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Let's Be Brutally Honest About Operations and 
Pricing for Web Agencies - ConvergeSE 2014

7a6f8abf3af4af2ab8720782b06c9d77?s=47 Rob
May 01, 2014

Let's Be Brutally Honest About Operations and 
Pricing for Web Agencies - ConvergeSE 2014

Let's face it—most of us running web shops did not study business. We just love building things, so we started companies where we could build on our own terms. Unfortunately, being a great builder of web things does not necessarily equip us to make sound business decisions.
Co-managing Sparkbox the past five years, I've made plenty of mistakes. From an operations and pricing perspective, let's discuss what didn't work and what is working for us at Sparkbox. We'll talk about different pricing strategies, work estimates, and how we run business operations. My hope is that you can learn from our mistakes—and our successes.
This will be a brutally honest discussion, so please come armed with questions.

7a6f8abf3af4af2ab8720782b06c9d77?s=128

Rob

May 01, 2014
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Transcript

  1. Rob Harr Let's Be Brutally Honest About Operations and 


    Pricing for Web Agencies @robertharr
  2. Hello!!

  3. None
  4. None
  5. I AM NOT A LAWYER! This is really small print

    that Rob Harr is not a lawyer. All of the things that he says should be checked with an actual lawyer who know what the heck they are doing. This is not a time that I would suggest that you “Better call Saul”.
  6. Let’s talk about you.

  7. Let’s talk about money. $$$$$$

  8. Let's Be Brutally Honest About Operations and 
 Pricing for

    Web Agencies HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
  9. Writing the codes.

  10. FORGE

  11. Employee #1

  12. Failure?

  13. None
  14. None
  15. None
  16. Q1 2014

  17. Q2 2014??

  18. Let's Be Brutally Honest About Operations and 
 Pricing for

    Web Agencies Operations
  19. What is operations?

  20. None
  21. Figure out what you make, then spend less than that!

  22. None
  23. It is all about cash flow.

  24. Most of our costs are fairly consistent and predictable.

  25. Micro-Cash flow

  26. None
  27. None
  28. Freedom is not free

  29. 6 months

  30. Business Forecasting

  31. None
  32. People who work on the business People who work in

    the business
  33. Ben Rob Jeremy Tarr Ethan Adam Ryan Ryann JMack Patrick

    Emily Marshall Philip Mike Dom Jody Drew Jän Neil
  34. Employee Expectations

  35. Contractors vs Employees

  36. It is about the journey.

  37. None
  38. Let's Be Brutally Honest About Operations and 
 Pricing for

    Web Agencies Pricing
  39. Fixed Pricing

  40. Hourly Pricing

  41. Value Pricing

  42. There is no right answer!

  43. None
  44. Hourly

  45. Initial Engagements

  46. $165

  47. Collaborative Pricing

  48. None
  49. 20% Deposit

  50. Weekly invoices

  51. Work for hire.

  52. Luck smells like perspiration.

  53. None
  54. Let's Be Brutally Honest About Operations and 
 Pricing for

    Web Agencies SOME GOOD IDEAS
  55. Know your terms.

  56. Find a Geoff.

  57. Get a line of credit before you need it.

  58. Get professional help!

  59. Know your legal documents.

  60. http://msabundle.com/

  61. Find some owner friends.

  62. Train your clients to think about your pricing model.

  63. Have difficult conversations about budgets.

  64. Decide as a team what parts of a project should

    be experimented with.
  65. Some of the people you hire will leave.

  66. Know your price multiplier.

  67. Track your time.

  68. Increase your rates.

  69. Find better clients.

  70. Plan for taxes all year long.

  71. Save your cash.

  72. There are no shortcuts.

  73. Let's Be Brutally Honest About Operations and 
 Pricing for

    Web Agencies WHAT NOT TO DO
  74. Discounts for early payment.

  75. Negotiate your rates.

  76. Negotiate your rates. Maybe?

  77. Be afraid to fire clients.

  78. Expect your clients to grow with you.

  79. Ignore taxes until tax time.

  80. Let's Be Brutally Honest About Operations and 
 Pricing for

    Web Agencies WRAP IT UP
  81. No one should be able to dictate the terms in

    which you do business.
  82. Rob’s two basic rules for happiness in business:

  83. Rule 1: Life is too short to work with people

    you hate.
  84. Rule 2: If you ever become annoyed by a client,

    it is only because you are not charging them enough money.
  85. The real secret to what little success we have had

    at Sparkbox.
  86. Confidence

  87. Questions?

  88. THANKS! @robertharr rob@heysparkbox.com