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Last updated January 2015

Managing your project

Everything you need to know about how I work, the steps involved in completing a project, and what you'll need to do to make the work a success.

Quotations and our working brief

Obtaining a clear working brief is the first and essential step in the successful delivery of your project, particularly for ones that are large or complex. Together we'll work out what's involved and document a plan of action and specific tasks or objectives before we start.

If you are someone who wants to work out the costs in advance, no problem - that's what quotes are for. In fact, my quotes are a summary of the working brief, an estimate of costs, a schedule of what needs to be paid for and when, and a contract we can approve in advance of any work beginning. There's even a button in the quote you can press to approve the quotation and get the ball rolling on your project.

The essential details will be provided in the quotation along with costs and other important details such as any exclusions or limits to the work. If necessary, we'll revise the brief until both of us are happy with it and are ready to approve the quote and start work.

As with all plans, they tend to change as projects progress - an extra something here and less of something there. If this happens, we can agree revisions with further quotations that can be included or, where work has not already been done, we can remove unnecessary costs too. To keep track of revisions and costs once a project is underway, you will also receive project reports on demand and when anything about the job changes.

Un-quoted work

Quoted work is based on the amount of time I think I'll need to complete the work you asked for, plus some wiggle-room for stuff I know will crop up. If the project brief changes, I'm happy to re-quote and include the costs in the project when you've approved them.

If you don't request a formal quote for the additional work, I'll note what is required and what we agreed informally, and keep track of the time spent doing the work, as well as other types of cost like supplied materials. We will agree a rate for un-quoted hourly work in advance, and this will be shown on any previous quotations you have received. You'll receive a breakdown of costs in the project report I'll send you if this type of item gets added to the project's total cost.

You may prefer to be invoiced only for the actual time and materials spent in completing your work, and many of my established clients, who know how I work and who are clear in their requirements, are happy to work on this basis. Of course, I'll give an informal estimate of how much time I think I'll need in advance, excluding the wiggle room I'd normally estimate for with a fixed-price quote. If we experience bumps in the road or make lots of tweaks, the cost will go up.

This could work to your advantage, so please let me know if you'd prefer to account for the project in this way before the work quoted for starts and I can then maintain a record of the time spent and invoice accordingly. If you don't have a credit account with me, you won't be able to do this.

Un-quoted time is accounted for in 15 minute increments, rounded to the nearest quarter-hour. I have a minimum charge for projects of one hour unless the same work is performed regularly.

Un-quoted costs can get out of hand if you or your colleagues don't fully understand the basis upon which I charge for the work done and don't review project reports as they are sent. It's your responsibility to manage your project's overall budget and to bring any queries about costs in the project report to my attention straight away.

Payment schedule

If the project extends over a longer period of time, we might agree to split the costs of the work into a series of payments over time. If this is the case, the payment schedule shown on the quotation will indicate when these payments are to be made during the life-cycle of the project.

Our contract

A full list of terms and conditions for working on your project is available to read - see Terms of Business

All quotations are prepared with a subset of these terms relevant to the work about to be started. I did this to limit the amount of terms you might be asked to read, but you will be bound by all of the the terms as they become applicable.

These terms form the basis of a contract between us, so it's important that you read them. You'll be asked to approve at least one quotation for work before I can start working on your project.

If the project substantially changes, then terms not shown in an earlier quotation may become relevant. I'll either re-send the original quotation with any new clauses, or a new quotation with terms covering the entire project.

The contract between us has to be fair both ways. If there is a specific clause that you would like included in our contract, or  you need to make changes to an existing clause, please let me know.

Cash accounts

New clients, and those who prefer to pay up-front for the work being done, do not have a credit account. I'll prepare a quotation and a contract we both agree upon and then issue a proforma invoice for payment before work starts.

Credit accounts

A credit account is a precious thing. If you're an established client then I may offer you a credit account.The decision is based on several factors:

  • how well I know and trust your business
  • any requirements to fit in with your organisation's payment routines
  • references from your other suppliers
  • no late fees for previous account payments (see Credit Management)

If you have a credit account,  you'll have 30 days to pay an invoice - plenty of time to do the paperwork at your end. I'll normally issue an invoice at the end of a project rather than before it starts, so you'll have a lot of time to anticipate and plan for this payment.If you need more time to process a payment, I'll send a proforma invoice in advance for your accountant. If you need it just ask.

If you can pay me straight away we'll soon become best friends and I'll want to turn other clients down to work on your projects. It's also good karma!

If you think that you might not be able to make payment by the date highlighted in red on the invoice, then it's no problem, these thing happen sometimes. But please contact me before the due date to agree an alternative date, otherwise I'll worry about you.

Automatic reminders about unpaid invoices are sent via email to the person you nominate to deal with payment of my invoices. These reminders are sent starting on the due date and continuing daily until payment is received, you let me know that payment has been made via BACS, or I agree to a later due date.

What happens after the due date is detailed in my Credit Management policy. I'm likely to withdraw the credit account from you if we go through all the steps involved, as I would if you repeatedly overshoot the invoice due date.

As a final thought, please remember that I'm not a large company and I can't support your organisation's cashflow. Think of me as a casual employee and need to be paid when the work is done, rather than weeks afterwards.

Documents

Icon Sample project and invoice management documents

General Information

A selection of documents you are likely to receive during the life-cycle of your project. Includes quote, proforma invoices, project report, credit account invoices and follow-up reminders.

Please note you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 or later in order to ensure error-free viewing of PDF documents, including those available on this site. Download and install the latest version of the software from get.adobe.com/uk/reader. If your computer is not able to operate the latest version, previous versions that may work with your computer are available at get.adobe.com/uk/reader/otherversions.

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