“What should I do if a fixed price job takes 5 times longer than I expected?” and more...

Sent by Jonathan Stark on September 19th, 2019

In today’s group coaching session, we had a bunch of good questions that touched on topics like:

Plus, we did a deep dive on transitioning from “one who does” to “one who knows” - good stuff!

Here are some of the questions I answered today:


How do you charge by value to people who ’know your rate’. A coder creates a website for a pizza parlour. The pizza parlour owner doesn’t know the market rate for that skill and they pay. Same coder goes to an engineering company that has a much better idea of how much a coder is ’worth’ in the market (rate-wise) and has a pretty good idea how long such a task would take. In other words, they’ve already calculated: our budget = hours * rate. The second is clearly a tougher sell, any tips? (timestamp 1m 18s)


I’m getting pretty good at the Why conversation, can always uncover a deeper pain than their self-diagnosis. Trouble is, even though they appreciate that, ultimately they still want someone to just “do” that work - they don’t want an advisor. Occasionally I’ll just do it, but how does one transition from one who does to one who knows? Doesn’t seem to matter if I’m talking to a decision-maker or not. Guessing it’s a marketing problem? (timestamp 11m 6s)


So I did a job where I reckoned a task would take me half a day. Because of technical issues it took five days. Some of the issues were mine but most were hardware or wiring issues (the client did the wiring). Can I ask them to pay more and if so, how? (As an aside I could have saved myself the wiring problem by saying “I’ll do the wiring” as an Option 3. I will do that next time). (timestamp 23m 29s)


As a second service we offer to host the website on our servers. Compared to a normal hosting service, we are expensive. But the client get’s a lot of extras from working with us. Comparing to the time, we are investing in support, it is not a very worthwhile branch. Do you have ideas how i can transform the “agency hosting service” to a package and a price, which is more worthwhile? (timestamp 40m 23s)


Any thoughts on transitioning from a “DO” to “KNOW” role with an existing client, without leaving them in the lurch with tasks? Thoughts or advice for someone who “KNOWS,” but very much enjoys “DOING,” but is also up against a hard wall with capacity? (timestamp 48m 2s)


Thoughts on asserting your expertise (even as a DOER) by tying your cost to a static (large) percentage of the agency’s profit, rather than your typical cost of work? (timestamp 52m 35s)


(If you’re curious, you can review the entire list of past questions here)

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Yours,

—J