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Retainer Fees

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Question:

If your retainer client goes over their retained hours, do you charge them the regular rate for the over - hours?

 

So if your retainer client is currently getting a 15% discount for 15 hours, but goes over, than do you charge them your flat hourly for additional hours?

 

Thanks!

 

Michelle D

Edited by Mzmichelle

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Guest TerryGreen

Michelle,

 

My terms and conditions state that all additional hours are billed at my normal hourly rate. If clients consistently go over the allotted number of retainer hours, I think this encourages them to move on to the next level so they don't have to pay my premium rates for the extra hours.

 

The reason I use IPS, is because I have all three types of clients. Unfortunately, most of my local clients are project clients. While they are more project-oriented, they are the bigger projects like large mailings for an investment broker, or an advertising program I do once a year for a professional Chorale group. I've done the typesetting and layout for about four books, and have two printers that I work with - one of them on a pretty regular basis. I love desktop publishing, and have gotten some great DTP jobs from one of my printers. All of these clients pay my premium rates. I DO NOT do work for people needing a letter or something small here and there. My projects are usually at least $200 or more, usually higher. Books and advertising programs are well worth my time, and I enjoy doing them. My PAYG clients work with me consistently every month. I work with both my PAYG and retainer clients on the basis of a relationship/partnership. The only difference is that my PAYG clients don't want to commit to a specific number of hours per month, and are willing to pay my higher rates. Both PAYG and retainer clients are billed on an hourly basis just as Naomi talked about in her post. Of course, my ultimate goal is to convert all of my PAYG clients to retainer for the obvious reasons. I do love being paid in advance and knowing that my clients are locked in for a minimum of three months at a time.

 

While some VAs work only on a retainer basis (no PAYG or project whatsoever), I still enjoy working on books and desktop publishing projects, and have no problem working with PAYG clients as long as they are consistent.

 

Terry

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Question:

If your retainer client goes over their retained hours, do you charge them the regular rate for the over - hours?

Michelle,

 

If a client goes over the pre-paid retainer hours, those additional hours are billed at the retainer rate and appear on the next month's invoice.

 

Example:

Let's say the client paid a monthly retainer at the beginning of January of $200 for 5 hours which equates to $40 per hour. By the end of January you have worked 7 hours for the client. Your February invoice would include the retainer for February plus the 2 additional hours (2 x $40 = $80) worked in January ($200 plus $80) or $280.

 

Hope this helps!

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