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How much should I charge for Access work?

P: n/a
RC
I just got my first Access project that I am getting paid for. I have
done other Access work for non-profits that I did not get paid for. I
definitely have the work but we did not settle the price yet. Can any
of you give me some advice on how much to charge? What factors
determine the price? The client is a small to medium size company in
my town in Wisconsin. The project is an inventory database to scan
bar codes of goods when they are received and then enter the specifics
about each item and then group the items into pallets for bulk sale.
I will probably have to make 6 or 8 trips to the company to install
the database and make updates, etc.; it's a 20 minute drive from my
house to the company. Do you recommend one charge for the initial
work and another for updates or should I try to roll it all into the
initial charge. They hope to just get the main database functioning
and then have one of their employees do the tweaks/updates, but I
don't know if that will work or if they will end up having me do the
tweaks/updates. I have to heavily comment the code just in case they
do the updates.
I am simplifying things a bit; let me know what to provide if you need
more detail.
Nov 13 '05 #1
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4 Replies


P: n/a
Hi.

I am in a somewhat similar situation as you, perhaps complicated by the fact
that my database clients are also customers of the NAPA parts store that I
manage.

I have a couple of parts inventory programs that I have written. One is for
a Fleet repair shop, and the other is for a Retail repair shop.
What I have done is charged them $1,000.00 (CDN) each for the initial MDE /
MDB database files, and then $50.00 / month for support and maintenance.

I certainly wouldn't advise you to just "turn over" your MDB file, and allow
them to do updates. There are bound to be all kinds of problems in regards
to laying of blame when things don't go as expected. I have one fleet
customer that has been using my DB since 1995 (Access 2.0), and they have
been happily paying the $50.00 / mo for 9 years now! I look at it as
supplying a solution to thier needs, something that will require some
maintenance and eventual upgrades. i.e. a pretty much "ground - up "
re-write of the program in 1999, using Access97. My skill level had
increased, and there were Y2K concerns as well.

My suggestion would be to split your app up into a front-end / back-end. The
data (tables) in the back-end is their property ... while the forms,
reports, and code (the stuff that you have spent all of your time on) should
be distributed as an MDE file which does not allow them to mess with it.
This also allows you to make corrections, additions, etc to your code
without worrying about the synchronization of data.

They could have their OWN front-end (MDB or MDE) that they could use for
thier own "enhancements".

AFAIK, there should be no problem with this approach, except for possible
record-locking issues if both front-ends were accessing the same data at the
same time? Maybe some of the "experts" in this group can shed more light on
this aspect?

That's my $0.02 worth ... I hope it helps.

Don

"RC" <rc*********@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:3c**************************@posting.google.c om...
I just got my first Access project that I am getting paid for. I have
done other Access work for non-profits that I did not get paid for. I
definitely have the work but we did not settle the price yet. Can any
of you give me some advice on how much to charge? What factors
determine the price? The client is a small to medium size company in
my town in Wisconsin. The project is an inventory database to scan
bar codes of goods when they are received and then enter the specifics
about each item and then group the items into pallets for bulk sale.
I will probably have to make 6 or 8 trips to the company to install
the database and make updates, etc.; it's a 20 minute drive from my
house to the company. Do you recommend one charge for the initial
work and another for updates or should I try to roll it all into the
initial charge. They hope to just get the main database functioning
and then have one of their employees do the tweaks/updates, but I
don't know if that will work or if they will end up having me do the
tweaks/updates. I have to heavily comment the code just in case they
do the updates.
I am simplifying things a bit; let me know what to provide if you need
more detail.

Nov 13 '05 #2

P: n/a
rc*********@yahoo.com (RC) wrote in message news:<3c**************************@posting.google. com>...
I just got my first Access project that I am getting paid for. Excellent. Congratulations!
Can any of you give me some advice on how much to charge? What factors
determine the price? This comes up here a lot. Head to groups.google.com and search through
the archive for some longer discussions of this. Here's a short
version of the answer I always gave, when I was a consultant: Charge
by the hour. Always. For everything. Lots of people here say they find
clients not willing to work this way. I'm sure they're telling the
truth, but I never once lost a contract because of my insistence on
this.
The client is a small to medium size company in
my town in Wisconsin. The project is an inventory database to scan
bar codes of goods when they are received and then enter the specifics
about each item and then group the items into pallets for bulk sale.
I will probably have to make 6 or 8 trips to the company to install
the database and make updates, etc.; it's a 20 minute drive from my
house to the company. Do you recommend one charge for the initial
work and another for updates or should I try to roll it all into the
initial charge. They hope to just get the main database functioning
and then have one of their employees do the tweaks/updates, but I
don't know if that will work or if they will end up having me do the
tweaks/updates. I have to heavily comment the code just in case they
do the updates. I am simplifying things a bit; let me know what to provide if you need
more detail.

