1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Potential Client is Asking . . .

Discussion in 'Business & Tax Advice' started by alrightythan, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. alrightythan

    alrightythan Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    22
    So I got a pretty solid lead (Sold basically) who after going through back and fourth emails and a face to face meeting, send me an email today:

    "Sounds great. Now how can we get started?"

    What should I send at this point? My rates? A proposal with the rate? A proposal / rate / contract?

    How would you approach this?

    PS: I'm kind of new to owning my business (Recent former 9 to 5iver) so your help will be appreciated.
     
  2. ziplack

    ziplack Supreme Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,290
    Likes Received:
    663
    Location:
    BHW
    rate / contract
     
  3. bendutchman

    bendutchman Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    74
    Occupation:
    genetic engineer
    Location:
    House, Road House
    Probably should have already figured this out before approach a potential customer.

    You need to pull every thing back and do a basic business plan. This should include all costs. Time it takes to complete a task. And losses (very important).

    You also need to be very clear to yourself and what services you are going to offer. It is very easy to loose focus on your specific niche and fuck things up for yourself.

    Know your limits and don't be afraid to outsource tasks you can't do.

    Cheers
     
  4. HallLiz

    HallLiz Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2017
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    183
    Gender:
    Female
    C'mon no price in mind before a face to face? I dont believe this for a second. I already have a price in mind before the meeting so the question is which way is the price going to go?

    You really need to plan for the unexpected. That being said you are going to make mistakes even while thinking things through.
    Until you get the hang of it.

    If you outsource you will need to spend time and money testing them out.
     
  5. alrightythan

    alrightythan Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    22
    Thx for the responses guys @HallLiz - Yeah they kind of know my rates. I was recommended by someone to these guys so I kind of screwed up by giving my rates early to the person who referred me.

    Now the real question is, should I charge them upfront? Or after 30 days of work? How does that normally work? Thx!
     
  6. alrightythan

    alrightythan Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    22
    Great point! I'm already handling a few clients so yeah. All referrals. I do know I can't take anymore then this one. Probably my last client for the next 3 to 6 months unless I can develop a killer outsourced system (Working on it).
     
  7. HallLiz

    HallLiz Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2017
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    183
    Gender:
    Female
    To answer your question about when and what to charge, it's up to you. Some do half up front or a third, some dont require a deposit at all. Its your call. But you could work all week for just some naked pics as someone posted a few days ago because the client dropped the project.
     
  8. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Messages:
    7,142
    Likes Received:
    12,599
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Reaper
    Location:
    Riverside, California
    Home Page:
    Start off smart. Create a contract and include detailed information on your project scope, refund policy, time frame of the project (if there is one), agreed-upon rate, and cancellation policy. You want to cover yourself legally and in a way that prevents scope creep, which I'll cover more in a moment, because scope creep does happen, especially in referral situations involving friends or relatives.

    The project scope is the part of your contract that will go over what you plan on doing for your client. For example, if you're offering a simple yet shoddy web maintenance service where you just promise to update the plugins and themes on your client's website and that's it, then just mention updating the plugins and themes in the contract. It's that simple. You can take it a step further and define any of the jargon used in the contract, but that's up to you. If I were you, I'd still include a definitions section of the contract just in case, though.

    Your agreed-upon time frame of the project should be both reasonable and realistic for you. Be sure to give yourself enough time to complete the project and add on extra time to account for any emergencies that have even the slimmest possibility of happening. However, don't give yourself so much time that your clients looks at it, squints, and says "WTF!?"

    As for your rates, them "kind of knowing it" isn't going to cut it. You need to make sure they don't just know your rates, but that they understand them as well. Educate them a bit on what you'll be doing, that way they feel like they're getting the best bang for their buck. Additionally, don't lift a finger until you've received your payment (whether you accept a partial or full payment upfront). If you start working before they've paid you, there's a chance they'll take advantage of this in the future as they'll assume you're eager to please. An educated client is much easier to handle than an uneducated client who thinks you work with a wand and a wizard hat.

    [​IMG]

    Your cancellation policy needs to go over what you will keep and what your clients will keep from the project. For example, if you're offering a web design and maintenance service where you took pictures for your client's site and your client decides not to work with you, will you remove the images from the website, or do the images now belong to your client?

    Refund policies are there just in case the client decides to stop doing business with you at any point in time. Put in any information regarding when a refund will and will not be issued. For example, if a client pays you on the 15th of each month but they decide they no longer want to work with you on the 22nd, will you issue them a full, partial, or no refund? This is important, because if you decide not to issue them a refund and they start whinging about it, you can simply refer to the contract they signed and be done with it.

    I've provided contract templates in this thread, so if any of them match the services you offer, download them and customise them for your business.

    Now, remember how I mentioned scope creep earlier? Well, this is when a client starts tacking on additional tasks that you didn't initially agree to. Sometimes these tasks are minuscule and will only take a moment, and other times these clients will ask you to complete laborious tasks that take hours or days to complete. My very first client did this to me, which is the reason I started using contracts in the first place.

    Once the contract is finished, send it to your client and either have them print it out and sign it or verbally agree to it. I'm unsure if a verbal agreement to the contract is as good as a signature, so it's usually better to go with a signature in these cases.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  9. Bobtx85

    Bobtx85 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    21
    Gender:
    Male
    The way we work is that we already know what services/price we want them to agree to so at the stage you're at I send them a PDF of three different proposals: a cheap shit one with basically no services, the one I want them to pick, and a Cadillac one that's way high priced.

    99.9999% of the time they pick the one I want and then we send them a basic service agreement for them to sign and we get started.

    If you want more details PM me
     
  10. alrightythan

    alrightythan Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    22
    This is really helpful guys - @Zwielicht Hats off Sir! Thanks for taking the time to answer my question in such detail. Much appreciate it. Cheers!
     
  11. propipper

    propipper Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Flying Under The Radar
    ^^ Great info.

    To add a couple points, you should just get the contract in writing. Don't even deal with verbal contracts. Yes, a verbal contract is legally binding but you want to make it as easy as possible to win your case if it goes to court and a written document is a whole lot better than telling the judge - "well, he told me he agreed to it." Standard disclaimer: Talk with a licensed attorney about the best way to handle this.

    The other issue you need to address is actual payment. I know it sucks because of credit card fees but if you can get it automatically rebilled every month, it's work the 2.7% to have it hit their credit card every month. I've dealt with my fair share of clients way back in the day when I first started and I always wanted to get a check to avoid the 3% fee but by the time you factor in time, gas, waiting for them, etc to get your payment, it's well worth the extra fee and saves you money in the long run.

    The other thing is don't feel bad about cutting them off if they stop paying. This is a business and you're not working for free. You're taking time and resources away from your other clients so if they stop paying, make sure you stop working on their projects (as agreed to in your contract). Don't fall for the "I'll pay you next week." That rarely ever ends well.