Deciding what to charge for graphic design jobs can be tricky. Factors such as the amount of time needed to complete the job, deadlines, copyright use and printing costs all come into play. Just as important as these factors is the client’s budget. Quote too high and you may lose the job… quote too low and you can miss out on a fair price or even make the client question your skills.
The most simple and straightforward approach to determining a budget is to ask the client what they can spend. Rather than spending hours working up a proposal for work the client might not be able to afford, try to find out their budget from the start and work from there. Jobs can often be done in stages or at different costs. Variables can be changed such as the paper used, inks, features on a website and more. Therefore, a lower budget doesn’t necessarily mean the work can’t be done. Instead, try to work with a budget to get the client what they want while explaining any trade-offs. On the other hand, a high or on-target budget means you can get the client what they are looking for.
What if a client won’t reveal their budget? In that case, you will often have to simply quote what the job is worth based on the work requested. If you want to avoid working up a long proposal with the possibility of no return, considering giving the client an estimate towards the beginning of the project. Keep a large range and explain it is only an estimate and that you will provide a more detailed quote. This will give you an idea of what the client can spend based on their reaction.