Do any of you mark-up subcontractors' fees when you charge it back to clients?

If you work with subcontractors, do you mark up what they charge you before billing clients? If so, by how much?

  • Hope this isn't a copout, but you should mark it up as much as you can get away with.

    More specifically, you have to create an effective project hourly rate, and then work backwards from there. Every hour the subcontractor is working is going to be his/her labor, with a wee bit if your own management overhead, and the wear and tear on your company resources. So if you're charging the client $100/hr, you can crunch the numbers and say $75 is the max for a subcontractor before I'm potentially losing money.

    But in that same example, if you can charge $100, but you find someone capable who is willing to do it for $35, then go right ahead.

    Larger agencies do this all the time, and most don't break down their hourly figure based on who's actually doing the work. The old adage that you pay $750/hr for two junior designers to do the work is hyperbole, but there's some truth to that.

  • Hardly a copout. Just trying to determine how other freelancers do things. And this helps.

  • Usually, I just go by the average today, and what my highest wage to date was.

    The average per word is 5-10 cents and up
    The average salary for a writer is $30-40k; for content marketing, add another $10-20k

    My highest wage was $15-20/hr depending on the amount of work I got done that week.

    So I usually use those numbers to determine what to charge my client, based on the project.

  • Hope this isn't a copout, but you should mark it up as much as you can get away with.

    More specifically, you have to create an effective project hourly rate, and then work backwards from there. Every hour the subcontractor is working is going to be his/her labor, with a wee bit if your own management overhead, and the wear and tear on your company resources. So if you're charging the client $100/hr, you can crunch the numbers and say $75 is the max for a subcontractor before I'm potentially losing money.

    But in that same example, if you can charge $100, but you find someone capable who is willing to do it for $35, then go right ahead.

    Larger agencies do this all the time, and most don't break down their hourly figure based on who's actually doing the work. The old adage that you pay $750/hr for two junior designers to do the work is hyperbole, but there's some truth to that.

  • Hardly a copout. Just trying to determine how other freelancers do things. And this helps.

  • Usually, I just go by the average today, and what my highest wage to date was.

    The average per word is 5-10 cents and up
    The average salary for a writer is $30-40k; for content marketing, add another $10-20k

    My highest wage was $15-20/hr depending on the amount of work I got done that week.

    So I usually use those numbers to determine what to charge my client, based on the project.