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Roman55
flat rate
on Jun 26, 2007 at 2:18:25 am

Hi ,
I am new to motion graphic business. Used to work more with interactive and web stuff.
I need you advise here.
My client asked me give him a flat rate for 15 sec Motion Graphic Spot. Something like bumper or intro.
What should I charge him for that kind of things? I understand that all depends on complexity of content. I need just rough figures.
Minimum and maximum. Some numbers to start with.
Thanks a lot!

Roman


=Roman=


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David Roth Weiss
Re: flat rate
on Jun 26, 2007 at 3:15:16 am

Roman,

The question one is really asking when they request a flat rate on an open-ended creative job is, "what's your soul worth, cuz I'd like to pick it up for a bargain." However, since you are new to the business and your soul isn't worth quite as much now as it will be later in your career, charge them $1000.00 this time, but let them know that $125.00 per hour is your rate on all future jobs.

David

"No job is worth doing more than once..."

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Post-production Supervisor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles


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The Matt Hall
Re: flat rate
on Jun 26, 2007 at 1:53:42 pm

In my experience, flat rates are worth it for jobs that you think you can produce quickly, and wouldn't get paid to much for on an hourly basis. And also for jobs that have a DEFINITE completion date.

I'd suggest work with the client to create a timeframe for producing the piece (a day, a week, whatever), set a flat rate for that time, and then say that anything over that time will be billed hourly, on a rate you agree on before hand.

Determine what the flat rate should be by estimating the numbers of hours it will take and double it. Then show your client that number and give them a 15% "flat rate discount" on it.


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Tim Wilson
Re: flat rate
on Jun 26, 2007 at 2:47:56 pm

[The Matt Hall] "In my experience, flat rates are worth it for jobs that you think you can produce quickly, and wouldn't get paid to much for on an hourly basis. And also for jobs that have a DEFINITE completion date."

That's exactly what I did, and built a business on it.

I did a few hourly jobs to start so that I could find out how long things would generally take. I found people liked a project price because they could actually budget for it. But I set the ground rules, and in ten years, never had a dispute, and never felt that I got paid too little for a job.

In fact, I was able charge prices that I'd *never* have gotten away with on an hourly basis. I also used a high hourly rate to set a project rate that was indeed discounted from the hourly price I quoted. People looked at that as a bargain, and didn't think too hard about the math.

No question that it puts the burden on *you* to manage expectations and schedules, though. If you're up for it, do. It's always been my recommendation.

But when in doubt, and especially while you're establishing your footing, hourly's not bad either. I just found project pricing to be such an overwhelming success that I'm especially fond of it.

tw



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David Roth Weiss
Re: flat rate
on Jun 26, 2007 at 6:12:04 pm

Tim and I consistently have opposing thoughts about working on a flat -- I get angry just hearing about others working on a flat, while Tim embraces the concept wholeheartedly. Meanwhile, both of us managed to build and run businesses that lasted over time. Go figure...

Clearly, there are many ways to make things work in this business; the secret is finding a way that works best for you and then sticking with that plan so that clients and prospective clients know they can rely on you.

Clients don't really care what mathematical equasion you use to derive your invoice total, they just want to know that you can produce whatever they need without having to ride herd on you, and that your final numbers always jive fairly closely within the constraints of their estimated budget. If they don't know you, or if you haven't established a reputation yet, it can certainly help to be more definitive from the start. But, its a two way street; if you are going work on a flat, beware of any client proposing a completely open-ended job that could make you an indentured servant.

Over the long haul, the key really comes down to knowing your client's needs and consistently instilling confidence in them so that you become their goto person and ultimately the goto person in your market.





"No job is worth doing more than once..."

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Post-production Supervisor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles


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Tim Wilson
Re: flat rate
on Jun 26, 2007 at 7:34:57 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "I get angry just hearing about others working on a flat"

And here I've been crying so hard about hourly raters that my wife just gave me a bowl of ice cream and sent me to take my nap early.

