Well, it is pretty interesting (and not really expected but trying to adopt) that almost each potential client that is approaching me as a different partnership requirement. Used to work for a design consultancy but never did we experience such diversity of collab requirements.
Anyways. This time I am approached by a startup that is developing a product/technology that is aiming, (actually) negotiating to sell to an international company. All is good except for them except some issues related to looks of the product and some mechanical issues.
Due to their limited budget, the startup asked me to be their "design consultant" whom they could reach anytime they have questions, issues, perhaps to do some sketches to give to their inhouse engineer to modify the product (they need to keep things internally to keep cost low..). Also, i will need to bring them in touch with experienced mech. engineer to be their consultant as well.
The consultation will be ongoing, until the product is prototyped and somehow ready to be produced.
Except the sketche(s) they may need, the rest of the work is "consultation". This is just too abstract to me and I am actually oriented to a kind of retainer. Just agree with them to prepay a set of hours and then we see if then need more of my time.
Supposing we agree for 10 work hours for an X amount/h, after a phone call that lasts 1 hour, I am expected to send an email to the client notifying about 10-1 = 9 remaining hours? Or is there a software (slack style) you may be using for such partnerships?
Any other ideas/suggestions on such partnership?
ps. bellow is the answer by rkuchinsky, kindly provided in another post. The only difference here is that the "deliverabe" is consultation wheres in the other post the deliverable was a series of actual products
rkuchinsky wrote:I've never really understood the reluctance of designers to quote an hourly rate. No matter how you price yourself (flat rate, by design, etc.) eventually it comes down to how many hours do you have to work on the job, and can't do something else, hence an hourly rate. Every other profession goes by hourly rate, and when you are working salary, it is essentially an hourly rate multiple by full time job job hours.
If you are designing a bag, or doing research, either way an hour is an hour. I used to try to price meetings, research etc. differently than design, but for a single person it doesn't make sense. Why would you ever spend any time on the phone if you know that at the end of the 1 hour call you just made half of what you would make if you were designing if you had different rates? You would either not work very much, or be extremely limited in what you do.
Set a rate that is reasonable. You only have to provide a total hours/month, not hours for each project, assuming the hours per month is more than a single project, it will work out. The whole point of a retainer is that on the average, things will work out. let's say your rate is 200E/h. You might be asked for a doodle sketch that takes an hour and it's 200E in cost/time. Might sounds low for the job. You might have to spend 5 hours surfing the internet for research and you've made 1000E. Good money. You spend 1 hour on the phone and you got 200E. Pretty sweet. No different than a full time salaried position where you make X total which equals Y per hour (salary/workdays/hours/day) and you might spend your time sketching, in a meeting doing nothing, fixing the copier, etc.
Just consider it as essentially a full time position and salary, with the exception that you cap the hours, so you can develop your own studio and do other things. it's the easiest way to transition from consultant to a long term relationship and many large studios have similar agreements with brands/companies. The biggest benefit is you can just go ahead and be the go to guy to get stuff done and you don't have to negotiate or make a proposal for every small design or background job that comes up. Better to be making money than proposals