8-)

If you already have equipment at home, it's costing you about the same
whether you're using it or not. So being on-site doesn't reduce your costs
except for travel, and hopefully you've factored that into your rate

If you're doing a lot of work, I'd say you shouldn't vary the rate by on- or
off-site considerations. The difference is too small. If, however, you're a
solo doing little work, then the opportunity to use somebody else's
equipment and not buy anything yourself is a major difference. Too, if you
deal mostly with very price-conscious clients, it might make a difference.
For us, our clients aren't so price-conscious. We charge a flat rate per
hour, negotiated up front. The hourly rests more on the number of hours we
anticipate, rather than on where they take place. We're not renting
equipment or selling our office supplies; we're renting the client our
experience and judgment, whether on- or off-site. Prospects who don't buy
that aren't our clients. But as I say, price-conscious clients might want to
trade some equipment use for a lower rate. The drawback to doing that is
that it's ultimately somebody else's hardware and software, not yours, so
you can't just jigger and test and optimize the way you might like to.

On a real job, it's not possible to just divide on and off-site charges
anyway. What do you do about those days spent gathering information on-site,
then writing at home?

>A colleague told me she charged $10 more per hour for onsite work,
>because it was very undesirable for her to work away from home. However,
>she also said that she's heard from other technical writers that they
>charge MORE for offsite work than onsite work because when offsite you
>use your own equipment, provide your own office supplies and other
>overhead costs, etc.
>I'd be more inclined to set a lower rate for offsite, because of the
>savings in food/clothing/travel time & cost, etc. and also the
>convenience of not rushing my son to daycare so I can get to the
>worksite on time.
>How about it? Also, if you do have different rates, what's the
>difference -- $5? $10? a percentage?

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