Billable Hour Hangs On

Posted: May 21st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Billing | 1 Comment »

In my quest to eliminate the billable hour (which has been fairly vigorous I can tell you), I have been polling quite a few of my business clients to see if they have any interest in being billed in some other way, such as value-based billing using fixed fees, retainers and so on.  Well the results really were pretty interesting.  In just about every case, the clients were surprised that I thought they might be disgruntled with the present system (they weren’t, which is good I suppose).  They said they trusted me, and were concerned that if I quoted a fixed fee, it might compromise the integrity of my work (the quicker I work, the more I make, which is the exact opposite of the hourly dilemma; the slower I work the more I make).  

The lesson for me is that I shouldn’t be imposing my value judgments on others quite so easily.  By all means suggest alternatives, but don’t force clients to accept them.  Educate clients on alternatives wherever possible, but accept that as human beings, we are all unique, have unique approaches and unique ideas.  It seems like the billable hour isn’t quite dead for me yet?

One Comment on “Billable Hour Hangs On”

  1. 1 Wendy Keneipp said at 12:10 pm on May 22nd, 2009:

    Simon, all good points. I was recently reminded of a quote from Henry Ford that does seem applicable to your quest, “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they’d have said ‘faster horses’.” Keep the ideas & the dialogue flowing. It’s a challenge to be at the forefront of new ideas.

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