Big client. As always - unsure what to charge.

My mini agency division77 has landed a very large corporate client. The deal came my way via a mutual contact.

They’re looking for - in 2 weeks - a brochure type site for a New wing of their business.

As far as I know they don’t need user accounts so that’s what this is based on.

I reckon (confirmatory call on Monday) they are after the typical homepage, about page, contact page, a blog, possibly a news section too.

This is the U.K. and I know if you went to a regular agency they would easily find a way to charge you £10k for this.

What would you charge?

This is a brand new entity so there’s no established design. I basically have a logo to start with.

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    something that makes you a little uncomfortable

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    For anyone interested. I charged £4000 plus £280 per month retainer to cover hosting and maintenance.

    This was accepted. I’m happy with that.

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        Good call on the monthly "maintenance" agreement.
        You should have a goal to get these for each of your projects. For my agency over 80% of our monthly costs are covered from contractual retainer agreements. Nice to build a good base then you aren't having to spent all your time hunting for new work all the time.

        Takes awhile, but needed for you to also gain confidence to hire more people and grow your team. (if that's what you're going for)

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        Thanks for closing the loop. I love that. And congratulations. We are proud of you

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        Congratulations! that's really great.

        I'm starting my own agency and I have a question.

        Can you please guide me about hosting and maintenance?
        First of all which hosting should be used for deploying clients' projects and secondly what comes inside the 'maintenance' part?

        @ryanGlass @Madamdo @yongfook @ryandoom

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          I have 2 levels of hosting plans offered. They are both managed hosting meaning we take care of WordPress framework and plugin upgrades. The main difference between the plans is an extra WAF, cache, DDOS layer like Sucuri or cloudfront. We do our own thing with hosting.

          If you're not familiar with running your own hosting you could look at Flywheel. They have pretty good agency plans and you can mark that up a bit. Or, you could look at something like https://gridpane.com/ - But where you host is totally your preference.

          I then have multiple levels of maintenance packages.
          If they choose no package, the hourly rate is very high for one off support requests. Or they can pick from a couple options that provide a certain amount of hours or what type of web updates and they're much cheaper than the hourly rate for support.

          Our support rate is about 50% higher than our normal rate, but if they make requests it may only take us 10 - 20 minutes, and they only pay for that.

          If they're not on a plan, whatever we log gets auto billed automatically on the 1st of each month. We do all our billing and tons of automation with Freshbooks. It saves us countless hours a month. I have 12+ people working for me and I personally still do all our invoicing in 4 - 8 hours a month because so much is automated.

          Good luck with your agency!

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            Thank you so much for such a descriptive answer. You really cleared my confusion.
            Wish you good luck with your agency.

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              Thanks but I'm currently trying the impossible ;)
              Morphing my agency over to a Saas company and spending more time growing www.boast.io one of the products we created. We've got pretty strong monthly retainers at this point with the agency and I'm not focused on growing it ; spending most of our efforts on Boast! Launching a huge overhaul and new marketing website in February. Have been hard at work on it for 8 months.

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                Oh that's great. Looks like a promising SaaS product. All the best!

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          I just have an annual hosting, domain, SSL cost with various options depending on what's needed. This also covers monitoring and keeping the site up. Maintenance is extra - I have an hourly rate which is the same for all clients.

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            Got it, Thanks for the reply :)

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          Well which hosting you choose is up to you.

          For me the maintenance package covers hosting (as this is a hard cost) and two hours of work. Anything above two hours is charged at £x per hour (again, up to you what you charge)

          The thing is most folk don't take advantage of the 2 hours so it's a pretty good deal for me.

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            Got it, Thanks for the reply :)

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        Good price - you should be happy with that!

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      6. 1

        Good to know. Congratulations.

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      Thanks for letting us know! So great you got it at a price you are happy with!

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    With big companies there is no such thing as a simple project. They will find a way to make even a single static landing page a weeks or months long exercise of navigating different teams for sign off on branding / text / legal etc etc.

    However long you think it’s going to take, double or triple the length of time and charge accordingly.

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    In my experience big name clients expect higher prices because it's usually a bit harder to work with them too. They have multiple levels of approval, review, paperwork, just getting a contract signed and a check in hand can take a lot of your time.

    That said, I have found the people I work with tend to value your experience and actually let you do your job. Small one person companies are often way more work because they have to put their touch on everything whereas the big company will just let you do your thing. (usually)

    That said think about:
    SEO, accessibility, forms, log in areas, security, moving it to a hosting environment, training, support, project management and meetings each week to check-in...

    To work with a brand new big name company that is a new relationship and a lot of things to figure out and discuss. 10k is not at all ridiculous.

    So - if you're comfortable tackling it in the 5-8k range you would probably be safe.

    Remember, this is the face of someone at that organizations new baby. A project / concept they've been working on for months or years and that will employ tons of people paying each of them over 5k/mo ... so what's 5k or more for a huge piece of that marketing.


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    First, congrats that’s amazing news. Second, I’d think about how much time I need to spend to do that. Then multiply this with a rate I‘d feel really good about. This is your lower boundary.
    Then, research competitors and how much they charge. Only consider competitors that you would like to be. Do not consider the „low quality“ and cheap competitors. You do not compete with them 😉 You already threw a number out there. Maybe that’s the number?!
    Finally, think about the value your client gets from this.
    Those three numbers inform your decision what you should charge.
    I’d orientate on the upper boundary. And, choosing what makes you slightly uncomfortable it’s excellent advice.
    Good luck!

  6. 2

    Choose a price that means you won't feel hard done by when they come back for changes several times. I've found that brochure type sites can mean that the client focuses on design heavily compared with sites that have more functionality where the client cares more about UX and the functionality.

  7. 2

    Shoot for the moon. Ask for £10k and show your value. If you charge low, big clients would think that you are not good enough. In their mind usually, higher price is connected to good quality.
    P.S. Use number game. Use random number like £9,981.

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