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#1 justint

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 04:06 PM

Hi all

 

I am about to quote for a job to redesign a website for a London company. They are dealing in pretty big money.

 

Should I do them a long format proposal or a shorter one? These guys don't have a lot of time to read many pages.

 

Also I'm not sure how much to charge, I was thinking in the £1000 bracket for a swanky Wordpress site. However I'm sure the other webdesigner they are talking to is going to charge substantially more than me.

 

They like the Wordpress idea to update their own site but they are also open to the idea of me looking after it. I'm not sure how much to charge for that.

 

Thanks for any ideas.

 

Justin

 



#2 rbrtsmith

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 04:44 PM

£1000 is peanuts mate.  Hard to say an exact figure but for a basic brochure site done to a professional standard with a couple of different templates you'd be looking at £5k as a minimum starting point.



#3 TimW

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 07:40 AM

£1000 is peanuts mate.  Hard to say an exact figure but for a basic brochure site done to a professional standard with a couple of different templates you'd be looking at £5k as a minimum starting point.

 

Although you aren't comparing like with like. There are a lot of reasons why for the same price you would choose a larger firm, not a one man show. Generally you might expect them to be more businesslike and manage the account properly, to be reliable, able to cover holidays and illness, meet deadlines, record time, provide progress reports, address directors meetings etc. On the other side you might say you get the personal attention of Justin with his style, flair, energy, talent and pezazz. You are right that you don't want cheapness to be the decider.



#4 BrowserBugs

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 07:56 AM

They like the Wordpress idea to update their own site but they are also open to the idea of me looking after it. I'm not sure how much to charge for that.

 

Money aside, clients updating the whole of the site can often lead to poor serps, and generally people who buy a website think it should rank #1 in a week. You need to be careful managing their expectations. Might I suggest limited editing capacity for them, I've many clients who rank with essentially a 'lite' cms, they can add products and news articles but they can't mess with their services pages for example as they are optimised when built.



#5 rbrtsmith

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 08:26 AM

 

Although you aren't comparing like with like. There are a lot of reasons why for the same price you would choose a larger firm, not a one man show. Generally you might expect them to be more businesslike and manage the account properly, to be reliable, able to cover holidays and illness, meet deadlines, record time, provide progress reports, address directors meetings etc. On the other side you might say you get the personal attention of Justin with his style, flair, energy, talent and pezazz. You are right that you don't want cheapness to be the decider.

Large firms will charge much more.  Likely in the region of £10k plus for this.  As a freelancer you'd wanna be looking at about £45+ per hour considering a lot of time is spent doing tasks that cannot be billed for - chasing clients, doing accounts etc.
The 10k starting point is what my previous employers were charging, often much more depending on the complexity.  It worked out at around £100 an hour roughly.  I know some very talented freelancers charge hourly rates approaching this.

The main danger in charging rock bottom prices - besides having less money in your pocket is you attract the kinds of clients who want something for nothing; don't value your skillset and will generally be a total pain in the butt.  We've seen threads on here of freelancers who have had horrible experiences with clients like this.

Actually the OP is based in London.  With that in mind I'd say a minimum of £55/h


Edited by rbrtsmith, 02 June 2017 - 08:30 AM.


#6 BrowserBugs

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 08:58 AM

As a freelancer you'd wanna be looking at about £45+ per hour considering a lot of time is spent doing tasks that cannot be billed for - chasing clients, doing accounts etc.

 

As a freelancer I generally charge this when I work direct for a client, the amount of hours wasted on the phone listening to the client waffling on for 45 minutes, doing accounts etc is staggering, let alone my rig, software and gubbins outlay ... you need this mate. If however I'm contracted to another agency for consultancy etc when I use their tools, drink their coffee, get my fuel paid etc then my rate goes down a bit but I charge by the day, again slight discount if they take a week etc. But then you actually get 8 hours work done, as freelance I think I only get around 6 in every 10 hours coding!

 

Nothing I build comes in for less than £1440, by the time you've written a brief, coded the foundations, skinned it up, dealt with the endless client tweaks, sorted out their hosting, waited weeks for their content, invoiced them, chased them for payment and more I'd say its a bargain.

 

How much is the site worth to them? Remember they don't bat an eyelid ordering new plush desks and matching phones with laptops, investing in something that hits the mark and generates revenue is what they need to understand, they can't make short cuts. My clients understand this, one I launched in January has already made 30 x website investment and serps are top 10 now for a lot of their terms, money well spent in their eyes.


Edited by BrowserBugs, 02 June 2017 - 09:02 AM.


