I’m now in my 10th year of freelancing (good grief!) but one of the things I still find bloody difficult is the whole quoting / time / cost equation.
I often still (like a twat) am tempted to quote for the “perfect job”, that elusive one in which:
- The client loves your first designs
- They provide neat, well-structured, source files
- Nothing goes wrong in the production phase
- The few changes there are get approved first time
- They don’t constantly call you asking you why their email doesn’t work, or how do they view an .swf file, or how to tie their shoelaces
- The job finishes quickly and on time
(Obviously the joke being that this job just doesn’t exist!)
So after getting stung a few times recently with jobs that have gone horribly over, I’m compiling a kind of master list of things to work-in / consider whilst building the quote:
The end result is that I’ll have a proper framework with which to help estimate the real time for a job and most importantly feel confident, not bad, for charging for it. As well the client can be sure of knowing in advance how much things are and not get any nasty shocks when I say “Well, the thing is, it’s going to be £2000 more for this thing I didn’t realise / forgot / hoped wouldn’t come up, but it has”.
Obviously it will be different depending on who provides the job (I’m learning to spot problem clients earlier now), and what the industry is so it’s not a “one size fits all” solution, but will attempt to cover as many bases as possible.
So, I’d like to invite people to pitch in now with their thoughts reply with a list of things that have affected you over the years, and any techniques you now use, and in conjunction with all my other designer pals, I will try to consolidate everyone’s input, and will be able to offer something back when done.
Looking forward to your comments,