13coders operates a transparent pricing policy for all client engagements, based on a flat day rate. Here's Mike to explain both the pricing and the rationale, and some background on how he works with clients.
In an effort to de-weird the whole process of getting in a consultant, I’ve decided to make pricing as simple and transparent as possible. I charge £400 ex VAT per day for all onsite development, training, and consultancy work. If travel and accommodation are needed, these expenses are charged separately.
This rate is based on current salary surveys , and is intentionally chosen to be the midpoint between a mainstream developer and a development lead role.
I work with clients onsite for a minimum of one day, up to a maximum of four continuous weeks, although I’m happy to have longer-term on/off discontinuous engagements beyond four weeks for ongoing support and follow-up.
If you need less than one day, I can do remote video and screenshare consultations on a limited range of focus areas for a fixed fee of £125 ex VAT for a session of up to 90 minutes. Please drop me a line to let me know what you’d like input with.
If I think it can’t be done on a share, I’ll say so, and provide you as many alternative suggestions, links and resources as I can, all without charge.
I’ll work with you under NDA for between 1-5 days to fully understand your goals and draft a proposal. This work is free, and without any commercial commitment to implement the work. I see this as the cost of doing business in niche technical domains.
I’m self-directing, and will need a very high degree of autonomy within your organisation to deliver what we agree. If our understanding of the problem changes, I’ll stay flexible, but always with a sharp focus on delivery of the value we’ve agreed.
I don’t do pressure selling, for the simple reason that the changes I make in teams need commitment. If you’re not committed, I’ll probably fail, so all of our time would be better spent doing other things.
If I don’t think I’m best placed to deliver what you need, or we can’t reach a strong consensus on what needs to happen, we’ll shake hands and amicably part company. I won’t do sales followup calls, I won’t spam you with email, or otherwise attempt to guilt-trip you into paid work.
Total confidentiality is assured at all times: I don’t blab about work I’m doing, the names of companies I’m working with, or the nature of that work.
I’ll need your help - and that of your team - to arrive at a solidly realistic proposal that addresses your goals and needs. I need to understand your products and company’s business too, so these conversations won’t be confined to technical folks.
If onsite training workshops are part of the proposal, I’ll also need your help in organising the logistics of rooms, equipment, catering, and production of printed workshop materials.
There’s always small print, right? I have a don’t pay for what you don’t use approach that means I can engage with clients - especially local clients - for the lowest possible cost, rather than charging an inflated day rate that’s based on worst-case logistics.
The flip side of this is that you do pay for what you do use, in the event that I have to travel, or incur additional costs. This section spells out these costs and practicalities. If you have any questions about these, please drop me an email.
With a base in Central Scotland, travel is included in that flat day rate to Edinburgh, Glasow, Fife, Perth, Stirling and Dundee (and environs, for all those areas). Travel further afield in Scotland, UK and Europe incurs additional travel costs.
13coders Limited will charge back travel expenses at cost to clients with VAT added at 20% (an HMRC requirement ), so this is a variable expense. I use budget hotels and low-cost airlines, and don’t charge for incidental expenses like meals and taxi fares below a £20 threshold. Depending on the location of your site, car rental is often a requirement too.
If the work needs me to provision additional servers on AWS or other as-a-service products for source control, build, code review or issue tracking, again these are charged at cost and invoiced separately.
If the work is on embedded systems and needs me to bring equipment, it’s likely that I’ll have to make special arrangements for transport. This is also an additional cost. Unfortunately all airlines (budget or otherwise) have placed severe constraints on transport of multiple items of cabin baggage, and fragile equipment.
It’s sometimes possible to reduce travel costs by splitting work into onsite and offsite parts. Remote offsite work can be done for zero expense, but this is generally only feasible for longer engagements with a significant element of hands-on development.
If you have suggestions for reducing the overheads and expenses in any proposal, I’m very happy to discuss them.
Printed supporting materials for workshops are charged back to clients at cost. The cost varies depending on printers, printing options and binding, and the lead time. I can give a guide price of £20-25 per attendee for a single workshop, but this is indicative only - a specific figure will be on the quote for any workshop.
Binding quotes are valid for 14 days. I’d like to make this longer, but leaving the door open for longer can mean turning away work that’s “good to go”, and few micro-businesses can afford this.
You’ll need to do whatever supplier onboarding is necessary to raise a purchase order - I can’t commence work without a PO that references back to a quote and proposal you’ve received from 13coders Limited.
I’ll do all I can to support you on this, but bear in mind this is a one-person microbusiness with highly sporadic patterns of work. If you have a lightweight onboarding option for suppliers below a cost threshold, this is usually the best bet.
I can’t work via agency recruiters, sorry: direct engagement and agreement of scope and focus with clients is a prerequisite, and is incompatible with the model of agencies engaged in volume resourcing.
If you’re a prospective client, and have an agency claiming to represent either 13coders Limited, or Mike Ritchie as an individual, their claim is untrue. Demand evidence of explicit, written, recent consent for their right to represent me: they won’t have it.
I don’t do associate agreements through other consultancy companies either, for most of the same reasons I don’t use agencies.
Payment to 13coders Limited is accepted via bank transfer, PayPal, and a secure online payment gateway provided by our accounting platform. Invoices are issued with 28-day payment terms. A full VAT invoice is always issued.
I understand that clients sometimes want to check that people can actually code, and I’d do the same.
I’m happy to do a technical talk, demo and presentation as a form of team audition - this is generally preferable because it’s highly interactive, and gives a wide group of people the chance to ask me questions. My role is as much about people as technology, so an interactive session like this is usually more effective. I expect and welcome challenging questions at these sessions.
If you prefer to set people a coding assignment, this is also fine, but I’d expect this to be something that can reasonably be completed in around 2-3 hours. If I think your assignment exercise will take too much time, I’ll propose an alternative. If you’d just like to see some code that I’ve written, I can point you at a portfolio of samples, with some narrative.
I don’t do any kind of psychometric, personality, or reasoning tests (verbal, logical, numeric).
You can reach us via email or phone, and we're always happy to meet in person to talk through any ideas or requirements you have:
Unit 8 Deer Park
Fairways Business Park Livingston EH54 8GA
+ 44 (0)1506 343015