Topic: Checking out new clients (Page 1 of 1) Pages that link to <a href="https://ozoneasylum.com/backlink?for=9900" title="Pages that link to Topic: Checking out new clients (Page 1 of 1)" rel="nofollow" >Topic: Checking out new clients <span class="small">(Page 1 of 1)</span>\

 
hyperbole
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Madison, Indiana, USA
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 01-28-2004 21:42 Edit Quote

I was contacted yesterday by someone who wants me to design a web site for them. They sound as if they know what they are talking about, but I have no way of knowing if they can pay for the service once I have designed the site. part of the problem here is that I am in Indiana and the client is in California. I can't just pop over and have a conversation with them.

I have tried looking them up on Google, yahoo, and white pages by their name, telephone number, aproximate address, and e-mail address. I can't find any reference to them on the web.

Are there any sites you go to to find out information about a perspective client before committing to do buisiness with them?



-- not necessarily stoned... just beautiful.

Fig
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Houston, TX, USA
Insane since: Apr 2000

IP logged posted posted 01-29-2004 00:07 Edit Quote

you know how i commit? 50% up front

chris


KAIROSinteractive

JKMabry
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: out of a sleepy funk
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 01-29-2004 00:39 Edit Quote

yup, do 50% front and 50 when done or 33 front, middle and end.

Pugzly
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: 127.0.0.1
Insane since: Apr 2000

IP logged posted posted 01-31-2004 17:53 Edit Quote

And get a contract!

hyperbole
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Madison, Indiana, USA
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 01-31-2004 20:12 Edit Quote

OK. Thanks. Those are good suggestions.

This client wants me to write a proposal and submit it before they will discuss contract or pay. This is a reasonable request, but if I write a complete proposal, I will be giving them enough information they can take the proposal and develop the project themselves. I don't want to write what basically becomes an outline for a Functional Specification before I know the client has the money to pay for the project and has a track record of completing projects. I had hoped to be able to find out more about their financial and employment history before spending the time to write a document I may not get paid for.

What I will do is write the project description and then cut out enough of the detail to prevent giving away any of my work but include enough that I can give them a complete picture of the costs involved.

I tried to find reference to the client by searching for them on the net using google and yahoo. When I could not find any reference to them using name or phone number or email address to search, it made me a little nervous about them.

I was hoping someone might be able to suggest another approach to finding information about them that I hadn't thought of.



-- not necessarily stoned... just beautiful.

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

IP logged posted posted 02-01-2004 17:56 Edit Quote

hyperbole: I'm not sure what the client is (an individual/business) but they should be able to provide you with enough information to check them out. Don't be too shy to ask if they throw their toys out of the pram and never speak to you again then you have almost definitely saved yourself a lot of wasted time. Are there not registries of business, etc. that can be checked - pos. our Californian inmates could throw you some local resources if you supply some more details

Also listen to Zeldman on the proposal aspect:
http://www.zeldman.com/daily/0104h.shtml

___________________
Emps

The Emperor dot org

DmS
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Sthlm, Sweden
Insane since: Oct 2000

IP logged posted posted 02-01-2004 23:40 Edit Quote

Hm, californian company, if it's in some way it-related, try http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/ they have a LOT of info.

Writing proposals... gawd, have I done a lot of those...
Usually the never actually end up as a paying project, nor do you get paid for them, no matter how good they are. However, that's the way it goes I'd say.

Ok, so they want you to do a proposal.
Now, a proposal works both ways and seldome are they paid for by the client, it's a risk you take in order to make yourself attractive to them.
Just as you want to know that they can deliver (info and payment), they want to know if you can deliver the product and that you understand them.

Since a proposal has to be based on the info they give to you about their needs and wants most of the things you will put in there are things they already know. No risk there.

Base it around their needs rewritten in your phrasig so that they can see that you understand them, outline a solution, use similar projects/examples if you have them to show them that you have done this before, tell then roughly how you will go about producing this solution.

Perhaps include a decent draft of a site design if the prospect and you agree that it should be in there. Be very very clear that what they see is a draft if nothing else is agreed upon.

Split up the time for the job in different segments, such as:
Requirements: 20 hrs - Communication and production of a requirement document
Template design: 40 hrs - This includes two templates and one turnaround/adjustment for each template.
Production: XX hrs - This includes... bla bla bla
Tests: XX hrs - Including bla bla bla
and so on...

You get the idea.
Sum the hours needed and either quote a fixed price or an hourly rate, deliver this together with a timeplan with milesones in it. "At this date visual design must be set or the finish date will be delayed with X days" and so on.

Personally I also include info on how payment should be handled, example:
1/3 at startup, 1/3 on delivery for tests 1/third on accepted delivery.
Or on a hourly based fee I demand a startup cost to be paid on signed contract plus when coming payments should be done. This both to keep me afloat during production, but also to get a commitment from the client.

