No matter if you are an interior designer or a freelance writer, you might have found in the past that some work is simply not worth pursuing and are wondering what you can do to estimate the cost and time commitment better in the future. While project based bidding and work is common among remote workers and contractors, it can actually lose you money if you are not able to calculate the time and resources needed for completion. Below you will find a few tips on how to get better at this important task.
Know Your Limitations
We all tend to be optimistic about projects and give out competitive bids or quotes before we know the details. If you generally complete a blog post in three hours for clients, it doesn’t mean that this particular project will be just as easy. Your customer might have special coding and graphic requirements that will make you spend extra time doing your job. If you bid on challenging projects just to keep your business going, without checking you can do it, you are going to lose clients and customers, too.
Set a Minimum Hourly Rate
A good way of making sure that you keep your income level and don’t lose money on projects is setting a minimum hourly rate for yourself. Even if you are a self-employed person, you will have to pay your taxes, insurance, and regular business expenses, and still have some money left to live off. Setting an hourly rate can help you project the cost of completing each work better.
If you are bidding on a complicated project that you are unfamiliar with, it might be a good idea to do a trial. For example, if you are a copywriter, ask the client for sample work that you complete on a paid trial basis. Once you have a better understanding of what the project involves, you can give them a better estimate. While you might lose out on the trial, you can avoid selling your services too cheap for the duration of the project.
Use a Software
It is sometimes best to use computer technology to estimate your time and resource commitments. You can find advanced estimating system for contractors available on the internet, so you can give out better quotes in just a few minutes, saving time on bidding and managing projects as well.
Start Tracking Your Time and Costs Now
If you would like to get serious about your business and make sure that you are not wasting your time and resources, you will have to track productivity and time allocated for each job. There are great online apps that will help you track productivity, and tell you exactly how much material and energy is needed to complete each job. You can also keep an eye on your variable costs, such as raw materials and supplies.
Whether you are a freelancer or run a busy interior design business, it is important that you avoid losing money bidding on projects.