#7 Jack

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 10:05 AM

I am about to quote for a job to redesign a website for a London company. They are dealing in pretty big money.


Make sure you quote for this as realistically as you can, and don't pull a figure out of the air. Be aware that bad clients will jump on inexperience as a way of adjusting the scope of a project, based on how much you want the job, or the money. You won't really know they are a bad client until it's too late.

 

I think this would be a good job for you, it's going to be beneficial to have on your portfolio at the very least, but act cautiously, quote correctly, have a specification of what you're going to do backed by a contract.

 

It seems like a lot of work, but I've seen people burned countless times because they took a client relationship for granted. Circumstances change, the people you dealt with leave the company, management change their mind, the business goes bankrupt and you're owed money. Putting safety measures in place before proceeding is very much in your favour.



#8 justint

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 10:33 AM

thanks all, I've been burnt so many times before I'm trying very hard to get this one right



#9 rbrtsmith

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 11:27 AM

Jack makes a good point.  Having those safety measures in place such as up front payments, deposits and so on also will make potential clients take you more seriously.  It makes you look more professional.   Bad clients will see things like the lack of contracts and take advantage of that and burn you.



#10 justint

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 02:00 PM

Thanks. I was going to quote £1500 and £500 per year for updates or £80 an update.

I have terms of engagement which I expect I can get them to sign as a contract. Although they may yet have one for me.



#11 justint

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 06:11 PM

Well, I quoted £1500 and they said their budget was £800 but they'd stretch to £1000. I'm thinking of walking away.



#12 rbrtsmith

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 06:37 PM

Well, I quoted £1500 and they said their budget was £800 but they'd stretch to £1000. I'm thinking of walking away.

Walk away.  It's not worth your time.  £800 is completely unrealistic and if they think they can get away with spending so little don't expect them to value your time and effort these kinds of clients are a nightmare for feature creep.



#13 justint

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 07:57 PM

I thought of offering them a new customer bonus of 20% off (£1200) if they guarantee me further business with the updates at £80 each...



#14 rbrtsmith

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 08:33 PM

How can they guarantee further business?  The best course of action when clients are quoting ridiculously low budgets is to walk away.  It's just not worth the time and effort - If they valued your work they wouldn't be low balling you like that.
The answer certainly isn't to offer them a discount on your rates - keep them firm.  There's plenty of clients out there who understand the value in investing in a properly built website.


Edited by rbrtsmith, 05 June 2017 - 08:33 PM.


#15 BrowserBugs

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 07:58 AM

I am about to quote for a job to redesign a website for a London company. They are dealing in pretty big money.

 

Well, I quoted £1500 and they said their budget was £800 but they'd stretch to £1000. I'm thinking of walking away.

 

If they're dealing in 'pretty big money' do they consider £800 a 'pretty big investment'? There's something wrong with them! Run for the hills!


Edited by BrowserBugs, 06 June 2017 - 08:02 AM.


#16 rbrtsmith

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 08:34 AM

 

 

If they're dealing in 'pretty big money' do they consider £800 a 'pretty big investment'? There's something wrong with them! Run for the hills!

Yep, this sounds like the kind of company that wish to exploit people rather than strike a deal that benefits both parties.



#17 justint

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 08:53 AM

Basically I'm dealing with the finance guy and he is saying the directors gave him a small budget.

It's never going to work with penny-pinching directors and then a finance guy.

http://www.arena-stoneceramics.com/


Edited by justint, 06 June 2017 - 08:58 AM.


#18 BrowserBugs

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 09:47 AM

Basically I'm dealing with the finance guy and he is saying the directors gave him a small budget.

It's never going to work with penny-pinching directors and then a finance guy.

 

Then in reality he needs to go back and get a bigger budget. They are more than welcome to shop around for quotes, something I think they have already done and I'm 99.9% sure you are the cheapest by far, they're taking the proverbial haggling, so frustrating, nothing in London is cheap, damn a pint is over £5!

 

Mate that project needs to be rebuilt from the ground up, complete content overhaul as well, it's shocking! No way could that rank, and doesn't with the search terms I was digging around. If they want to be getting business for laying £650k marble floors and want to spend £800 doing it then WTF?



#19 justint

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 11:05 AM

Yes, these are my thoughts too. I've heard it so many times before, "we don't really need a website"

My rent is £580 a month for a bedsit. £1500 is nothing in London.

WTF was my thoughts exactly on their budget. They were even getting a woman to do it on Wix at one point!!!

That is what I get for advertising on Gumtree!


