Graphic Design Tip #61 – Don’t Underestimate The Cost Of A Project…
…but, if you feel you did underestimate the cost of a project then say something.
This post is an expansion of tip #61in our post 101 Graphic Design Tips for Business Success.
Win Graphic Design Projects By Your Bid
A thoughtful and accurate bid can help you win projects. Almost all clients want to know what costs they should expect up front. Your estimate should be very thorough including details such as time, editing costs, printing, and other production. Your client will base his budget on the amount you give him and this will almost always be a hard amount to
change at the end of the project, especially if they are using a corporate purchase order. Corporate purchase orders can sometimes take a long time to process and be difficult if not impossible to change. Remember all of this before letting an amount slip out of your lips or be prepared to pay the price later on.
Set up your bid specification sheet to include all of the information your client would need to open up a purchase order:
- Date bid information was issued
- Bid Expirations Date
- Client contact information
- Your contact information
- Project name and description
- Estimated hours for design/edits
- Printing details if applicable: quantity, size, color, paper, etc.
- You can choose to do this separately should your client want to use their
- Web specification and any additional costs for domain purchase; banner advertising, hosting, etc.
- Stock photography purchase
- And anything else that may come as an out-of-pocket expense to you
Say Something – Sooner
If at the end of the project you find that you did underestimate the cost, say something. And say it sooner than later. The quicker you are to act and alert the client, the more options you will have to come up with a satisfactory solution. It’s can be easy to miscalculate the total costs of a project. Unpredictable roadblocks may come up, a content error that requires a reprint or a concept is taking twice the amount of time to create than originally thought…most clients will understand the need to be flexible. Others may want you to stick to your original bid. Mediate and come up with the
best solution for the situation where both parties can come out winning. Learn from the unexpected and build a cushion into projects that could potentially run into these obstacles.
A little preemptive planning can keep your paydays from becoming big paybacks.