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How much should I charge? (IT moonlighting position)

DrVos

Golden Member
Jan 31, 2002
1,085
0
0
Sorry for the long post, skip down to the Cliff's Notes if you don't wann read:

I've been taking care of the technical end of a cyber cafe startup owned by some family friends. I see them as family and have to this point been reluctant to talk amount compensation. They are very generous, and want to pay me something fair, but neither of us no exactly what "fair" is. They plan on hiring me on to take care of the computers, network, and purchasing of games and equipment and I'd love to help but would like to get the financial terms of the agreement settled before I commit myself any further.

In my past work experience, I was paid by when I clocked in and out. In this job, I would be working both on and offsite, with my billable hours being kinda murky~ i.e. would browsing on AT be considered "research"? I'm a college student and Sys Admin for another firm in the day and plan to spend no more than 8-10 hrs or so a week on the Cyber Cafe.

It would be nice to earn a couple of hundred extra bucks a month for helping them out, but assuming I earn $400 a month from them and charge on an hourly basis, I'm only making $10/hr.

What would be an equitable arrangement for both parties?

Thanks for the help

Cliff Notes:
1. Asked to do some IT moonlighting for family friends
2. Anticipate putting in about 10 hours a week when everything is up and running.
3. They're not too sure what to pay me
4. I am not too sure what to charge them
 

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
61,145
4,832
126
Under the table, or do you pay taxes on it?
 

DrVos

Golden Member
Jan 31, 2002
1,085
0
0
This would be taxable income on my part...

I am weighing the merits of charging a flat fee... It would help with their budgeting, would guarantee me income in case it was a slow month, but wouldnt help me much if they say, wanted to upgrade all their computers.

Hmmm...
 

sillymofo

Banned
Aug 11, 2003
5,817
0
0
Well, considering you'll have unlimited free access to free gamings, and helping your friends at the same time, I'd say about 100 per week is fair. If you only have to put in around 10 hrs a week.
 

DrVos

Golden Member
Jan 31, 2002
1,085
0
0
Originally posted by: m2kewl
first advice: don't work for friends and family
Agh, I've heard that too. I guess what's keeping me on is that this is a great oppurtunity to help create something and that I don't want them to be charged up the nose by someone else.
 

Ameesh

Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
23,686
0
0
if it really wont be more then 10 hours a week i'd say $500 a month is reasnoble for a family friends.
 

aircooled

Lifer
Oct 10, 2000
15,965
0
0
Originally posted by: DrVos
Originally posted by: m2kewl
first advice: don't work for friends and family
Agh, I've heard that too. I guess what's keeping me on is that this is a great oppurtunity to help create something and that I don't want them to be charged up the nose by someone else.
You'll become life-long tech support, the intial $$$$ will mean nothing. Dont do it!!!!!!

 

DT4K

Diamond Member
Jan 21, 2002
6,944
2
81
I know a couple of people who do networking / server setup type work on the side.
They charge anywhere from 40-80 an hour.
But that is also for mostly one-time stuff where they will only spend a few hours on it, then won't come back unless there is a problem that needs fixed.

For regular part-time work, I would say this kind of stuff is worth between 10-20 an hour depending on where you are in the country.

Maybe $150 a week for roughly 10 hours?

EDIT: by the way, that is not what I would consider a "long" post at all.
 

tm37

Lifer
Jan 24, 2001
12,436
1
0
Ok so if this will be taxable will they be having you as an employee OR will they hire you as a contractor.

This has an effect on the taxes
 

DrVos

Golden Member
Jan 31, 2002
1,085
0
0
$500 a month seems about right to me. A friend of mine suggested some kind of revenue sharing agreement. Doing so would (in theory) allow me to earn more in future if the company did well. But I have no idea what percentage to ask for and don't know how that would work while they are burning though their savings as they build a customer base.
 

flot

Diamond Member
Feb 24, 2000
3,197
0
0
You guys seem pretty high with your prices...

First of all, you're doing the work for free right now, right?!

Second of all, how long do you *actually* think you'll be "working" every week? It sounds like about 4 hours of work a week to me.

I think $400 a month sounds like an awful lot of money for the kind of volume of work I'd imagine you doing. Now, I am working under the assumption that when you say "cyber cafe" you mean coffeeshop etc where you HAPPEN to be able to check your email. To me, helping out with something like that sounds like $50-75 a week of effort. If I'm mistaken and you honestly mean a place where computers come first, then $400-500 a month seems reasonable.

Do they have any sort of $$ figure in mind? You'd also want to very clearly outline your responsibilities and schedule - it gets more complicated, not less, since they are family friends. Also your asking figure should be loosly related to how successful the place is, you can't ask for $100 a week if they're only making $200 a week off the venture...

Edit: I guess my big question is, what specifically would you be doing there, and how important will those duties be to the success of their venture?
 

DrVos

Golden Member
Jan 31, 2002
1,085
0
0
I guess it would help to clarify what the venture is and my role there.

