Let’s say you’ve found a job posting where the client has given you the option to submit a quote for your work. AV freelancers don’t always get the opportunity to negotiate a price for their services, so it’s a golden chance to set a price that accurately reflects the skills and hard effort you’ll bring to an AV project.
But quoting for your services can quickly become complicated if you don’t know how to give a fair estimate for the work that needs to be done.
Since this issue of figuring out how to quote is common among new AV freelancers, we’ve gathered together key tips for how to quote properly for your services. Having an industry-specific platform to find job postings that suit your experience and skillset is one thing. Being able to fully take advantage of such a platform means knowing your worth and quoting in a balanced way that’s fair to you and your client.
Read on to find out how to quote for your services.
How Much Time Will the Job Take?
When you’re freelancing full-time, you’ll need to be able to submit multiple quotes, sometimes for multiple short-term jobs. New AV freelancers especially must learn this skill. After all, to build a work history and avoid slow periods, you’ll be relying on short-term jobs. The key to setting an accurate price as a freelancer is to create a time estimate for each AV project on offer.
Contact the clients early on and ask them about project details that may not have been mentioned in the job ad that could affect your time estimate. For instance, if the project focuses on upgrading an AV system in a client-occupied space, ask the client how extensive the upgrade process will be. For example, you can ask, “Will you be keeping any old components or is it a complete overhaul?” You should also ask whether the client will be providing AV drawings and project plan documents.
You need to be detail-oriented to create a precise time estimate.
Keep in mind that if a client is vague and won’t answer your questions directly, you might be better off applying to other job postings with more definitive goals. Scope creep and endless iterations can make for a stressful work experience with little reward.
Which Tasks Are Billable or Unbillable?
Once you have created a time estimate, perhaps in the form of a chart listing all related tasks and considerations, figure out what your billable and unbillable tasks will be.
Billable tasks are tasks that are directly related to the completion of a project, like pre-installation activities, working with AV design plans, and installing the AV system. Unbillable tasks are usually admin-related, such as regular updates with the client, creating a work contract, andprompt invoicing.
Determine Your Rate
Once you have your billable tasks and your time estimate in order, what’s left is balancing your cost of living with a minimum rate that’s comparable with industry standards.
Don’t Forget the Competition!
You should always account for the other technicians quoting on a job. If the going rates for other technicians are higher or lower than your price estimate, you might need to adjust your quote.
While you don’t want to set your quote too low, keep in mind that there can be many non-financial benefits to be had with AV projects as well. Remember that gaining practical skills and expanding your professional network are both just as valuable to your freelance career.