DirigoDev - 11:12 pm on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)
I agree with rocknbil. Proposals should all be custom with much thought. A mentor once told me that when you pitch a deal you should already have all the work figured out. We never put less than 10 hours and often put 80+ hours into a pitch. We usually get the job - often at a higher cost (e.g the client pays more to use us than the competition). Why? Because we come with everything spelled out as a solution to the problem. It is all black and white with no room for interpretation. I learned back in 1999 the hard way - on a 700 hour project that boiled down to a few bucks an hour. I got hurt bad.
I'll share this bit - a version of our terms which comes at the end of a 10-40 page proposal:
TIME FOR PAYMENT: The project will be billed in three equal payments with the first payment due within 30 days of the start date. Other payments are due in the second and third month. [Change depending on the project--clients really like the 3 payment option on smaller projects. Bigger projects are always billed monthly. No money changes hands to start the work. This is the way we roll.] All invoices are due upon receipt. XYZ Co. reserves the right to suspend performance of services and withhold delivery of materials until payment is made in full of all amounts due.
DEFAULT IN PAYMENT: The client shall assume responsibility for all collection of legal fees necessitated by default in payment.
CHARGES: The client shall be responsible for payment of any alterations requested above and beyond the original assignment that are required to facilitate completion of the assignment. The charges (i.e. change order) will be billed at the hourly rate of [x dollars] (e.g. strategy, feasibility, and direct response/database administration) and [x dollars] (e.g. creative, branding/logo, Web site design and functionality, SEO, and content development and editing). However, no additional payment shall be made for changes required to conform to the original assignment description.
XYZ Co. fees are primarily based on hours spent multiplied by our hourly rate. In addition to fees for services, XYZ., bills for disbursements that may include but is not limited to: excessive long distance/international telephone charges, extraordinary postage, filing fees, lodging, travel expenses, and legal fees. Ongoing projects are typically billed on the first day of each month for tim¬e spent in the preceding month.
ESTIMATES: Estimates will be supplied at the client’s request. Final fees and expenses will be shown when the XYZ Co. invoice is rendered. The client’s written approval shall be obtained for any increases in fees or expenses that exceed the original estimate by ten (10) percent or more. The client is to set a budget on all non-routine tasks. Where estimates are not provided the client will be billed the normal hourly rate.
SCOPE OF WORK: XYZ Co. will provide various information technology-related consulting, chiefly internet business consulting, business strategy, Web site design, and XYZ Co. proprietary systems.
INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR STATUS: The client considers XYZ Co., an independent contractor in this engagement. XYZ Co. is not an employee or an agent of the client in any form or purpose. XYZ Co. is not authorized to bind the client in any manner.
CONFIDENTIALITY and NON-DISCLOSURE: Both parties will enter into a mutual Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement (CNDA), which is hereby incorporated into and made part of all work performed. The CNDA will survive the termination or expiration of any engagement.
WORK FOR HIRE: Unless otherwise noted in writing in advance of a project, computer programming work performed by XYZ Co. is NOT work for hire. All computer code and applications are delivered with a perpetual license giving the client unlimited use and the right to change, reuse or augment the code. XYZ Co. retains ownership of the code-base. Creative design and strategy work is the client’s exclusive property.
CANCELLATION: Upon fifteen (15) days written notice delivered by U.S. Mail, either party may cancel with or without cause. In the event of cancellation, a cancellation fee equal to work completed—based on the agreed upon price prorated to expenses already incurred—shall be paid by the client. In return, XYZ Co. will provide the client with smooth transition to its vendor of choice. XYZ Co. is bound by this agreement to assist the client in an orderly transition billed at the standard rate in the event of cancellation.
MODIFICATIONS: Modifications of the Agreement must be written and signed by the client and XYZ Co.
WARRANTY OF ORIGINALITY: XYZ Co. warrants and represents that: To the best of our knowledge, its work is original and has not been previously published, or that consent to use has been obtained through the undersigned from third parties is original or, if previously published, that unqualified consent to use has been obtained on an unlimited basis; that XYZ Co. has full authority to make this agreement; and that the work prepared by XYZ Co. does not contain scandalous, libelous, or unlawful matter. This warranty does not extend to any uses that the client or others may make of XYZ Co. product which may infringe on the rights of others. Client expressly agrees that it will hold XYZ Co. harmless for all liability caused by the client’s use of XYZ Co.’s product to the extent such use infringes on the rights of others. The client further expressly agrees that it will indemnify XYZ Co. and cover all costs and attorney’s fees for any and all liability caused by, or arising from, the client’s use of any materials provided by it and used by XYZ Co. in any authorized project.
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: Client agrees that it shall not hold XYZ Co. liable for any incidental or consequential damages which arise from XYZ Co.’s negligent failure to perform any aspect of an assignment. The client further agrees that it shall not hold XYZ Co. liable for any incidental or consequential damages which arise from the client or a third party’s failure to perform any aspect of the assignment, regardless of whether such failure was caused by intentional or negligent acts or omissions of the client or a third party.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION: Any disputes arising out of this Agreement over five thousand ($5,000) dollars shall be submitted to binding arbitration before the Joint Ethics Committee or a mutually agreed upon arbitrator pursuant to the rules of the American Arbitration Association. The Arbitrator’s award shall be final, and judgment may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. The client shall pay all arbitration and court costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, and legal interest on any award of judgment in favor of XYZ Co. For projects $5,000 or less, the client and XYZ Co. have the ability to dispute claims in Small Claims Court in the state of XYZ CO STATE OF DOMICILE.