What do I charge my new clients?
January 26, 2012 8:34 AM   Subscribe

How much do I charge for Server and Desktop Support?

I have been an independent contractor/programmer for nearly 15 years and I have a lot of experience with regards to what to bill my customers for their programming needs. However, I have recently picked up a few new contracts that have me doing bascially the following:

Server support - Setting up Windows 2008, web servers, ftp servers, firewall, automatic backup of server and all peripherals, automatic back up of SQL Server, etc.

Web Design - Clients want me to use WordPress, so I did that. Had not used it before, always created my own sites from scratch. Continues updates as needed, for example, updating content and navigation.

Domain name - maintenance and set up.

Desktop support - Setting up email, calendars and documents in the cloud (google), automatic backup of google documents to the local server, installation of applications, etc.

Photoshop - creating pictures for inventory, marketing etc.

Again, I have done most of this stuff over the years but I just included in the cost of the programming. I have not done just these services on their own. I am pretty decent at all of it but no clue on what to charge them.

Quick good searches say anywhere up to $130/hour server support and up to $70/hour desktop support. I would love any advice that could back up my rate.

My clients are spread through out the States if that matters; Texas, Utah, Montana, Wyoming.

Thanks as always!
posted by birdlips to Work & Money (3 answers total)
 
I pay local firm $125 per hour on a contract basis to troubleshoot desktop and server stuff. The rate is 50% higher for emergency after hours work. They charge the same for servers or desktops, but I believe they have a lower bench rate when computers are brought to them instead of going on site.
posted by dgran at 11:05 AM on January 26, 2012


I've worked for friends' companies who charge $150/hour for all of that desktop and server support to all clients and pay me $75/hour. One of them charged $300/hour and paid me $150/hour, and most of that was desktop support for very wealthy clients.

When doing independent work, I change what I charge depending on the business, type of work, and whether I think there will be any repeat business. I rarely go over $100/hour (unless it's advanced server stuff) because that number seems like a price point some folks don't want to cross.

But this is in a major metropolitan area. It may differ geographically.
posted by MonsieurBon at 2:06 PM on January 26, 2012


I charge $40/hr for what you describe above and $30/hr for hardware/housecalls.

I suspect I don't charge enough, but I live in a small remote town. I stay busy and I make a profit every month. I'm always afraid of chasing off clients by increasing my rates.
posted by humboldt32 at 2:38 PM on January 26, 2012


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