OT: FreeBSD consulting rates

Frank Shute frank at esperance-linux.co.uk
Wed Jun 16 20:19:57 BST 2004

On Wed, Jun 16, 2004 at 11:08:26AM +0100, Scott Mitchell wrote:
> Hi all,
> A company run by a friend-of-a-friend might want me to do a bit of BSD
> consultancy work for them -- just setting up a mail exchanger to sit
> between their Exchange server and the 'net, as far as I know.
> I know a lot of you do this kind of thing for a living -- what sort of
> ballpark hourly rate would you expect to charge for a job like that?
> It's a one-off thing for me, so whatever I get out of it is profit, but
> on the other hand I don't want to rip myself off...

Hi Scott,

What I'd do is certainly price a "drink" for your friend. If he gets
you more work, then your friend gets more "drinks" and you get more
work :)

I'd probably pitch in at 25 an hour although it depends how long it
will take you. You also have to cost in your time/cost of travel.

I don't know if you have to build the machine from scratch but you
want to try and string things out for a day. By the time some dodgy
NIC refuses to work properly etc. it will probably take you a day.

I build the occasional website, so I usually quote a price which is
dependent on the complexity and if I'm doing it for a friend then I
tend to charge bugger all - maybe a tenner an hour.

These caveats apply:

Nobody's offered me any similar work to what you're proposing.

Depends how much you make at your real job ie. If I was making 40 an
hour at my real job then I wouldn't be stuffing around for less!

Don't price too low or the firm will think you're a clueless buffoon.

Don't price too high or they wont go for it.

I'm not exactly sure where the sweetspot between the 2 lies although
my tendency would be to price on the highside and let them maybe beat
you down - "Since I'm doing it for a friend ...."

Most of my haggling that I do nowadays is carpentry/cabinetmaking work
but I think the same broad principles apply in the computing world (or
should do).

Best of luck with the job and don't be afraid to post here if you come
unstuck on the job. I for one will offer help if I can, even if I'm not
making any money out of it....maybe that's why I'm poor :/

Final caveat:

Ignore advice on making money from somebody who is poor ;)




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