How do people feel about openly showing their rates on websites?

I came across Minute Works (a great little design studio based in Manchester) today and I found it interesting that they openly talked about their charges. They didn't just put a number up but openly showed their working out for how they got to the rates they charge ( I really appreciate this transparency. I feel it certainly leaves no amount of imagination to the client about the possible charge and it also helps other professionals to calculate their own rate.

I'm always open with my clients in my first meeting about how I calculate my project fee and give them a cost band for where their project will sit before I produce a more accurate quote for them. I've been considering changing the content of my website for a while and I think adding this to the "about us/process" page would be something I'm considering.

I'd be interested to hear other people's thinking on this and how the industry can be more open about its charges.


  • Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts; I appreciate everyone's opinions that they've added to this discussion. Some really interesting points and perspectives.

    I still think I'm leaning more towards a more open pricing structure not necessarily a services rate (website will cost £X) but being open about day/hour rate and project calculation. I feel this way does allow for flexibility depending on the project and client size meaning you won't necessarily lose money on those larger projects as they will take longer with more involvement so your project calculation will work out the quote to be higher anyway. I also did like the Minute Works idea of expressing the different day rates depending on company size and type. Whether to put it on your website or not I'm still not 100% sold on but I might include how I calculate a project without prices for now.
  • Hi Alister,

    I think it doesn't work simply because equality doesn't mean that everyone has to wear shoes in size 6. When it comes to my charges I do genuenly believe it's fair that I consider if it's for a multinational company or for a small one person start-up. As I'm lucky enough that big brands approaching me for amazing rates I still want to keep place for smaller brands to work with me.

    Also purely from a sales perspective my best practise at first settle with a good relationship with the client and make them to understand they need my expertise as water to survive and we start to talk about money just after. Yes, sometimes it happens that they simply can't afford me but then the worst thing that happened is that I helped with some thoughts a small brand that needed help.

    So my short answer putting prices on your website is against for the full 'business dating' process.
  • I love the Minute Works approach. Thank you so much for sharing that and it is great to see their transparency.

    We are clear with the client about investment and the value they gain from it. However, publishing fixed rates may become very complicated! We are always working on bespoke projects which require bespoke pricing.

    That said, we could do more to publish how we arrive at those decisions.

    It's a tricky balance!
  • Personally I feel is not productive, establishing prices and then showing them publicly may cut you possible revenues. It depends what you want to bill, if your service or the problem you solve and wher would you like to position yourself. I make a simple example: You enter in a clothes shop X and you read the prices on the labels and decide if to take it or not VS You enter in a high end fashion store where there is no price at all on anything, the employees of the store will drive you among what you may need and make you feel the specialness of being there and dress that particular piece. (Hope this makes sense).

    Another idea could be: Image you are helping me solving a problem is costing me thousands of $ every day or you are helping me gaining hundreds of thousands of $ a y, would you charge me the 5K a month that I read on the website? Or what would you do? And if the project becomes way more complex what would you do? (Just ideas..)
    Or would you budget the same for a brand that could drop you 1m and 1 that wants a 500$ thing?

    I like the idea fo being transparent in the industry, but clients are not the industry, they are clients, like you don t know the production cost of a mobile phone but in the industry they know the average. None will buy an 800$ phone knowing it costs 50$ to produce. But you ll pay 800$ for the feeling of it, or the qualities etc. (again I hope it makes sense)
    Showing prices you may cut a loooooot of revenues, you may condition the market, attract just a certain audience.

    The about / process page I feel is a great thing to have, but no prices there (or anywhere), to make understand potential clients the complexity, care, and all the different values, steps , whatever of your business.
    Hope it gives you a possible different perspective.


  • I think it's great when people show their rates, for transparency but also it helps me figure out for a sit with my prices!!

    I also think it helps weed out potential bad clients. I've had enough of people trying to get my prices down, so if they saw my costs on my website they wouldn't even bother getting in touch.

    I think if studios have a very clear idea of who they want to work with putting their rates on their website not only helps build trust with potential clients because they're being transparent and upfront, it also saves time dealing with people who don't have the budget.
  • Really great and interesting example. I'll be reading through their site the rest of this afternoon I think!

    We're pretty open when someone approaches us, around minimum investment, and what we can do within their budget (if they have one). But because we never usually do one thing at X days. It's figuring out the project first and giving a clear cost + value to the client.
  • Hi Alister, this is an amazing way to create transparency and a clear indication that our industry has been secretive far too long, (reflecting also on my reaction to seeing this for the first time, which was of total surprise). I am supporting this idea of showing a rate card if the work you do can be quantifiable against a timeline. Great insight!

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