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 Message Boards » » IT Consulting - Rates, Contracts etc Page [1]  
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play so hard
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For those who do consult, what do you charge...and what kind of services do you provide?

Reason I'm asking is I got curious and called the Geeksquad, which admittedly overcharges the hell out of people, but for something they deem as a "quick-fix," it's either $200 or $250, can't remember which. They could be there for 10 minutes and that's the charge. But since I know they overcharge, I also called Intrex and their on-site rates aren't that much lower...something like a base charge of $100 (site says $80, but I'm pretty sure guy who answered the phone said $100) and then $90 per hour billed $45 at a time.

I just do general IT consulting, from break-fix stuff to training, basic network setups, some server setups, software/backup setups, remote access, whatever. Nothing too involved...don't do much AD stuff, or domain management, just home and small businesses (usually <10 employees). For that I normally bill $50-$60 per hour, with a minimum of 1.5 hours. Obviously the larger businesses have tons of overhead, so I wouldn't dream of charging what they do, but I'm still thinking it's kind of low. What do you all charge? Do you have a base charge + hourly like the businesses above, or do you charge straight hourly? Or if your (small business) employer uses an IT consultant, what do they pay?

Or if you have service contracts setup with your clients, feel free to talk about as much of that as you want/can. I'd like this to be a general discussion thread where we can talk about all things consulting...searched and didn't see anything for it.

2/13/2010 1:58:14 PM

Novicane
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i usually don't charge family/friends.

I do charge for websites though. I have shared hosting and i usually charge 100$ then 50$ a year. I'm not trying to make bank just enough to have my domains and stuff hosted for free

2/13/2010 2:57:34 PM

Noen
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When I did IT consulting I charged $125 an hour for non-retainer business clients, and usually 50 an hour for residential clients. Friends and family are free unless it was for business then I usually charged the 50/hr rate with a lot of leniency.

But I did everything possible to put all my business clients on retainer. Ranged from 500-3000 a month, but it makes life easier for everyone involved and keeps your cashflow consistent. Retainers are the goldmine of IT consulting.

2/13/2010 5:30:34 PM

Nighthawk
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I charge $25/hour for tech work, whether its at home or on-site. But I do it on my schedule, not bending over backwards to do it on weekends and shit like that.

2/13/2010 6:47:34 PM

kiljadn
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^^ you under-value your services



when I did it - I don't any longer, I absolutely refuse - I did $50-75 per hour depending on the scope of work.


Retainers are great too, as long as you don't box yourself in. The last place I worked had a contract negotiated out with their IT provider that kept them on retainer for $750 a month. At the time it was a 40+ person company with around 60-70 machines supported, and an average of about 10 user calls to support a day. That IT company got good-ol-boy'd into a bad retainer contract and ended up getting fucked (and as far as i know still are) in the end.


Long story short if you do go retainer, just make sure that you define a base scope (be it alloted hours or level of support for systems) that's covered by the initial fee, and that your clients know anything beyond that scope is per hour.

2/13/2010 8:19:12 PM

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play so hard
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bttt

2/23/2010 12:09:38 PM

par0d0xe
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im with noen, i do retainers from 300-1500 for fairly small businesses and such with $80/hr billed in 30 min increments. The retainer covers dollar to dollar on calls and anything over is billed at 80/hr. the businesses appreciate it because im quick to respond and i certainly appreciate when i end up getting free money.

Businesses outside of retainers id do $100 for first hour and then $60/hr (full hours only) from then on since most of the time its just one hour.

residential it varies wayyy to wildly, depends on referral or family or friends etc. Its normally free for friends/family, $40 if they bring the computer to me at work or such, and $100 for house calls.

2/23/2010 1:19:36 PM

robster
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50-60/hr for anything I do (web/iphone related) ... Cisco has me on a non compete, so unfortunately I cannot pimp myself out for networking related retainers on the side. Too bad too, cause with a CCIE, I could make bank ...

I dont really have the time to offer a retainer to someone and actually feel like I was available to them if they needed me anyhow.

2/23/2010 2:59:30 PM

krs3g
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150/hour for SEO/SEM.

75/hour for web design (I'm told this is roughly half of what some designers charge but it's something I started outsourcing ages ago.)

On-site training for groups up to 10 - $500 per 2 hour session.

2/24/2010 10:30:06 PM

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play so hard
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http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2010/05/how-to-raise-your-hourly-rate/

5/28/2010 10:00:46 AM

Novicane
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I would like to retract my previous post.

I am done doing websites for family and friends. It's turned into a nightmare that I'm pretty much going to finish out this last job and be done with it.

5/28/2010 11:37:04 AM

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play so hard
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Anybody still do this kind of work? I've got a small business at 440/Yonkers that needs some help.

9/27/2016 8:04:10 PM

afripino
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I'm pretty flexible... What you need? Feel free to PM

9/27/2016 9:22:17 PM

ncsubozo
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Not IT related, but I figured this thread was close enough...

I was the technical lead on a product that made it to an advanced demo before getting moth balled for various non-product reasons. I left that company about 2 years ago on good terms. They are going to restart the project and want me to come in as a consultant to get the project up and running again.

I don't know anything about consulting and don't have a desire to make it regular work. Quick google searches tend to focus on how to start/maintain a side business and not for a one time thing.

Any advice on how to handle this? Do you have to setup an official business or fill out any other legal paperwork or anything like that?

4/24/2017 2:34:57 PM

smoothcrim
Universal Magnetic!
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I'd absolutely setup an LLC (costs 1-200/yr in NC) and get business insurance (~$400/yr) and just build these costs into your rate. You'll be able to write a TON of stuff off your taxes over the year under the "tech" umbrella even if you only set out to work on this 1 project

[Edited on April 24, 2017 at 3:26 PM. Reason : .]

4/24/2017 3:23:36 PM

wwwebsurfer
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^ agreed. Any pass-through LLC is a solid choice.

Total initial investment to start one for me was in the $1000 neighborhood, but you can likely go much cheaper if you don't need business accounts for the bank or any suppliers. Just like moving into a new place a lot of places want a deposit or account minimum buys to unlock B2B discounts. For nothing but the original filing without a lawyer, maybe as low as $250.

Annual reports in NC are about $200 to retain your LLC.

Depending on what you do you may need a business or professional license for the county and/or city. Some professional services need to file a tax revenue report, even if it's zero.

Due to the headache all this potentially can cause I put start up cash in a new bank account, then run everything through that and into accounting software. If you file yourself or you pay a professional it's a million times easier to have it all laid out ready to go so you don't forget about those few dollars for odds and ends paper and pencils you needed.

tl;dr
Cheapest startup: ~$125 to secretary of state
NC Annual Report: ~$200 (due on tax day every year)

PO Box, domain, google email @ your domain: ~$200/yr

Accounting software: $100ish

Business price gouge come tax time: $100 software, $1000 CPA






For my rate I charge double my current day job hourly. Tax man takes ~30%, gas to site, materials, etc. I definitely don't like to work for less than my day job on any side gig.

5/3/2017 11:48:25 PM

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I'm super lazy these years...only do work for a handful of people that bring their stuff to me, and a little website stuff.

5/4/2017 10:48:40 AM

 Message Boards » Tech Talk » IT Consulting - Rates, Contracts etc Page [1]  
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