We've been put in a bit of a difficult situation and I'm trying to figure out the best way to deal with it and how to charge for it.
We've built a custom web app for a customer and I've been maintaining it for the last 1.5 years. They sent email an email a couple weeks ago saying they've hired a developer and would like to take the project in house. (Nothing had been mentioned regarding taking it in house before.) I was of course surprised as I had expected to be working on the project for another year or more.
I met with the developer a week ago and went over the basics of the site. After my offer (including suggestion of a different rate) and follow-up email, they asked me if I'd be willing to do some training on how to continue development of the app using the libraries/techniques currently used. (The developer is experienced with the language, but not with the libraries.)
I'm wondering how much I should charge for 1-on-1 training tailored specifically for the site and the libraries (libraries which are reusable)? I'm thinking the training would between 3 and 6 hours, depending on how much the developer's skill level.
Here are my difficulties in coming up with the rate:
- We're going to be loosing 10s of thousands of dollars by not having the client and project any more (not to mention future opportunities). So in part, I'd like to replace some of this income through training.
- I'm essentially training someone to do what we do and giving them the opportunity to compete against us. They are a reasonably large company that has the possibility of competing against our company directly, although it's not likely our 2 companies will be direct competition.
- We've spent years learning the libraries (50% external and 50% ours) and the technology behind them (which we haven't been paid for directly).
- I'm not sure what the going rate for training is the area, specifically for 1-on-1 training.
- I want to do the right thing because there is a slight possibility of affecting other business relationships.
My first thought was to to charge something around 5 times the rate we're charging them currently, but I have a feeling they'll think this is high.
(We're not terribly concerned with getting the contract to do the training, but it would be a unique opportunity where we could learn as well.)
Thanks for your suggestions and ideas. I know this is a bit of a subjective question, but I'm just looking for suggestions or something I'm not thinking of.