;-)

David's right. Your *real* job is to make the client want to spend MORE money with you next time, and only with you. There are many ways to do that, no matter how collect the dough.

Best,
Tim


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Roman55
Re: flat rate
on Jun 27, 2007 at 2:08:56 pm

THANKS A LOT TO EVERYONE !


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GaryAlan
Re: flat rate
on Jul 14, 2007 at 3:35:05 am

I used to get jobs where I had to interview the president and ceo of Ford. I got in his office and out with quality work in twp hours that made him look good. He told me he liked it when I cam to his office to work becuase I was fast, sincere (not butt kissing) and he hated the other crews who came there and wasted two days playing hollywood with a big crew to do the same type of interview. I told him, Red Polling, that I knew his time was important and that I tried to just do what is needed to get it done right without trying to impress others in the room. It probably was that hourly director taking two days. I know it was. :-)

Gary


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Bruce Bennett in Madison, WI
Re: flat rate
on Jun 27, 2007 at 2:47:18 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "Clients don't really care what mathematical equasion you use to derive your invoice total, they just want to know that you can produce whatever they need without having to ride herd on you, and that your final numbers always jive fairly closely within the constraints of their estimated budget."

I think David pretty much says it all with this sentence. Corporations allocated


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GaryAlan
Re: flat rate
on Jul 14, 2007 at 3:28:10 am

When I started out and wet on shoots as a cameraman who owned gear, the director was an hourly worker and he always made sure we had 10 hour days with so much indecision on his part so he can submit his invoice and justify his costs. I quickly moved into producer/director that shoots and edits, bid the job a little lower and stopped watching the clock. I did the same ten hours work in two hours and went home to relax in my pool while I edited at night. Hourly causes people to milk a job.

Gary


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GaryAlan
Re: flat rate
on Jul 14, 2007 at 3:19:36 am

I learned the hard way a long time ago that the only way to accept a flat rate is when you are the producer/director, even if you shoot and edit. You have to be the one making all the decisions or else the client will take your typical two day job and drag it out a week with them wanting to experiment all the time with different variations. I used to make $225 an hour to edit and ended up making $25 and hour when we finished. I stopped offering hourly services from that point on and only did projects that I produced. I made the bid for a flat rate and I always came in ahead of schedule with profit for the next 15 years because I controlled what happened. My work was hjigh quality and affecient. I was fortunate that my clients always accepted my final versions and exercised mutual respect.

Gary



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GaryAlan
Re: flat rate
on Jul 14, 2007 at 3:44:03 am

Roman,

if I had to do a flat rate for a motion grfx spot, I would bid it with the thought of it taking maybe two full builds. In case the client goes way of course and requests major changes. You tell them you will do version 1 and apply any changes "if needed' for a version 2. If more changes come after that, the client needs to know up front the flat rate will end and additional costs will now be required. You have to cap them off from experimenting to hell.

Gary


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walter biscardi
Re: flat rate
on Jul 14, 2007 at 11:08:06 am

[Roman55] "My client asked me give him a flat rate for 15 sec Motion Graphic Spot. Something like bumper or intro.
What should I charge him for that kind of things? I understand that all depends on complexity of content. I need just rough figures. Minimum and maximum. Some numbers to start with.
Thanks a lot!"


I can't give you numbers because I have no idea what your skill level is or what exactly you're creating.

But I can tell you that whenever I work on a flat rate, it always includes the amount of hours or the amount of work this flat rate covers.

To make it simple, let's say I charge $100 per hour and I estimate that the job will take 20 hours. So that job would cost $2000 based on the hours worked. I give the producer a quote and say a flat rate will be $1750 but that includes 20 total hours of work. If the job takes me more than 20 hours due to changes by the client or additional elements, then the client will be billed an additional $100/hour for every extra hour.

This gives you a "safety" in case your client is one of those who changes their mind constantly or they drag their feet in getting you the elements you need to work.

Flat rate are nice for the clients when budgeting, but you always have to protect yourself in case of long overruns.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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