Four years ago was approached by an owner about SEO. Prepared a proposal and never heard back.
Last week was approached by a colleague (mainly does design and some PPC promotion) about a potential SEO job. Took a look. It was the same site, only in worse shape now than it was 4 years ago.
Gave back the same proposal, updated for inflation, and the fact that some things (like links) are a lot harder now than 4 years ago.
Two day later heard back that they can't (read "unwilling to") afford it.
Told my colleague that they can't afford not to if they expect the site to generate referrals/income, and that things are only getting more difficult.
He says, "I know, I know..."
Haven't heard more since...
Fast, cheap or quality - choose two...