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Re: Billng per finished minute

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Patrick Ortman
Re: Billng per finished minute
on Aug 16, 2010 at 7:28:58 pm

I agree, and it's tough when clients have been trained on a "per minute" basis. I think it's easier to estimate on a per minute basis when you have a very straightforward project (talking heads, interview footage, and some b-roll), but once you step into a more vague (creative?) world, my experience is you get beat up on the per minute rate. What's worse is clients- even the best- almost always need changes. A per minute of finished work rate kills you, then.

We moved away from quoting that way over the past two years. We lost one existing client (who really was bleeding us dry, so good riddance) and probably a few other opportunities because of that decision. But, all for the best. Now we estimate like Mark suggests: per-hour, with a detailed description. Sometimes we'll give a per-project estimate but we make it very clear exactly what's included in that estimate (number of revisions, etc).

Another thing a lot of guys starting out forget to factor in: overhead. Yes, you may own your edit bay and software, but you're supposed to look at that equipment as an investment that pays for itself, otherwise you may find yourself unable to pay for the future upgrades you'll need. Either build this into your main hourly rate or make sure you have line items for equipment rentals and overhead/admin. I learned this the hard way many years ago.

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