I've been an Upwork member for a long time now, and I'm a big fan of how securely you get paid on hourly contracts, but I am thinking of switching to fixed-price contracts, simply because I feel like that would push a little more to be more time efficient, since hourly pay is kinda not pushing you in that direction, (working slow makes yo get paid more). The huge problem with fixed contracts is how to estimate the price of a project, if anyone has any tips?
About my personal experience: After working with one client for over a year we decided we can switch to a fixed-price contract, and I did my first project as a fixed project, but it was kind of slower than hourly, a lot of stuff that wasn't planned came out, but my client was understanding and we could add new milestones, or change the price of a milestone, but still I thought that I worked a little more than I got paid for.
Well, really any thought would be appreciated on this subject.
You have to gauge and guesstimate the workload required, to achieve specific goals set by the client.
And you have to establish boundaries, a set of provisions, required to remain within the budget; meaning, that one of them not being met, or the scope of work going outside the set limits, will merit a new milestone or a bonus, or a per hour surcharge for the extra work.
This requires more communication with the client or a very precise and well-spoken, adequate counterpart, who knows the project well and has a good insight into your sphere of expertise.
Otherwise, unreasonably high expectations or question to the justifiability of the surcharges may arise, with lack of trust putting a dent into your professional relationship with the client.
Therefore, I would suggest your client proposing an example milestone, specifying how much he/she thinks it is worth and what he deems qualifying for a result; with a set of exact, measurable points, which you have to reach.
If those are adequate, you may proceed, if not – you’re better off sticking to an hourly contract. The middle road would be asking the client questions, until you produce such a milestone, but this alone could easily become grounds to bill him/her for hourly work...