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Old September 7th, 2011, 11:14 PM   #1
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To Charge or Not To Charge?

I made a 34s commercial for a concert and my client asked me to convert to a 30s spot for TV. It wasn't very time consuming to convert because I designed the video to easily adjust down in time knowing that it might end up as a TVC. Besides driving to my studio one night (45mins each way - $15 gas & tolls round trip), it only took a couple hours including the rendered MPEG2 for uploading.

Should I charge this client for my time or not? If it matters, its a college/university and I don't see much more work down the road from them; although, my biz partner works with them as a consultant and is trying to get their advertising budget increased.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 01:56 AM   #2
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Re: To Charge or Not To Charge?

They asked for it to be done? Charge. Definitely.

Otherwise you are paying for the privilege of teaching them to view you and your business in the wrong manner.

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Old September 8th, 2011, 06:25 AM   #3
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Re: To Charge or Not To Charge?

Why would you not charge them?

Our time and efforts have value.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 12:25 PM   #4
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Re: To Charge or Not To Charge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
If it matters, its a college/university and I don't see much more work down the road from them; although, my biz partner works with them as a consultant and is trying to get their advertising budget increased.
One hand giveth, the other taketh away...

Does your business partner have an opinion?

Normally I'd say "charge" because it was work done, and because you assume little or no additional work would come from them, conventional wisdom seems to say the same.

Now lets be business folk here for a second... unless there was a DRASTIC time limitation on the delivery, you can't in good conscience charge for travel time to your studio, much as you can't write off mileage to and from your place of business under normal circumstances. Which leaves you with your labour. These days I charge a set-up fee for export renders instead of charging by render time. What does your business do? If the invoice would be for $50, send them one for the amount and mark it "no charge" so they see a value associated. If you charge for rendering (say $75 per hour and it took 2 hours), figure out if the cash potential outweighs the PERCEIVED damage to your business partner's bid.

My 2 cents.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 03:18 PM   #5
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Re: To Charge or Not To Charge?

Does your plumber charge to come to your house jiggle the handle on your toilet and say it was a stuck chain? Charge them a reasonable amount for your time, hardware, software & experience.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 02:52 PM   #6
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Re: To Charge or Not To Charge?

Charge. Always Charge.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 10:35 PM   #7
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Re: To Charge or Not To Charge?

My gut feeling on this one: Don't charge.
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Old October 14th, 2011, 10:34 AM   #8
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Re: To Charge or Not To Charge?

As an observation, I think this thread shows what we do is like a plumber, but often handled differently, and often with less respect. The best way is to tell/publish rates before doing any work. Because often you see people just want to do what they can get away with. The mention of charges will support your business model. By doing the work first you support the free model. It is harsh but open a door and people will walk through it...

You do not see plumbers or other tradespeople doing a job then talking to you after to see if they should charge or how much.

For this job I would say it might be too late depending upon your relationship with the client. Have they paid you for other work in the past? If this was a favor for a good client then do not fret, but "favor" is a dangerous word in the business world.
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Old October 14th, 2011, 10:56 AM   #9
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Re: To Charge or Not To Charge?

I have to agree with Tim. We are in business to make a profit and continue in business and while it's fine to do an occassional favor for a long standing on time paying client if we don't charge for our time, materials and expertise which is why the client hired us in the first place then we can not contiue in business for the long term. A personal example is a client I had for 16 years. I charged them for virtually everything, they expected it, they understood why and they also knew I wasn't going to gouge them or take advantage of them nor they me. This was a client that took me around the country for seminar and even on a cruise for 7 days to video their seminars on board the ship. I went to Hawaii 3 times with them (all on their dime and they even paid for my wife to go). Was it because I charged them for all the work? Naw, it was because they respected the fact that I did. IOW, they treated my business like a business because they knew I did.
You don't have to kill 'em with a charge and I've even done work for long term good paying clients for No Charge. It's never free. I always invoice put in the amount I would be charging then at the bottom line show No Charge. I do this from time to time IF the work I'm doing is a very small thing that takes me little and I mean little time. You have to use your best judgement.
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Old October 16th, 2011, 04:09 PM   #10
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Re: To Charge or Not To Charge?

Several years ago I had a very wise, forward-thinking client. After a project, he asked me to do something very simple, akin to the amount of work the OP mentioned. I told him no problem and there would be no charge.

He disagreed and said he absolutely would pay a fair price for the additional work.

I asked him why he'd volunteer to pay when I offered to do it at no charge. He said "I value your work and would like you to be around a long time for future projects. If you keep doing things free, you'll eventually tire of this and go out of business. It's in my best interest to pay you, even for small jobs."

Since then, I make sure to charge a fair rate, even for small things. If a client asks me to do something free, I tell them this story.
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