Edited by justint, 06 June 2017 - 11:12 AM.


#20 Jack

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 11:22 AM

It wouldn't surprise me if the current site was costing them work. According to one of the portfolio items, the project value was £500,000. If that's true then it gives you an idea of how much they value your work, and you as a person.

 

If they're willing to renegotiate the budget, it goes back to what I was saying before about jumping on the inexperience bandwagon. They have already showed signs of this by trying to come slightly under your budget in order to save a few bucks. I've seen this technique used a lot, and most go for it, because a few hundred less is better than nothing, but it sets a precedence for the rest of the work you'll be doing for them, and they won't respect you. Not everyone would stick to their budget and call their bluff, so good job on doing so.



#21 justint

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 11:30 AM

Yes, you are so right. I showed my project proposal to my mentor and he said it was top notch professional. Them coming back like this isn't.

 

To be honest I've been there before. I once did a website for two different Indian concerns which both went pear shaped. I charged so little for so much in the end and they wouldn't listen. I was taken for a ride. So I'd rather walk away than commit to something that could do the same. Right now I need to get on finding proper work and this £1500 is a drop in the ocean as I can see how much time it will actually take.

 

I was thinking of offering them 10% off but the more I look at the project the less I am inclined too. 



#22 rbrtsmith

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 11:40 AM

IMO you shouldn't be offering discounts.  Don't try to compete on price - it's a mistake so many make.  Compete on quality and value added.

 

You need to demonstrate to clients what value a website made by you adds to their business - how much extra revenue can they make, how will it show their brand in a better light etc etc...

If you can demonstrate your work will add £1m in extra revenue then you can charge a shedload for it.  There will be other competitors who might offer a lower price so it's not your job to beat that price, show how your offering is better value.  Of course your product has to be better this is where it's worth the time investing in skills to ensure you stay ahead of the competition.

Look at the vast differences in prices for cars, they all do the same thing but some cost 10 - 100x more than the most budget models yet they still sell - better quality and brand === higher ticket price.
If you see something at a stupidly low price you automatically assume the quality must be bad.


Edited by rbrtsmith, 06 June 2017 - 11:44 AM.


#23 justint

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 11:41 AM

Yes, thanks, you confirm my thoughts. That is exactly what I am saying in the draft reply I am working on at this moment :)



#24 rbrtsmith

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 11:45 AM

Yes, thanks, you confirm my thoughts. That is exactly what I am saying in the draft reply I am working on at this moment :)

I wouldn't spend too much time on it.  Their correspondence thus far should already be a big red flag to you.  There's plenty of other clients especially in London.



#25 justint

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 11:46 AM

Yes, thanks. I'm pretty much going to say, "take it or leave it"
:good:



#26 Jack

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 11:48 AM

Yes, thanks. I'm pretty much going to say, "take it or leave it"
:good:

 

Good idea. Don't forget that you've already invested a lot of time into this, and that could have been spent on chargeable work.



#27 justint

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 11:50 AM

 

Good idea. Don't forget that you've already invested a lot of time into this, and that could have been spent on chargeable work.

 

Yes, that has been on my mind all along 



#28 BrowserBugs

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 04:52 PM

IMO you shouldn't be offering discounts.  Don't try to compete on price - it's a mistake so many make.  Compete on quality and value added.

 

I would say the only exception (certainly in my case) to this rule is when a project ACTUALLY interests me; or when I could learn a thing or two, a startup that ACTUALLY has a real idea, not just another 'idea' that has already been covered. But in these cases for a discount I always ask for X% of the company.



#29 rbrtsmith

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 07:51 AM

Hi.. Redesigning doesn't certainly mean that there is a need to change every single brand and graphic design elements. At OSVIN Web Solutions, we have highly professional and dedicated team of designers who have capability to redesign the website according to the requirements and specifications. We have potential to tackle any kind of problem regarding rebuilding of a website.

He's not looking for a designer or developer.  He IS one!



#30 justint

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 10:56 AM

It always amazies me how many webdesigners in India conact me asking for work.

Then semi-ammuses me in that I don't have any myself.

 

Anyway. That job I went to all the trouble to price. I doubt I'll hear from them again.

If their idea of the right price is £800 then my quote is never going to sit well.

 

I'm fed up with this way of doing things as I'm going nowhere with it. I went to the national freelancers day last week and from that I'm considering Freelancer.co.uk as a better way. Competing on quality not price.

 

If that doesn't work, jacking in the webdesign is probably the best option. I've also moved to a new place which seems to have dial-up internet.


Edited by justint, 13 June 2017 - 10:59 AM.


