Adivce to Freelancers Part V

I was working just now, and realized i wasn’t following my own advice.

What advice is that? Why to always track your time, even if you have given a fixed bid. And yes, I know it is a pain, but let me explain.

Suppose you are doing a job you have done many times. You know your estimate is just about right, so you don’t bother to track your time. And did your estimate include changes? Multiple changes? Yes? No?

I have been working on a job for a client for about three months (once a month) and they asked the other day if my estimate was going to remain the same for the next quarter. I figured that it was working fine, and since I hadn’t been tracking all my time lately, I figured it could stand. Then I talked to a co-worker on that job, and asked about his bid. He said, well, the job isn’t done yet, is it? We still have edits to do. Did you include that time? And of course I hadn’t.

If nothing else, tracking your time tells you if you are getting faster, and if you should move from bidding hourly to doing a fixed bid. Another friend of mine was doing hourly billing, but noticed that she was getting quicker and quicker as she kept doing the production on websites. She started resenting the fact that she was being punished for being fast. I told her that that was the time she should switch over to fixed bid.

So, that’s my advice of the day. Now, I’m going to go track my hours on this project, including the corrections. :)


Leave a Reply