The term internet cafe is a bit misleading...yes, it does have a cafe and has sit down seating in the front. But the focus will be gamers. There will be 26 computers (Barton 2500+, 512MB Ram, 9800 Pro) that will be available for office type tasks in the day, but focus will be to gamers at night. Aside from offering lan gaming, they plan on hosting tourneys, sleep over lan parties, etc. Since they aren't particularly computer savvy, I'd be the one taking care of ordering new software, maintaining/repairing/upgrading equipment, security, keeping the servers updated, keeping an eye out for mods, patches, etc and so on.

I am really unsure about how much time it will take to maintain a network of 2 servers, 26 gaming, 1 admin, and 1 POS... but I figured around 8 hours a week seemed about right.

Also your asking figure should be loosly related to how successful the place is, you can't ask for $100 a week if they're only making $200 a week off the venture...
This is exactly the issue I am wrestling with. If they only make a couple hundred a month on the computer aspect of the venture, then I agree, asking $500 month would be unfair....I'd help them out for free. But if they end up making thousands a month, then I'd like to get a little back. The crux of the matter is that neither they, nor I, know how to charge and how much.
 

Bleep

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
3,972
0
0
I would say have them get some bids from some other tech's and then go from there.
Bleep
 

mikebb

Senior member
May 21, 2001
452
0
0
Originally posted by: DrVos
I guess it would help to clarify what the venture is and my role there.

The term internet cafe is a bit misleading...yes, it does have a cafe and has sit down seating in the front. But the focus will be gamers. There will be 26 computers (Barton 2500+, 512MB Ram, 9800 Pro) that will be available for office type tasks in the day, but focus will be to gamers at night. Aside from offering lan gaming, they plan on hosting tourneys, sleep over lan parties, etc. Since they aren't particularly computer savvy, I'd be the one taking care of ordering new software, maintaining/repairing/upgrading equipment, security, keeping the servers updated, keeping an eye out for mods, patches, etc and so on.

I am really unsure about how much time it will take to maintain a network of 2 servers, 26 gaming, 1 admin, and 1 POS... but I figured around 8 hours a week seemed about right.

Also your asking figure should be loosly related to how successful the place is, you can't ask for $100 a week if they're only making $200 a week off the venture...
This is exactly the issue I am wrestling with. If they only make a couple hundred a month on the computer aspect of the venture, then I agree, asking $500 month would be unfair....I'd help them out for free. But if they end up making thousands a month, then I'd like to get a little back. The crux of the matter is that neither they, nor I, know how to charge and how much.
So if I understand correctly, your family friends own an internet cafe (a computer business,) but have limited computer skills? It would be one thing if they owned a "food" cafe, and had a couple of PC's for customers to use, but what you describe sounds like they'd be pulling in most of their money from the PC's themselves. If that were the case, and I were ask to maintain all their machines (read "keep them making money") I would be tempted to ask for an ownership share of the business.

Barring that, I think that you should be making at least $500 a month. Helping them out for free sounds nice, but again, your maintaining PC's for an Internet cafe is you providing a critical business service for them. And I'm sure they're in business to make money. Wouldn't you be a little pissed if they started pulling in $thousands per month and they kept expecting you to work for free?

Lastly, as far as the size of the operation. Don't be fooled thinking they are small. 26 PC's and 2 servers might not seem like a lot, but think of it this way: A friend of mine is a Sys Admin for a small company (50 employees, 5 or so servers.) He makes at least $60-70k a year. Not a huge amount goes wrong, but he earns the money he makes as there is only him and one other guy to work on any problems they have.

Granted, an internet cafe is a lot different than other many other businesses, but this still may involve a lot of work. Think of all the spyware/viruses/etc, downloaded every day on these PCs, updates to run on PCs, broken hardware, and on and on.



 

Zee

Diamond Member
Nov 27, 1999
5,171
3
76
<tangent>

What the heck? I dont understand all of you. This is an easy ass job bluntly speaking. Where are you located? I can find 20 people in a heartbeat that will do this for 5-8 an hour. 500 a month? Aren't these people your friends?

</tangent>

Be reasonable and dont get the term "it consultant" = automatic high fee.

The percentage idea of their income is a good idea only if you trust that they'll be honest with you now and in the long run.

If you can get away with 500 a month, more power to you.
 

thomsbrain

Lifer
Dec 4, 2001
18,148
1
0
Originally posted by: flot
You guys seem pretty high with your prices...

First of all, you're doing the work for free right now, right?!

Second of all, how long do you *actually* think you'll be "working" every week? It sounds like about 4 hours of work a week to me.

I think $400 a month sounds like an awful lot of money for the kind of volume of work I'd imagine you doing. Now, I am working under the assumption that when you say "cyber cafe" you mean coffeeshop etc where you HAPPEN to be able to check your email. To me, helping out with something like that sounds like $50-75 a week of effort. If I'm mistaken and you honestly mean a place where computers come first, then $400-500 a month seems reasonable.

Do they have any sort of $$ figure in mind? You'd also want to very clearly outline your responsibilities and schedule - it gets more complicated, not less, since they are family friends. Also your asking figure should be loosly related to how successful the place is, you can't ask for $100 a week if they're only making $200 a week off the venture...

Edit: I guess my big question is, what specifically would you be doing there, and how important will those duties be to the success of their venture?
dude, if he works 10 hours a week, $500 is only $12.50/hour. considering many people charge $50/hour for this stuff, that's a bargin for his family.
 

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