How do you formulate your pricing structure? Does it vary depending on the client or do you have a fixed policy? Also, how often do you resort to investing in additional work and/or design amendments that isn’t within the budget on a typical job?

05.12.2010 / Question submitted by: Graeme Stephenson

6 replies. Share yours.

Creative Process Discussion

Michael Stinson:

We usually formulate pricing by balancing both the amount of time it takes for us to finish a project, and the value of the final deliverable to the client. Pricing is based on the specific project scope, and the cost of additional work beyond that scope that is requested by the client is quoted before amendments are performed. We will invest in additional work if we think that the project really needs additional time in order for the design to really make a difference.





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  1. Kosta

    This can be very tricky.

    I have a set pricing structure that serves as a guideline to me when quoting on typical projects. Those prices are then combined with project-specific requirements and expected time frames for them. They can thus vary quite much, especially when it comes to research-related requirements, but are given to clients as fixed quotes that are result-based. So, additional deliverables add to the price, but unexpected time investment in making a design as good as possible doesn’t, similar to what Michael said.

    On a related note, there is an interesting article by Andy Rutledge from a few years ago, on what we actually charge for:

    http://www.andyrutledge.com/design-process.php

  2. eric|von|leckband

    I have struggled with this on many occasions. How do you determine the value from the client? Clients usual want to spend as little as possible. Any insight would help.

    Great topic!

  3. Ron Baker

    This is a hard topic to write about in a comment section. If you are interested in Value Pricing you have to price the customer, not the service. Since value is subjective, each customer is going to value your output differently.

    Start with the Scope of Value, and only then move to the Scope of Work (deliverables). Since customers are trying to maximize your value and minimize your price, engage in a conversation around what they want to maximize.

    Good pricers also offer options to their customers, not just one, take-it-or-leave-it price.

    For more information on transitioning to Value Pricing, see this summary blog post at http://www.verasage.com:

    http://www.verasage.com/index.php/community/comments/ask_verassage_all_about_t_a/

    Regards,
    Ron Baker, Founder
    VeraSage Institute
    http://www.verasage.com
    Twitter @ronaldbaker

  4. Steve Zelle

    Really terrific post Ron. There is a huge amount of information there for anyone examining pricing. A definite read:
    http://www.verasage.com/index.php/community/comments/ask_verassage_all_about_t_a/

  5. Peyton

    This can be very tricky.

    I have a set pricing structure that serves as a guideline to me when quoting on typical projects. Those prices are then combined with project-specific requirements and expected time frames for them. They can thus vary quite much, especially when it comes to research-related requirements, but are given to clients as fixed quotes that are result-based. So, additional deliverables add to the price, but unexpected time investment in making a design as good as possible doesn’t, similar to what Michael said.

    On a related note, there is an interesting article by Andy Rutledge from a few years ago, on what we actually charge for:

    http://www.andyrutledge.com/design-process.php



How do you formulate your pricing structure? Does it vary depending on the client or do you have a fixed policy? Also, how often do you resort to investing in additional work and/or design amendments that isn’t within the budget on a typical job?

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