Time and materials – billing as an SMB technology consultant

Good Sunday to you mates. Harrybbb here – the author of the SMB Consulting Best Practices book. I like holding virtual book reading by posting up passages. Here ya go – this is the all important topic about time and materials billing.

Time and materials – an old favorite

Like the lawyer and the accountant, many SMB consultants bill the “bread and butter” method: time and materials. Nothing wrong with it and a dollar earned is a dollar earned. As you know billing for time and materials is really simple. You work an hour and you bill for the hour. Your materials charges might be product you sell to the client or an expense report you’ve submitted for payment. I predict that SMB consultants will continue to use time and materials as their primary billing method because it’s proven to be effective and stood the test of time.

BEST PRACTICE: In the Minder section of this book, I work through the mathematics of time and materials billing and how to earn as much as you want from SMB consulting using this approach, sub­ject to market conditions. I also explore some of the mathematical limitations of time and materials billing and why you’ll never be a millionaire if you’re a strict time and materials SMB consultant without any staff to leverage.

Note that time and materials is preferred by many SMB consultants as a way to mitigate financial risk. It’s far easier to manage customer expectations and have your cost overruns satisfied under a time and materials arrangement versus the next topic: fixed price contracts.


Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation

MBA, MCSE, CNE, CLSE, CNP, MCP, MCT, SBSC (Microsoft Small Business Specialist)

PS – my Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) book is now here! J

PPS – my spring show, SMB Nation Spring 2009, is in the NYC-area on May 1-3, 2009.


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