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how does one write a quotation to a client ?

Thread title: how does one write a quotation to a client ?
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06-11-2011, 07:23 PM
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thengeizm is offline thengeizm
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  Old  how does one write a quotation to a client ?

I have been doing free-lance design work for about 2 years and I have recently been asked to do sme vector illustrations to be used on website for a company (up until this point I have only done such for friends), the company has asked me to provide them with a quote for the design and I have never had to write one before, does anyone have an example of a designer-client quote they are happy to post as a guide?

06-11-2011, 07:34 PM
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Hey

As a quote, usually I'd just ask them several questions about the work they require, unless they've provided you with a brief, or enough details to begin to think how much you think it'll be worth your time.

A quote for me is just a rough estimate on how much the project is going to cost.

Really, you don't need to go into much detail, or at least I don't until the client has agreed to the rough pricing, then go from there..

With the quote..

Simply I'd just calculate how many hours you think it'll take to do the vector work, and then how much you want to be paid per hour. It's no different to the work you've been doing for friends in the past, it just seems different as it's a company, or professional way of doing your work now, instead of the informality.

I'd respond to them telling the process of your work, if you sketch your work first, and then if you get it into Illustrator, and then tell them the prices it'll cost to make adjustments to the vectors, if they need them etc..

Don't be scared on making a quote. They're just looking for a price, and they're probably getting quotes from other people too, to compare.

Just let them know how much it would cost to do what they're asking, they wont be after anything more than that I'd imagine.


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06-11-2011, 08:03 PM
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That is very helpful, and very generous. Thank you for taking the time to write out those ideas. Do you have like a sample of a quote you have written before?

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06-11-2011, 09:39 PM
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I'll have a look shortly and update this post if I can find one.

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12-16-2011, 03:44 PM
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More things to consider: after taking several questions, do not ever worry first about the contract and then worry about providing the deliverable. Many entrepreneurs are getting this mistake very often. Do not tell people that you can do it UNLESS you can really do it.

Also, for your quote to be considered, impress them with your presentation. This is one of the most important things. You can read the tips on <URL snipped> here. During your presentation, be ready with questions. Every question should be answered immediately with evidence. Present them your case studies for example.

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12-19-2011, 04:19 AM
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In addition to the above, you must have a clear idea of how efficiently you work or how long it takes you to complete a specific (chargeable) part of a job. You may consider a chargeable part of a job as an item or function. For example, a logo, a chat script, guestbook, script installation or etc. The more specific you are at determining a particular item and determining the amount of time you usually take to complete that item (from experience not guessing), the better you will become at setting more accurate quotes. It is a good practice to always add an amount of time to the duration it takes you to complete each item as a whole to allow time for revision and discovering bugs and etc. the amount of time you add is strictly a personal choice. I always add 1.5 hrs (none-chargeable hours) depending on the complexity of the task. After doing this for each item, simply sum up the duration and cost for each function/item the client requests.

If, for example, I usually take 2 hrs to complete a custom chat application and I want to be paid $ 15 / hour, the total duration will be 3.5 hours at $ 30.

Remember, a quote is simply tool provided to your client to know whether or not your services may or may not fit his/her budget or beats any potential competing service providers. That said, do list and separate all costs for base items from the options the client have requested while still displaying the total cost. For a designer / developer, mockup design and development related costs may be considered as base costs while chat rooms, member pages and shopping carts are options. The reason for separating costs into categories is to allow the client compare your prices with competitors much easier. A quote with a single total cost is fine for a client wanting only a simple website but when things get complicated with all the bells and whistles, you may turn a client off with an item with a long description section and a single total slapped at the end of the quote. Search the internet or use any invoices that you may have as a template to get a feel of how your quote should look like then enter your information accordingly. Whether your client has your email and number or not, always provide them at the end as well as a note suggesting that they contact you for further information. Be prepared to answer them.

When you are all done, think to yourself, "is this user-friendly?" If it is, you can be proud of yourself and continue with your newly found quote-making abilities!

12-19-2011, 06:18 PM
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Keep in mind that a quote is different from an estimate. A quote is a solid price for the job, it has no flexibility, you promise that the project will cost exactly X amount. An estimate is the flexible one that gives the client a good estimate to what the project will cost. If you sign to a quote and go over you are going to be in a bad spot since the client has a legal claim to say you gave a set price.

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12-20-2011, 01:39 PM
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As anyone who has worked for the US government knows ;^), there are ways around the cost overruns problem. I know of people who have received a job on a low bid of $20,000 or so, and worked it up to the neighborhood of $100,000.

One way to cover yourself in quotes is to be very specific about what you will do, e.g.,
I will operate my lawnmower on the grass in your front yard from the north side of your house to the edge of your property with the goal of cutting your lawn. This action (moving the mower from approximately the house to the sidewalk) constitutes a "swath" and you will pay me $2 on its completion.

I will continue to cut swaths on your lawn ("mowing your lawn") at the rate of $2/per swath with the following supplements:
*cutting grass around a tree, planting, statue, or furniture $1.50 per tree or planting;
*moving lawn furniture or toys $7@;
*swaths longer than 40 feet: $0.50 per extra 10 feet;
*grass longer than 5 inches: base price is $5;
*removal of special weeds such as dandelions or crabgrass $0.15@; *use of hand-scythe to trim edges $2 per linear foot;
*assistance from your 8-year old $25 per hour;
*stopping to explain to you what I'm doing: 1st time free, all subsequent times $5.

The blades of the lawnmower are 40" wide, and your lawn is 83 feet x 30 feet. There are 8 trees, and 2 flower beds. So the base price for my services is $65.00.

On the day of my appointment, we will agree upon the number of weeds to be removed, toys etc. to be relocated and whether you'd like me to hand-trim the edges. I will add those charges to the price.

Please also note that this is the "Freddy Krueger Service." I don't stop for small animals. I can provide you the "Have a Heart" service, in which I relocate all nests, work around the mole holes, and promise to kill nothing ant-sized or larger, for a 250% surcharge on the final price based on the above quotes.
Then, just make sure the blades on the mower are sharp, so you only have to go over a swath once.

Working from a quote rather than an estimate requires you to be more disciplined, or perhaps disciplined in different ways. I shifted to quotes-only for my work a long time ago and I've found my clients like knowing the bottom line up front, it's easier to raise my rates and, with set fees for certain services, it's also easier to make a profit.

And, while this may be a difference in the nature of my work vs that of many of you here, I find it much easier to build a cushion into a quote than to get a client to agree that it's their fault that a $2000 job ended up costing $2500.

Cheers!
Sarah

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