We would actually need a huge amount of information to make that guess
for you.

Jeremy Wallace
Fund for the City of New York
Nov 13 '05 #3

P: n/a
"Jeremy Wallace" wrote
Here's a short version of the answer I
always gave, when I was a consultant:
Charge by the hour. Always.
This is the way I, too, work doing design or development. In the Dallas -
Fort Worth area, hourly rates range from about $35 - $100 (or more, perhaps,
if it is direct-to-client rather than subcontracting or "wholesale rates"
through a contract broker).

In my recent experience, a modestly-large company thought that $80 was a
reasonable going rate for a colleague of mine, an experienced Access
developer, with about ten years total experience, much of it in Access.

They agreed to my somewhat higher rate, on my assurance if they didn't
believe they were getting value received for dollars, they could come back
and discuss it with me -- they did not come back for that discussion. But
they could see that I only was charging for "productive hours" -- I did not
charge for research nor refreshing my memory, nor time that I ended up
waiting for something to be done by one of their employees. If I was
waiting, I'd keep a log of the time, and do my email or other things, if
there was none of their work that could be "multi-tasked".
For every-
thing. Lots of people here say they find
clients not willing to work this way. I'm
sure they're telling the truth, but I never
once lost a contract because of my insis-
tence on this.


I have lost some opportunities because I would not "fixed-price". I referred
them, gladly, to colleagues who I knew did fixed-price work. (Just for the
record, though, not all the colleagues who did fixed-price work are still in
business.)

And, while I always charge by the hour for consultation or development, I
have conducted seminars/classes, etc., for a fixed price. But, those were
also a fixed number of hours, when you get right down to it. One way to
charge a client for training that is generally used is to charge per
student-day or student-hour. That is often combined with a minimum number of
students.

But, I have a number of colleagues who have worked on the model Don Leverton
described -- a fixed-price for the base product, and an hourly rate for
maintenance and enhancements. That makes perfectly good sense to me. The
clients get the product at a lower cost because you are spreading
development costs over a number of clients, you get a good ROI, and you get
paid by the hour for maintenance and enhancements that the clients desire.

Larry Linson

Nov 13 '05 #4

P: n/a
RC
Don, Jeremy, thanks for the help. Your suggestions will be a big
help when I discuss the price with my clients. Lot's of factors to
consider.
Jeremy, once again, I always think I have a unique situation and I
post a reply before searching the group. Thanks for the reminder,
next time I will search first, I almost always find the answer when I
do.

al*****@yahoo.com (Jeremy Wallace) wrote in message news:<78**************************@posting.google. com>...
rc*********@yahoo.com (RC) wrote in message news:<3c**************************@posting.google. com>...
I just got my first Access project that I am getting paid for.

Excellent. Congratulations!
Can any of you give me some advice on how much to charge? What factors
determine the price?

This comes up here a lot. Head to groups.google.com and search through
the archive for some longer discussions of this. Here's a short
version of the answer I always gave, when I was a consultant: Charge
by the hour. Always. For everything. Lots of people here say they find
clients not willing to work this way. I'm sure they're telling the
truth, but I never once lost a contract because of my insistence on
this.
The client is a small to medium size company in
my town in Wisconsin. The project is an inventory database to scan
bar codes of goods when they are received and then enter the specifics
about each item and then group the items into pallets for bulk sale.
I will probably have to make 6 or 8 trips to the company to install
the database and make updates, etc.; it's a 20 minute drive from my
house to the company. Do you recommend one charge for the initial
work and another for updates or should I try to roll it all into the
initial charge. They hope to just get the main database functioning
and then have one of their employees do the tweaks/updates, but I
don't know if that will work or if they will end up having me do the
tweaks/updates. I have to heavily comment the code just in case they
do the updates.

I am simplifying things a bit; let me know what to provide if you need
more detail.

We would actually need a huge amount of information to make that guess
for you.

Jeremy Wallace
Fund for the City of New York

Nov 13 '05 #5

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