How should I charge for programming things which take two minutes to fix?
On some systems I created, every now and then I get tiny change requests from clients that are very easy for me to do, but the client can not do it themselves.
- Hey, we made a new logo, could you please upload it to our website?
- Can you check how many users we had this month?
Most of them basically just requires me to log on to the FTP server and upload a file which takes 2 minutes max. Sometimes even answering the email or writing the bill takes longer!
How do I charge the client for these changes? I could easily do it for free, because at the moment I don't get them frequently at all, maybe once per month. If the initial cost of the system is big it would seem like a nice gesture to the client to give and take a bit. What I'm afraid of is that they will become more and more frequent and then the client will get used to getting these changes for free. Also where do I draw the line for what to give away, 2 minutes? 5 minutes? 15 minutes? I want to be consistent in the pricing so it doesn't seem like I charge whatever I feel for at the moment.
- Charge per started hour/half hour/quarter, that is, 1 minute counts as 1 hour, 61 minutes as 2 hours (at least for the first hour).
- Accumulate small changes into a pool of time. Instead of sending out bills for 2 minutes each they add up to a sum at the end of every 3 months or something.
- Only charge if they want the fix NOW. Otherwise say they'll get it once I have time, within the next weeks.
- Be an ass and pretend it's a big fix.