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>Do you have a higher or lower rate for offsite vs onsite rates?
No. I actually never considered it, though the reasons cited for
different rates for offsite vs. onsite work are good. For me, I'll
have the equipment and overhead costs of my offsite location even if
I'm onsite, so I charge the same. (I generally turn down full-time
onsite work anyway -- an extra $5 or $10 an hour wouldn't be enough to
coax me out.)
Re: The person who asked about finding out the going rates in your
area: I found out through STC meetings. I asked my competitors what
they charge. I also talked to my clients to see what others came in
with. In the process of subcontracting work, I've also found out what
people charge direct vs. what they charge as a subcontractor. You can
also join the STC Consultants and Independent Contractors SIG -- they
do an annual rate survey by region.
In case you're wondering, I've found that rates in this area
(Cleveland, OH) range from $20 to $60 an hour. Most people seem to be
working (and companies are willing to pay) about $35 to 45 an hour.
It might seem odd to ask competitors what their rates are, but in our
area, it's not exactly a cut-throat business. There's more work than
there are contractors, so I am often referring work or subcontracting
to my "competitors." Note that there's no price-fixing going on --
just making sure I'm in the ballpark! Ultimately, I set my rates based
on my costs, what the market will bear, and how much I want to make.
Barbara Philbrick, Caslon Services Inc.
Technical Writing. caslonsvcs -at- ibm -dot- net