of course. Let’s all smooth our feathers.
>BTW @traq, I don’t disagree with anything you wrote!
I think we’re all agreeing with each other a little more than we realize.
>There are a lot of motivating factors to go freelance, making a lot of money should not be one of them.
>In this context however I think it was appropriate _[…]_ it will primarily be motivated by the financial side.
Having the capability to “pull it off” and make money is definitely a critical consideration. Just not the _only_ consideration, and, IMO, not a sole deciding factor.
There is one legal aspect of the freelancer/contractor area that is very important however: copyright.
If you’re working as what is legally defined as a “contractor”, which would usually (but not always – hence the overlap/gray area) be onsite at the company’s premises, then copyright of everything you produce would usually be deemed to be owned by the company you’re contracting to. And this would usually include the situation where you contract through an agency to a company, as both your agreement with the agency and their’s with the company will usually stipulate this. Though even without that stipulated in writing, if a court deems you to have been working as a contractor, then they will deem copyright as being owned by the company you’re working for.
Whereas a freelancer – _under the legal definition_ – would usually retain copyright, _unless_ they have specifically transferred copyright to the client in a written agreement of some kind.
Now the above does include a lot of overlap as mentioned, and a freelancer may indeed contract to companies/agencies from time to time, so there’s no binding status that you “must” work in all the time, but you can see how it would be important to know what working legal status you’re in.
The reason I wrote was because I am at a crossroads.
For the last nine years, I have had my own software business. It trended upward each year for the first 6 and the last 3 has trended downward. The trend downward is a natural part of any organism and I am trying to reinvent/self-cannabilize my business. It is a potentially long process and I was thinking lately about other means of making money as I continue coding for the future of my business.
But with each new day, I have been entertaining different job paths…do I go back to corporate? Go back to consulting (what I did 9 years ago)? Both of those mean that I am away from my family (wife and two kids (6 and 4)) and back in the corporate world…no violins should be playing for this choice…it is a great way to make a living, but I prefer the ‘freedom’ of having my own business.
Or…do I try to do websites? Does creating websites as a freelancer (one in which you have to get your own customers and bill them accordingly or I guess working with a firm that sub-contracts to you)…would that work for me? I developed static websites for my business and then one ASP.Net one and now I just did my first WordPress site, but it took a lot of time. It tried my best to do everything ‘right’. But after doing it (which I did pro-bono for our church’s preschool, win-win, they have a nice new site and I learned about WordPress and php in the process), I was wondering, how much would a company charge for this? How much would a freelancer charge for this? It had about 8 unique information pages and then the blog and calendar with some custom stuff thrown in…but I do not know how much a person would charge for it.
I hope this question is in good taste…
**How much could I have charge for this?**: [www.stmatthews-school.org](http://stmatthews-school.org) There is a lot of underlying things that are ‘behind-the-scenes’ understandably like newsletters and Groups management. Excuse me if this is in bad taste or broaches etiquette for this forum.
One website for a church that I saw, the church contact said it cost them $4,000 in Minnesota and then $100 / hour for maintenance. The site was real nice. I was thinking if it took me a 4-5 months to make the website and I got $4,000, that is good but I do not think I could support my family. It would take a lot of time (for me) for the income. So I am trying to wrap my head around, what people charge and to see if I can create websites fast enough. Maybe others out there have developed their freelance business where they can create 8 websites/year at a cost of $7,000 per website. Others maybe more, others maybe less. The information I am looking for is too personal I believe. I do not want anyone to share their prices (unless those prices are public knowledge).
So information about…
**How long it takes you on average to deliver a website?**
…is of interest. With the understanding that websites requirements vary greatly.
**How many websites do you need to do per year on average to live ‘comfortably’?**
The loose word ‘comfortably’ can be interpreted to be a nice average U.S. middle class income….just to have a firm number, let’s day $40,000 to $50,000. With the hope that one could make $100,000 if you get in a groove and have the appropriate skills.
I appreciate everyone’s thoughts on this greatly.
I will make a decision for me that is best, but your feedback is very helpful in me making that decision.
Only you can work out what you need to charge, as your circumstances are completely unique to you. Plus, if we start talking actual prices here, then (as a US based site) you start running into legality issues.
So, your question is actually _”How do I work out what I should charge?”_
And the best place to start I believe is http://freelanceswitch.com/rates/.
You may have other factors that you want to take into consideration for your own situation, but this should give you a decent guide or head start at least to all the factors that should go into working out your rates. Then once you work out your rate, next step is the imperfect art of estimating how long a project is going to take. It would be great if we could all simply bill on an hourly basis, but majority of prospects want to know a final figure, so basically you need to work out each task/element required for a project, and assign a time to each of them. Obviously add a little room to move here.
As with any part of business, over time you should get better and better at estimating project times, though even after 15 years I still underestimate now and then. All part of continually learning. ;)
>How long it takes you on average to deliver a website?
Every single website I’ve ever done is different. I’ve worked on projects as short as 3 days, and as long as 18 months.
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