I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon.
This year, I paused all my time-eating gigs. You know the ones - you quote for 4 hours work for $100 and it turns into 2 days work for $100. I stopped them because the time I spent on them was unpredictable and my hourly rate was appalling once you added in all the time taken to get the requirements down pat, then answering questions on the delivery. It was thankless and stressful to be honest.
This year, I’m focussing on work I can quantify: short, sharp, sweet deliveries. Place order-do work-deliver. Bang. Done.
And what I’ve noticed is that I’m getting a lot more tips. I love tips, but I never mention them or push for them or hint to buyers that they should leave one. Buyers on bigger projects, those time-eaters, rarely leave tips. I guess they figure it’s cost them so much already. But people paying $5, and have me throw in an extra improvement or something I noticed that took me 5 minutes maybe on top of their gig, are happy to leave a tip. Maybe it’s only another $5 but still.
In summary, my advice is chunk your gigs up smaller, not make them bigger. The hourly rate is a lot better.