Fast, Good, Cheap: Pricing Freelance Work
Photo by kennymatic.
Have you ever heard of the Fast, Good, Cheap pricing method?
Clients should only be able to choose 2 of these 3 words and you must keep this in mind when pricing your next job otherwise your work / income / career could be suffering.
Fast, Good or Cheap – Choose Two
If you allow your clients to have fast, good, cheap work done by yourself then most likely you are working your butt off for very little return which is why you must allow them to choose a combination of two only – either good & fast OR good & cheap OR fast & cheap.
Below are some explanations of why and when to use each type of pricing method along with their advantages and disadvantages.
Good + Fast = Expensive
If a client wants good, fast work then of course we can put up our prices. We must put up our prices here because we have to postpone every other job we have, cancel appointments/meetings and stay up 24+ hours to get their job done.
The advantage here is that we get quick money however the disadvantage is that we could possibly let other clients down by not delivering their work on time. We get more stressed and if it is a major project, our sleeping pattern gets disrupted.
Good + Cheap = Slow
If a client wants a good, cheap piece of work then they will have to be patient to get it as they are getting a discounted price… We have other projects to work on from higher paying clients so they get more priority.
The advantage here is that we do not have to stress about tight deadlines and we can work on the project in our own time with less stress. The disadvantage however is that we get less pay even though we worked on the project over a period of time.
Fast + Cheap = Inferior
If a client wishes to have a fast and cheap job, then they should expect the result to be quite inferior. We do not have the time to make the job as good as it could be plus on top of that, we hardly get any return on the product.
The only advantage here is that we get some quick money in a short amount of time. The disadvantage is that the end result will probably be something we will want to keep hidden away under lock and key.
In this case, clients truly get what they pay for and this is the least favourable choice of the three. Try to stay away from fast, cheap labour.
How To Explain Pricing To Your Clients
Communicating your prices to the client is another important factor you must consider when using this good, fast, cheap, pricing method. How do you explain that a good, fast job is going to be more expensive? How do you tell them that by doing a fast and cheap job that the end result is going to be less than satisfactory?
Depending on your profession and the relationship with your client, this will change however the best way to communicate your situation is in most situations, to be honest… tell them if they want a cheap and fast job, that the end product will be only satisfactory and tell them why. (ie. the disadvantages I outlined above).
How To Price Yourself
If you want some more information on how to price yourself and how to build this pricing method into your business, Freelance Switch has written some great articles on how to do so and even has a rates calculator.
- The FreelanceSwitch Rates Calculator
Use this great tool to figure out how much you should be charging per hour.
- Nine Factors to Consider When Determining Your Price
Learn about some other issues you must consider when determining your price.
- Hourly vs. Fixed Pricing
Should you charge by the hour or by the job?
- The Price Is Right
A practical guide to making both you and your client happy with your rates.
- Figuring Out How Much To Charge
Get a short insight into how Collis quotes a web design job.
How do you determine what you charge… Do you always come back to your hourly price or do you take into consideration other things such as time, quality or price? Do you have a different hourly rate for different projects?
Jacob Cass is a 20 year old passionate graphic designer from Sydney, Australia. He runs a popular design blog by the name of Just Creative Design which provides graphic design tips, articles and resources.