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4CreativeBusinessx14SeptemberOctober2011Slowincreasebacktowardspre-2009ratesbutnotashighyet.Sameworksmallerbudgetslowerfees.MoreoftenthannotIx19mbeingaskedtoreduceandorthrowinextrastoremaincompetitive.About2yearsagomyhourlyrateswentupbyabout30basedonexperienceandnichemarket.Buthaveremainedthesamesince.Somanyclientsarebuyingsoftwareandtrainingadmintododesignwork.Designisperceivedasacom-moditybasedonpriceWehavestreamlinedourprocessestobemoreefcient.Nowwearegoingtoincreaseourrates.Itookaphonecallyesterdayfromsomeonelookingtoreplacetheirpreviousdesigncontractor.Therate20hrHigherrevenuebecauseIincreasedmyrateandwentafterlargerclients.Toomanygradsofartmillcollegesdoinglowcostandsub-standardwork.JustyesterdayIwasaskedbyalong-timeclienttoreducemyhourlyrateforthemby25.Theglutoflow-pricedfree-lancershasbroughtdownthevalueofgooddesign.Ourrateshavestayedthesamebutwehavehadtoresorttogivingtimeawaytostaycompeti-tive.SELECTEDSURVEYCOMMENTS250500kinincomecontx19dAreclientsawareofyourrateIfawareisthisaproblemFIRMSWITHFEEINCOMEOF500kT01.5mAveragehourlybillingrate.Firmsbigenoughtohavepro-fessionalsalespersonscanmountamoreconsistentmarketingeffort.Inturnthisattractslargerbetter-budgetedclientsandper-mitshigherbillingrates.Clientsarealsolessinclinedtoquibbleoverpricingwhenitappearstobecarefullyprepared.AreclientsawareofyourrateIfawareisthisaproblemFIRMSWITHFEEINCOMEOF1.5mto2.5mAveragehourlybillingrate.Asfirmsgetbiggerexpensesriseoftendisproportionatelytoworkplacevolume.Thisnecessi-tatesadoptingmoreefficientesti-matingandproductionproce-duresandincreasingbillingrates.Fortunatelymorecomplexprojectsfromlargerclientsusual-lymakehigherpricingpossible.FIRMSWITHFEEINCOMEMORETHAN2.5mAveragehourlybillingrate.Uptoapointsizeclearlyhasanimpactonafirmx19saveragerates.Alargefirmcanchargemorebecauseprojectsaremorecomplexandclientsarebetterheeled.Butwhenincomeexceedsacouplemillionittypicallyhaslittleeffect.Ofnoteherehoweveristhefirsttime175anhourhasshownupasanaveragerate.AreclientsawareofyourrateIfawareisthisaproblem1.5mto2.5minincomecontx19dAreclientsawareofyourrateIfawareisthisaproblem21No19No39No38No82No84No88No81No79Yes81Yes61Yes10