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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • If clients ask for a fixed fee up front, I tell them that I can only do that if they're willing to pay me my hourly rate to work with them on an extremely detailed spec (about 10-20 hours). With that much detail, I can give a reasonably firm fixed price.

    But not surprisingly, no one wants to do that work ;) So they just pay me hourly, and I give very rough estimates, and always qualify them with "but I don't have a detailed spec so it could be longer."

    This has actually worked out fairly well, as clients see that in the end, I don't gouge them, and they get a good value for the hours worked.

    So my advice to you is to avoid fixed fee contracts, because as you've noticed you end up working on them more than you want.

    Also, if you have some clients for whom you do hourly work, you can use them as references to vouch for the fact that you provide a good value.