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Profit Justification on monthly billing


First post on here. I am setting up alone freelancing for small local businesses, just basic brochure sites, landing pages etc.

I like the feature that webflow offers to bill client and add profit. However, my question is, how do i justify this ‘profit’. I will have charged a design fee already up front. A savvy client could quite easily research and see how much webflow charge, so they may want to know why i am charging extra? Do i include extra services to justify the profit? EG 45 mins maintenance/editing per month? Or do i seperately charge for this additional service? In which case, how do i justify charging more than webflow charge?

I hope this makes sense.

Welcome to the community.

Only you can really answer your question as it depends entirely on the business model you’re aiming for.

You’re absolutely right that a client could research the fees themselves. You raise questions about providing extra value for the extra fee loaded on top - this is definitely something to think about. Personally, I’m not sure I could justify charging a fee on top of what is, in my personal opinion, already expensive hosting unless I was providing extra value of some sort.

We export and host everything ourselves but the principle is the same - the hosting we provide is expensive as far as hosting goes, but we offer bundles and offer various things in addition to the hosting (email accounts, set amount of design time each month, free domain names, even order fulfilment for one company using a manual drop-shipper etc. and full management of all of these things so they don’t have to worry about anything web related). This approach works really well for us, but it eats into time allowed to spend on new projects so you have to carefully think about the offering, pricing, and the terms and conditions of all of this.

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Welcome @DRGDesign!

I’ve never added any extra cost on the monthly fee although, as @iratefox mentioned, it really boils down to how you choose to run your business. I personally don’t find myself “managing” my clients sites regularly enough to justify calling it a maintenance cost.

If you offer intermittent support as long as your client is paying for hosting on a site you built, then (as a client) I could see myself wanting to pay a bit more for the peace of mind. For small clients this may be a hard sell and they may already see the hosting cost as too much, but for big clients they may expect a larger monthly fee based on what they paid with other contractors—there is always some amount of perceived value that you’ll want to take into account. When I tell clients that there are no “updates” and that sites can be built/hosted on the same platform with updates made made visually on the front end they are stoked. That is a huge value add.

I’ve always taken the approach of treating my clients like they understand the true cost of something and make sure that what they pay reflects the care and attention I bring to my work. More often than not this tends to lead to repeat business and word-of-mouth recommendations and prevents awkward conversations where they ask why they’re paying $X when they could go with someone else and pay $Y.

Everyone runs their business differently and what they charge their clients reflects that. If you can get away with charging your clients extra per month, and both parties feel good about it, then I’d say go for it :metal:

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Thanks @iratefox and @mikeyevin.

Yes I believe I need to add value rather than just taking extra profit, this wouldn’t sit right with me.

I need to look into what things I can do for clients on a reoccurring monthly fee basis, so I am getting income from this as well as the initial design. I would like to get into the marketing side of things and PPC, adding content for to improve there SEO etc.