Charlie Plesums is available for short-term consulting, programming, and technical documentation services. He is not available for "full time" assignments, nor for any work that is primarily performed at the customer's site.
Why are these rates cheaper than you may have paid for his services in the past?
For many years Charlie has provided consulting services through large companies that charged as much as $500 per hour for his services. Each of those companies used a substantial portion of his time responding to requests for proposals, helping sales people or account managers prepare free project plans (under the name "draft budget estimates"), or helping customers with "quick technical questions" even when those "quick questions" consumed a substantial portion of his time. Customers received far more hours of service than the hours for which they were billed.
In addition, these consulting companies also provide assistance to their employees, such as help filing income taxes when work is performed in numerous jurisdictions throughout the year. Charlie's work must primarily be performed in Austin to minimize those tax complexities, and to keep his overhead low.
As an individual consultant, he charges for all the time that he works for you, or is available at your request, but only that time. Pay a far lower rate for the hours you use, but you will be expected to pay for all of those hours. No free project plans or free support.
The basic rate for consulting and programming services by Charlie Plesums is $180 per hour.
If you wish to establish a retainer by paying for services in advance, a contract will be negotiated at a discounted rate.
Work that can be performed in any location on a "time available" basis will be billed at one-half of the rates above ($90 per hour). Suggested services include
Legal depositions and expert witness services are available at three times the basic rate.
Consultation in preparation of a legal case is available at the basic rate.
The preferred agreement consists of a signed letter on company stationery authorizing services. The letter should specify who may request services, or or who may authorize others (not listed in the letter) to request services. The terms here are incorporated by reference. An engagement will be considered terminated if there is no billable activity for 6 months.
The confidentiality of your business processes, business data, and the data about your clients will be protected.
You may use his recommendations and reports within your company. If you wish to publish his results, special arrangements are required.
If he is hired to modify or enhance your programs, you retain sole ownership of the programs that he works on, including changes that he creates. However, if he builds a program for you based on his prior knowledge and code (thus at far lower cost than writing a complete program), he retains ownership of that program. You may use that program for the intended purpose within your company, but may not resell all or part of that program to other companies, nor use portions of the program for other purposes within your company.
Source code will normally be provided for programs written for you. "One use" programs, such as those for conversions, will be delivered as object code only.
Charlie has planned and programmed many conversions, and is now also available to monitor the running of your conversion. Reasonable precautions will be taken when connecting to your network. If you prefer, connection to your network can be through a computer you provide.
When working on your site, all time that you request him to be available is billable unless he has productive work that can be performed for other clients during periods you do not need him. When on site for multiple days, he may elect to work more than 8 hours in a day so that he can provide a full 40 hours productive (non-travel) hours in a four or five day week. If you say "Please be here at 9am" and then leave a message that "we are busy this morning and will see you after lunch" you will be billed for the morning. (Believe it or not, that has happened to Charlie three times.) If you have an hour-long fire drill, you will be billed for the hour. If you ask him to reserve the week then say "we won't need you on Wednesday" you may be billed for Wednesday, if he does not find other equally productive work for that period.
No "long term" or absolutely "full time" projects will be accepted. Sufficient flexibility must be allowed for him to support other clients or prospects during your engagement. When working on your site for more than one day, you must provide a way for him to connect his computer to the Internet to check email and perform other business functions. (Of course, you will not be charged for time spent for others.) No more than 350 hours will be scheduled for a single client in one quarter, nor more than 1000 hours in one year.
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