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Job Quotes - Conditions you include, thoughts on mine

Job Quotes, terms, conditions what do you include?

7:13 pm on Dec 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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To save future problems I am going to submit a written quote for all SEO and web design services.
(I have had minor probs with verbal quotes)

I was considering including the following terms, what do you think?

Payment Terms:
25% deposit on acceptance of quote
25% upon commencement of content building
25% once ready to publish
25% within 30 days of "Ready to Publish" or publish date

I am responsible for providing content to mySEOdomain.com, and understand that the project can not move forward without my timely input.
Request for content, un-satisfied within 45 days will result in demand for full payment of quoted fees.

All content will remain the property of the writer until paid in full

I accept the above quotation and authorize commencement of the work described

______________ ________________
Customer Sign Date

This may prevent customers from dragging their boots and never getting content to me.

What do you think?
Thanks for any input


2:05 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If you're only providing a quote, why must you specify any terms? In my thinking, a quote is just a rough estimate of cost. If what you're actually talking about is a proposal, then you need a lot more terms and conditions than the few you have listed.
3:16 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I always combine the quote and the proposal, otherwise you have two points in the process rather than one where the client could get cold feet and not want to sign.
4:59 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I also combine quote and proposal, saves time and confussion.
I do have a lot more terms, but the ones above are new and was wondering others thoughts.

I am mostly trying to protect against jobs that leave you hanging, and are slow to provide needed details.

So what do you think are these payment terms acceptable?

8:10 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I am mostly trying to protect against jobs that leave you hanging, and are slow to provide needed details.

Rather than just shoving some terms into a contract, you need to reach an understanding with your client. The first step is having a client that perceives the project as high-priority. One question I've learned to ask in the sales process is, On a scale of 1 to 10, how mission-critical is this project?

It's my opinion that everything in your contract and/or proposal should reflect what you and your client have already discussed and verbally agreed upon first. Part of that process involves making the client aware of how difficult writing and preparing content can be (which has occassionally led to me being paid additional to include copywriting as part of the project). I let my client know that I completely understand how difficult it is for them to take time away from their regular duties to provide content. Then I work with them to put a process in place to make it easier. Woven into that process in the understanding that this undertaking requires mutual commitments in order to bring it to completion.

While all of that serves to help, it's still no guarantee that I'll get everything I need in a timely manner. So to prevent myself from paying the consequences for the client's inaction, I don't attach payments to production milestones. Making final payment "upon completion" often means you wait to get paid because you cannot complete the project without content. So I do something like:

50% up front
25% due in 45 days
25% due in 90 days

I try to correspond final payment roughly around project completion date, but I make it clear that it's due on that date regardless. If the project is late because of something I've done, then I have the option of being flexible about final payment. But if it's behind schedule because of the client, I still get paid.

Hope that helps.


3:51 am on Dec 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I ask for 50% up front, and 50% due within two weeks of the site going up. I'll break it into the thirds only if its a significantly large amount of money.

Worst I've had to deal with is going live with a site without having all the content, and not being able to collect a check because the client keeps putting off giving me the remainder of the content so that they consider the site "done". I've had to pull a few plugs this year.

3:46 pm on Dec 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Charging on completion is bad news. You'll never get paid many times because clients will disappear or just never finish the project. The alternative is to put a performance clause in your contract to protect yourself from stalls...but then you have to "force contract" on your client. Better to charge a certain time period after the contract is signed.
5:12 pm on Dec 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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In addition to the other recommendations already made

- Stipulate the scope of work to be performed.
- Stipulate the work products that you will deliver. (code, documentation, graphics, hardware, SEO performance metrics, etc.)
- Stipulate that changes to agreed upon scope and specs will be subject to a change control process.
- Define your change control process.
- Define milestones.
- List points of contact for both parties.
- Stipulate one individual as having final authority to make decisions for each party.
- Stipulate expectations for client deliverables. This includes content, meetings, logos, color demands, acceptance testing, hardware setup, IT interaction, etc.
- Estimate how often you will need to meet face-to-face with the client.

And, extremely important:
List items/features that you have discussed with the client, but have been omitted from the project. Six months from now, your client will think EVERYTHING you talked about was part of the project.

I typically have a section titled "Description of Work Included in this Quote" followed by another section "Description of Work and Costs not Included in this Quote." The opening statement of that second section reads like this: "This quote only covers work outlined in the “Description of Work To Be Completed” section (above) and detailed in the attached “Website Functionality” document. Although any work not outlined in those areas is not included in this quote, the following items are specifically NOT INCLUDED:"

Then list stuff you talked about, but aren't doing. Also list any other things where there might be any question of responsibility.


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