$100 to $120 Per Hour
Billing is based on an hourly rate of $120. The non-commercial rate is $100 per hour for projects that are not income producing. The billing structure described below has remained roughly the same for over 20 years. In the 1990s the rate was $150 per hour before applying discounts.
Customers qualify for discounts when they meet certain criteria. For example, a retired senior citizen living on social security wanting a website for a local quilting or gardening club will not pay $100 per hour. They may be asked to pay whatever they can afford, or a site will be built based on the budget available.
There are occasionally seasonal discounts or specials as well as one-time discounts for certain circumstances.
To ensure my bills get paid and operating expenses are covered, a limited number of discounted billable hours are available per month.
Discounts and Billing Considerations
Here are some additional details and considerations regarding billing:
- BILLING INCREMENTS. Most work is completed and billed in small increments, with cumulative invoices sent out monthly, quarterly, or coinciding with the completion of a large project. The smallest increment of billing is six minutes.
- LONG-TERM CUSTOMERS. Those who have been customers for 5, 10, 20 or more years, and bring in many referrals, receive a special appreciation discount.
- NON-PROFITS. Organizations serving the public interest may qualify for discounted rates or volunteered support. There is a budgeted monthly allocation of donated time and resources.
- RETAINER. Keeping track of many impromptu small support needs would be difficult. A retainer helps estimate and budget for an expected amount of support time. In this way, small support needs that fit within that time don’t need to be itemized on the bill. Short phone calls, emails, or questions by text message can get handled. The retainer helps cover the cost. The support provider maintains a moving block of time each week or month, available to a particular client. This ensures that there will be time to do work that may arise. Each month the block of time resets. Adjustments can be made if it seems more or less reserved time is needed.
- TIME TRACKING. All time spent delivering services is tracked and billed.
- Time spent in meetings, on phone calls, communicating by text messages, exchanging emails, as well as time spent accomplishing necessary work is documented and billed.
- Travel time is also billed. So, a one-hour round-trip drive to a ten-minute meeting will be billed as one hour and ten minutes. If instead the ten-minute meeting is over the phone, the customer will be billed for ten minutes.
- If there are multiple meetings to discuss a project that ultimately takes one hour to accomplish. The customer will be billed for the total cumulative time of all the meetings and the work time required to complete the project.
- SPECIAL NEEDS. Some customers may have physical, mental, or cognitive challenges. They will pay a discounted rate commensurate to their circumstances and budget. In some cases they will not be charged, and may even receive equipment and services without cost to them. This is obviously a popular and appreciated accommodation, and is limited to a certain number of people or hours per month.
- TRAVEL TIME. As mentioned above, when travel is required, the time is billed out at the normal hourly rate. For this reason, support by phone or other remote options is recommended to save time and money.
- VOLUME DISCOUNTS. Larger projects qualify for volume discounts. This is because big projects generally require less administrative overhead. Ten hours of work for one customer involves less effort than one hour of work for 10 customers: ten on-site trips, ten scheduled appointments, ten phone calls, and sending out ten bills. Large projects can be done without interruption several hours or more at a stretch. It is efficient for the support provider and the customer.