Forum Academy Marketplace Showcase Pricing Features

How to charge for Bubble development?

So I have a friend at a company who was going to hire a developer to build out a tool for their business, but I told him I could totally build that tool for him. At least, I’m like 95% confident I can.

I’m very new to Bubble, but just in the last month I’ve already launched an app that now has users, search, API’s, etc. I’ve messed around and have watched so many tutorials on Bubble development that I feel like I just graduated a code bootcamp.

My question: how do I charge? WHAT should I charge? On one hand if I can get the job done just as well as a developer in half the time you could argue I’m worth just as much, if not more because the end-result is the same. However, being new there may be issues that I may run into and obviously part of my pitch was that I’m cheaper than your typical developer.

I’m guessing most devs scope out the project and calculate how many hours it will take to complete and x that buy their hourly rate? What is average in the industry?

Also, what should I do “after” the project is complete? Do I just hand them the Bubble account and tell them to reach out if they need help? Do I pay for the account myself and just bill them every month for the hosting and whatever maintenance I had to do?

Noob questions here, but any advice would help!

2 Likes

Let me share what I am doing in such scenario.

All the development cost is covered by the client be it Bubble monthly billing, plugin purchase etc.

Avg charge is depend upon lots of thing like where you stay, how comfortable you are with wages you are getting. If the client is in USA or any developed country, I can easily charge 50-60K/year. You can calculate the hourly rates.

Having working in the IT industry, I have figured out there is no right or wrong pricing. People charges $500/hour to $5/hour, so don’t worry much about the pricing. Go and charge whatever feel like, till then you can justify the charges.

Always look for how much money or time your product is saving and ask for that value. If you can build any product in half the time traditional dev will required, you owe that money.

I wouldn’t pitch that you are cheaper than typical developer. Most people don’t buy cheap they buy quality, especially when it comes to tools they use to operate a business.

You can and should pitch that you are faster than your traditional developer because you develop using no code tools. So, because you’re 10X faster (as a noob that might not be true, so maybe 2-3X) You are X amount less expensive.

I’ve seen in Bubble ranges as with anything as an hourly rate. Don’t forget, if you charge $75 an hour and it takes you 100 hours but the next guy charges $150 an hour and it takes them 25 hours, we’ll who is twice as expensive?

5 Likes

I would like to add my thought on this.

Normally if you develop software you always need multiple developers. In my previous job we always had one for backend, one for front-end, one for app, one product owner, one project manager and one designer.

Being a bubble developer, you do have different hats. You don’t differentiate (normally) between backend, front-end or app. Especially for smaller projects, you also don’t need a product owner or project manager.

You can save a lot of money and time by just reducing the roles required. Also, I think that a good No Code / Low Code Developer must have a broad skill-set. From data structuring to user flows, etc.

Unfortunately, I also see many unrealistic budget expectations. I see too many “Build me a marketplace for $1000”. I have no idea why developers are doing that, but such dumping prices just ruin the business for everyone.

Many greetings.

Sarah

4 Likes

I’ve been staring at this question for a while from various angles. I believe you’ve got 3 paths:

Type of Contract Who Bares the Risk?
Scope-based The Contractor
Time-based The Client
Velocity-based Shared

Scope-based

This is the most typical arrangement and probably the toughest to get right.

Clients prefer this because they can “control their costs” (air quotes). That perceived economy hides management and quality costs.

The burden of risk is on the contractor. The contractor is incentivized to get absolutely clarity on the scope and then freeze that scope which leads to long negotiations. It still surprises me how quickly both parties enter adversarial positions.

  • The client wants to maximize scope. He does that by micro-managing.
  • The contractor wants to defend his margin by cutting quality.

I’ve seen companies award contracts to the lowest bidder then have to staff senior project managers to manage those contracts.

I’m very negative on these types of contracts specially for software work. If you go that route, look at the Jonathan Stark’s interview on the Futur.

Time-based

I’ve got a case study where a client decreased time-to-market from 14 months to 3 months by switching from scope-based to time-based. If time-to-market is the client’s goal, this can be a good alternative. However, this path is not all flowers.

The client now bears all the risk and has no guarantees of work done. Plus the client has to onboard the contractor(s) and feed him work. On the other hand, the contractor is incentivized to book as many hours as possible.

The challenge for the contractor is to find the right rate.

Velocity-based

How can you share the burden? The best solution I found so far is an “agile contract”. The challenge here is to know your velocity and agree on the tolerances and escalation procedures.

2 Likes

100%!

You also have to know your target client.

I have a particular niche I specialise in because of my professional experience pre-bubble. I bring more than just developer skills to the table, and I’ve invested (lots of) time and money in to honing my skills. That comes at a premium, but my target client knows and appreciates this. They see value and have the budget.

I don’t worry about any other type of client as they aren’t for me :slight_smile:

(mainly saying this for other budding devs to read)

As to the OP - @brandon8 work out what hourly rate your comfortable with based on your income needs, then work out how many hours you think the project will take to complete. Do the math on that and add 20% (you’ll find it very hard to estimate time when you are new, so add a buffer). Don’t forget to also account for any taxes (sales and income) that might apply to you and add those on top as well.

You can’t charge a premium as a ‘noob’ - use this as a way to build your portfolio and additional experience and skills while also getting a modest income. There are MANY things you still need to learn in terms of best practice Bubble development, how to quote, how to structure your project and client communication etc. This only comes with time on the tools :slight_smile:

Small projects I get 50% upfront and 50% within 7 days of completion. The client has a small window to test and report bugs otherwise they can take ages and that pushes out your payment. Large projects there is a deposit of 10%-25% and then milestone payments (milestone to be paid before commencing).

If you have an agency account you can create an app without paying until you want to transfer to client and deploy live. If you don’t have an agency account you might need to have the app on a personal plan if you need some of those features while you are building. Account for that in your quote. Also account for any plugins in your quote. You can then transfer the app to the client on completion and they pay the platform fees. Most instances if the client has had a good experience with you they will keep you on for upgrades but that’s up to them.

Good luck :slight_smile:

1 Like