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As a freelancer do you bill the time you take to learn and figure things out?

In my freelance project I have been basically learning as I go and I have spent countless hours fighting bugs and figuring things out. Ofc that I have largely overshoot my budget but it’s not really fair to bill the client for something I had to learn right? But at the same time I only had to learn that for the project…

How do you manage this?

author Tiago Ferreira

4 Answers

did this ever happened to you Lydia Melvin and Benedikt?

writen by Tiago Ferreira

I made the same experience. Normally you should be able to bill most of the project specific (especially domain knowledge) learning as well.

The answer for not billing depends, imho on the following: • Could the learning be applied to other projects as well? • If you don’t overshoot the budget is there a possibility to do more work for the client in the future? • Could I use the leaning in a side project or even make a product out of it? If one of those questions is true I cut most of the learning time and don’t bill it. If it’s the second you can slowly add the time later on, by rounding up hours in your favor. In the end it’s finding a balance between not making the project a loss for you and making the customer happy

writen by Benedikt

great answer Benedikt. In the end you need to renegonitiate the deal with the costumer and try to make it so that both are happy right?

writen by Tiago Ferreira

If you had a budget, then that’s a good idea as well. Outcome depends on the customer, though

writen by Benedikt

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