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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.