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I am going to give a javascript course to some developers in a local company, I know all the subjects I will teach and estimate duration, also note that the course will be for experience developers so it will contain a lot of advanced subjects.

I don't know how to calculate my cost, anyone there have experience and can advice me?

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closed as off-topic by gnat, DougM, MichaelT, Bart van Ingen Schenau, World Engineer Mar 17 '14 at 13:17

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This question appears to be off-topic because it is tour course cost calculation –  gnat Mar 14 '14 at 18:41

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

There are three separate costs here - compensation for developing the material, which can be spread over many instances of the course, compensation for the half day or day delivering the material, and the cost of the room and equipment to actually hold the course. I am going to presume you can handle that last one since it will either all be free (on their premises) or you will be paying rental fees for it.

Working out your daily rate is the first step. (As a quick ballpark, take your annual salary and divide by 1000 which is the typical billable hours per year, and multiply by 8 to get a daily rate.) Then knowing (or guessing) how much effort the development will be is quite difficult. (I've got decades of experience so I use 5-1 as my ratio - a 4 hour course will take 20 hours to put together. For you it might be 10-1.) And then how many courses can you divide that across? If you're a training firm, and it's a common topic like JavaScript without content specific to that client, then the answer is dozens. But for a one-off like this, possibly even customized to those developers, the answer may be only 1 or 2.

Then when you get a number, sanity check it. If there is similar training available elsewhere, are you cheaper or more expensive (including travel expenses perhaps) and by how much? You may realize that what you need to charge is double or triple (per person) what the big firms charge, because they hang on until they have large class sizes, they amortize development across many more instances, and they can even negotiate cheaper room and equipment costs. At that point you will have to decide whether you want to charge your full daily rate or settle for somewhat less as a way to establish yourself in the training community or with this client or something.

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Knowing how much to charge is always a balancing act. Joel wrote a great article about it a while back. A lot of the stuff in there doesn't apply to your specific situation, but it's still worth reading.

Are you charging the company a lump sum at this event, or charging the developers a per-person admission fee? Either way, you want to basically set the price about as high as you can without the prospective buyer deciding it's too high and turning you down, but that's a lot easier to estimate if there's only one prospective buyer.

If you're charging per person, try looking in the mirror. This is for experienced developers, and you're an experienced developer. What would you see as a fair price if you were deciding whether or not to attend a similar course?

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How much is your time worth? That's roughly it.

You can also search online for similar courses and see what other people are charging to give yourself the idea of what you could charge. Ultimately, though, think about the value you're providing and the money you'd like to make out of it.

This will also depend on where you are. Different countries or even different parts of the same country may have different price tolerances for tech courses.

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