For the longest time, I have hated the billable hour, but I haven’t been able to move away from it . The company I worked at billed for their solutions this way. The billable hour is antiquated, and doesn’t really represent the value that the client is receiving. My value as a designer, and the value my customer is receiving isn’t a sum of the time it takes to get something done, let alone the sum of the time I estimated to get it done. It’s the sum of my learning, and experience as a designer, and it is the sum of the the business goals I am helping a client meet.
So I am finally kicking the billable hour to the curb. Keeping track of a timer is a waste of time and distracts me from the actual work, designing a really awesome solution for my clients. While I can’t ditch it completely because I am doing work for folks that bill that way, I will when I am in control of the client relationship. If you have any doubts that this is the best way to get paid for your work (or to pay for it), I recommend you check out a few resources.
- Kill the Billable Hour by Evan R. Chesler http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0112/026.html
- Jon Lax (of Teehan and Lax, one of the best interaction agencies in the US & Canada) did a presentation on this topic a month ago in Toronto. He addresses the history of the billable hour, and why it isn’t a good way to bill. Check out the presentation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4f5mKGEoPs
- Sean Wes did a podcast on the topic some time ago, listen to it here, http://seanwes.com/podcast/008-unlocking-the-power-of-value-based-pricing-hint-its-more-than-flat-rates/
That’s it for now. Have a blessed day.