#31 rbrtsmith

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 11:06 AM

Why not get a job as a developer / designer at an agency if you are frustrated with getting clients?  Was the best decision I ever made :)



#32 justint

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 11:09 AM

So far nobody wants me. I have been trying.



#33 rbrtsmith

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 11:58 AM

So far nobody wants me. I have been trying.

 

Doesn't mean it can't be done.  Spend time upskilling making sure you have relevant skills.  Find the area you like most and specialise in it and get a junior role doing that - you can branch out more later.  If it's frontend UI then sign up to https://teamtreehouse.com/ and do their frontend courses + git.

How many places have you applied to? I recall sending out around 30 CVs before I got a call back.

 

If you want it bad enough you will make it happen!


Edited by rbrtsmith, 13 June 2017 - 11:59 AM.


#34 justint

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 12:02 PM

Oh, I've lost count of the amount of applications.
Thanks for the link.

I shall just keep at it. I have 3/4 months at my disposal.



#35 TimW

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 08:25 PM

If it was me I would just do a good £800 job for £800. Especially if I wasn't too busy. A nice up-to date bootstrappy theme on a CMS, a few nice pictures, blog posts and a team gallery, all the old content carried over, - easy. It will look great, they'll be happy as Larry and if they want any more they can pay some more. 

 

Easy for me to say of course. It is tough out there.

 

TW



#36 justint

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 08:50 PM

Yes, I thought about it. I offered them 25% off. It's up to them. Any less and the stress would be too much for the reward. I don't think it would be as simple as it looks.



#37 rbrtsmith

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 09:08 PM

If it was me I would just do a good £800 job for £800. Especially if I wasn't too busy. A nice up-to date bootstrappy theme on a CMS, a few nice pictures, blog posts and a team gallery, all the old content carried over, - easy. It will look great, they'll be happy as Larry and if they want any more they can pay some more. 

 

Easy for me to say of course. It is tough out there.

 

TW

I really wouldn't.

 

2 reasons.  First it encourages them to keep on ripping off developers, £800 is an insult from a company of this size.  Secondly this type of client is highly likely to introduce scope creep and be a general pain in the a**.  It just is not worth the headache - seriously.



#38 TimW

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 09:43 PM

If you want to do £800 worth of work for £800 nobody is getting ripped off. If you want the work then you make a deal. I don't know doodly about the people Justin is dealing with so he will just have to make a judgement, but I can make a very good website for a plumber or a barbers shop or a B&B for £800 and much less. Maybe that's what they think they need. Why not give it to them? Garage mechanic rates for a bit of html mechanics. sounds good to me.



#39 rbrtsmith

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 06:29 AM

If you sell something for far less value than it is worth - especially if you have been pushed into doing so then you have been ripped off.

If you're able to build a "good website" for £800 or less - quite subjective in itself as to what that constitutes then you are massively undervaluing your work.  
 

£45 per hour for billable hours is about the absolute minimum you'd want to be charging - bearing in mind you will be working many hours that cannot be billed to the client.  That £800 gets you around 17 hours - which isn't much time to come up with a design, build the frontend, backend, basic user acceptance testing and get it all deployed.

You will have to rely very heavily on existing themes and frameworks many of which have poor code resulting in shoddy performance, security issues (more common than you'd think) and becomes a nightmare to maintain when the client wants functionality changing and you can't because you're bound to a framework that cannot handle the desired change.
That £45 increases considerably with experience.  Actually Justint is also based in London so make that £45 per hour £55per hour.

The OP's client isn't your local butcher wanting a very basic brochure site.  To quote Justint: "They are dealing in pretty big money."


Edited by rbrtsmith, 14 June 2017 - 10:44 AM.


#40 Jack

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:36 AM

The issue is that you set a precedent when you willingly change your prices to win work. A bad client will see this as an opportunity to continue to quote well below the market rate, because you've already established that you will work within whatever fee to get the job.

 

In this case the client seems to be dealing with large contracts, so there's no legitimate reason for costs to be so low, other than the OP not selling the value of a website enough, or the client not valuing or understanding the return on investment a good site can have.

 

I get what you're saying about delivering only £800 of a site, but realistically it's never going to match the clients expectation when you start cutting options out, and that can lead to more trouble when the client is unhappy with the finished product. This is typically when scope creep starts, unless you're adjusting your spec and contracts accordingly, but then you're eating into the cost of the project already by adjusting the paperwork. In the end you end up with very little for the amount of work you've put in.


Edited by Jack, 14 June 2017 - 11:24 AM.





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