The Dark Art of Accurate Project Pricing

Oct 14
2008
The Dark Art of Accurate Project Pricing

Is it me or is accurate project pricing a bit of a dark art?

When I price a job, I base it on how long I *expect* the job to take, adding in variables which I may forsee and then multiply that by my base rate and voila!

I have to be honest, 90% of the time, it works out pretty well with jobs completing on or near budget – however, that 10% of the time always ends up costing me money/time not accounted for.

I’m sure I’m not alone.

I’ve tried to break down where the problems could lie and came up with the following:

  • Client Misunderstanding
  • Lack of Technical Documentation (API’s etc)
  • Lack of Client Support

How do other people deal with pricing? Do you price the 90% of the jobs a little higher to compensate for the 10% that take longer than expected? Or do you take it on the chin and try to minimise those 10% clients?

Neither option seems fair and will inevitably end up costing someone.

I’d be interested to hear how other people handle this.

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