I am able to get 25% upfront for services. I would like to push this number higher without hurting sales. I do bill on a monthly basis for over runs, but would like to increase cash flow. Has anyone been successful with a 30%-40% down arrangement?
We've recently moved up to the 50% up front system also. This also gives you room to say only 35% up front if you need incentive for the client to close the deal. This has greatly improved our cash flow situation and stability. Also clients seem to move faster on getting data to us when more money is tied up in the design phase.
I think it depends on how big the contract/bill is going to be and my time/resource investment in it. I like to get something porportiate up front. If it is a corporation with a few hundred employees - I'll take the job on a purchase order basis. Some of those can take up to 120 days to pay after the job is completed. If it is a small concern, I try to get 50% or a grand up front, whichever is greater. I've never had real luck sticking to a percentage.