You’ve started tracking your time, and are increasingly aware of the amount of five minute freebies you are currently giving away in support requests and tiny content fixes.
What you need is a way to keep the administration of invoicing those small blocks of time to a minimum — for you, and the person receiving the invoice at your client’s end.
A few years ago, we embraced the idea of prepaid block hours. These have been a savior for us, and we’ve managed to claw back many of the minutes and hours we previously wiped off.
To make things even sweeter for our clients, we offer a discount rate to those who prepay their time, and then we charge those 10 minute fixes to these blocks. At the end of the prepaid block, we send a detailed time sheet for the work we did.
We offer a small discount on our five-hour block, then increase it according to the size of the block; we also have 10-hour, 20-hour, and 50-hour plans. We’ve allowed clients to choose which plan they want and then pay for it up-front, saving everyone the pain of multiple invoices for tiny amounts.
Now, when we’re asked by a client to spend 15 minutes tweaking some content, we simply charge it to this block and then send a report at the end.
Try it out; your clients and, importantly, your bank balance will appreciate the move!
This post first appeared as part of Issue 446 of the SitePoint Tribune, a very popular email newsletter that I was co-editor of. Thanks to SitePoint for allowing me to reproduce the work here.