I have a S-Corp on the side and do work on software development. My main job (a contracting project) is ending in a few months and I started reaching out to new clients. I found a client through a colleague I had worked with in the past and had an initial call with them. Up until now I've only done hourly work (odd jobs here and there and not really a steady stream of income from my side gigs). The client reached out to me asking me the pricing structure. Here's their question:

  1. Single modular project pricing
  2. Hourly pricing
  3. Weekly / monthly retainer

It appears that they need a formal response (and most likely a contract between the two parties in the future?). I am relatively new to this and am looking for input. My questions:

  1. I've heard from others that fixed price projects should be avoided at all cost. This happens due to scope creep and vague requirements. Should I tell them I only do hourly?
  2. I have no idea what a retainer is. Can someone help me with weekly/monthly retainer model?
  3. They've also asked for response time/hours of availability for each one of these models. I usually do my side gigs at nights/weekends. I might be able to do some work during the day but I'd rather not commit to it as high priority things may come up at my day contract. Is it a good idea to tell them that I work only nights/weekends? Does that come across as "professional"?
  4. I understand that there's a big range for software developers. Should I bid a low hourly rate to get my foot in the door (I usually work at $100/hour with my other side gigs).
  • 5
    I see you are asking at least 4 different questions. I suggest you try to keep it down to one or at most 2. If you have separate questions, I suggest you write separate posts for each one. – DarkCygnus Jul 8 '19 at 22:31
  • 6
    This belongs on freelancing.stackexchange.com – Peter M Jul 8 '19 at 22:36
  • 1
    Also, your question (2) I think can be answered with a Google query and browsing a bit. What have you grasped so far from your searches? – DarkCygnus Jul 8 '19 at 22:37
  • To give insight on the main question. Definitely a single project pricing. Charging a rate is always a risk for a client. Questioning how quickly you can do things, once you prove that potentially change – Twyxz Jul 9 '19 at 7:13

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