Markup Tags vs. Price Tags

February 1st, 2011

Part of starting a new business is marketing and sales.  Up until recently, building websites and  programing were hobbies.  They didn’t demand time commitments or financial considerations.  I could start working on something because it seemed interesting.  I could offer to help a friend build something just for the fun of it.  In addition to family related sites ( I also built a site for a catering business among others.

Now, however, I’m faced with a whole new set of challenges that have nothing to do with programing, or even computers.  Sales and Marketing.  Specifically, how do I know how much something will cost me to produce?  How do I know how to convey that in a clear way to a client?  How am I evaluating my costs in relation to my competitors?

Up until now, I’ve just sort of guesstimated how much time something might take, and then pro-rated a price based on a rough figure of how much I need to be bringing in each month to stay afloat.  That works OK for informal relationships, but how do I create a real project price estimate?  How much detail does the client deserve, and how much privacy do I deserve?  Should I break the project down into tiny parts and estimate each one?  That would give the client a sense of what they are paying for, but what happens if I don’t stick with one section…

Any suggestions?

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