“But these are simple tweaks then why would you charge me so much?”
“Your rates are so high. These are just small changes.”
“This is way too much of money. I thought these are easy tweaks.”
Well, I will stop here. These are some common phrases every developer would hear and are obvious for a client to say so.
I am not ranting but trying to explain why it costs so much and why the minor tweaks are not actually “minor”.
Recently, I worked with a couple of clients who had purchased popular multi-purpose themes from ThemeForest in the hope that they will be able to build a website of their choice.
It turns out that the themes were way beyond client’s skills and control. So I had an opportunity to build their site with so called, “some” customization.
The good thing, my client was very kind to provide me with a list and screenshots of all the required changes in an organized manner.
From client’s point of view, these were minor changes for various sections of the website. Which sounds fair for the reason that they are looking at the things with a different perspective. The client has no idea of what goes behind the scenes and the way these multi-purpose themes are coded.
Most multi-purpose themes are just more than themes, these are code libraries. Just like WordPress (not a comparison, but an example), you should be either knowing these themes inside-out or know the art of digging the code or available documentation.
Finally, here are two reasons why small tweaks cost much more than expected:
- Expertise – you know the theme inside out.
- Experience – you don’t know the theme well, but with your programming experience you can certainly figure out a correct approach of making required changes.
Both expertise and experience are closely tied with each other and I won’t go into those details. The basic idea is to explain the approach and efforts required for such customization. It takes years to gain “experience” and become an “expert”.
In case 1, you can do the job quickly and here’s why it should cost more than the cost of an hour or 30 minutes:
“Yes, I can do it in less than 30 minutes. But, it took me X years to reach the point where I could do it in under 30 minutes.”
In case 2, you are doing the job right but taking more than an expert. Eventually, you end up spending more time and hence charge more.
If you wish to succeed in the long run, make sure you start delivering “Value” rather than trading time for money.