I'm also very clear in what conditions should be met in order to achieve "accepted delivery" and what actions/events from the client that will affect the shedule and/or price, such as "let's add a third template, how hard can it be..." (been there, done that...)

I have two proposals like that out at the moment (together they are worth appr $22k )and I have a verbal go on one of them and the other is looking very good so far (keeping fingers crossed).

Put some work into this, it's a risk that the client gains valuable info that they can use to bargain with another solution provider, but details and thought in this kind of work also shows them that you are serious in what you do, and that's worth it's weight in gold today.

Also, remember, they came to you, right...
/Dan


{cell 260}
-{ a vibration is a movement that doesn't know which way to go }-

Rinswind 2th
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Den Haag: The Royal Residence
Insane since: Jul 2000

IP logged posted posted 02-01-2004 23:57 Edit Quote

I don't know if they exist in the usa but in our country we have the chambers of commerce. All companies in an area are listed and registered by the chambers of commerce. If i want to know someting about a company i could go to my local chamber of commerce and ask som basic info about any company. Things as how big is, what history has it, any financial problems in the past? etc.
Such a thing could be quite handy. You could the client about an anual report or anual returns....

__________________________________________
"Art has to be forgotten. Beauty must be realized."
Piet Mondriaan

hyperbole
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Madison, Indiana, USA
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 02-02-2004 18:36 Edit Quote

Emperor: Thanks for the link. That is a good article.

DmS: Thank you for the discussion. It helps to know how you handle the beginning of a negotiation.

Rinswind: I hadn't thought about contacting the chamber od commerce. I'll have to give them a shot. I have contacted them before and often times the most you can get about a business is, "We haven't had any complaints". but it's certainly worth a shot.


If anyone else has any further suggestions, I'd like to hear them.


Thanks everyone for your input.




-- not necessarily stoned... just beautiful.

Boudga
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Jacks raging bile duct....
Insane since: Mar 2000

IP logged posted posted 02-09-2004 14:58 Edit Quote

I too have written a good many proposals and more often than not the client is shopping for the best deal. Don't go into the nitty gritty details in your proposal. You can create a simple outline of action items and let them know that upon signing the contract and receipt of their deposit that you can provide them with a more extensive outline should they require it.

metahuman
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: 92064
Insane since: Aug 2003

IP logged posted posted 02-10-2004 02:56 Edit Quote

Read: How to write a winning proposal by Nigel Gordijk

metahuman
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: 92064
Insane since: Aug 2003

IP logged posted posted 02-10-2004 03:02 Edit Quote

Also check out Creative Public. If you register, tell 'em that I (my real name) referred you.

Isis
Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted

From: OH
Insane since: Feb 2004

IP logged posted posted 02-10-2004 08:47 Edit Quote

gynot come around here anymore?

Thumper
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Deeetroit, MI. USA
Insane since: Mar 2002

IP logged posted posted 06-19-2004 21:31 Edit Quote

Not sure if this has been mentioned, but you might try Dun & Bradstreet ( http://www.dnb.com/us/ ). For a price, I believe you are able to look up info about companies and their financial situation (not sure tho). They have to have a D-U-N-S number and be registered however. Many lenders look at D & B ratings before they fork out business loans.

Cyberviking
Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted

From:
Insane since: Jun 2004

IP logged posted posted 06-28-2004 06:40 Edit Quote

very good points covered..been looking into it myself

InI
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 06-28-2004 17:26 Edit Quote

The poster has demanded we remove all his contributions, less he takes legal action.
We have done so.
Now Tyberius Prime expects him to start complaining that we removed his 'free speech' since this message will replace all of his posts, past and future.
Don't follow his example - seek real life help first.

Jestah
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Long Island, NY
Insane since: Jun 2000

IP logged posted posted 06-29-2004 00:52 Edit Quote

Actually Ini, I would recomend the very opposite. Site proposals are going to be used by employers as a resume to determine if they want to hire you. There are two fields in which employers are particularly interested in: cost & ability.

Cost is something you really can't help too much. At very best you can offer a reasonable price where everyone is happy but theres nothing stopping someone from submitting a proposal with a low cost.

Ability, on the other hand, is something that you can help! In submitting a working resume, you'll be ahead of the game in that the employers will have a set of work specifically geared to that company to judge you from. Along with your proposal you should submit a listing of your best work and references. Let them know from the interviewing process that not only are you capable of doing excellent work, but you've already started.

You might spend a lot of time coming up with a few proposals only to strike out but if you're submitting proposals that are better then your competition you'll probably land more clients in the end.

Of course, seeing how this topic is six months old to the day, I suspect either hyperbole has designed an excellent site or moved on.



"My father never felt the need to wrap himself in anybody else's mantle or pretend to be anybody else. I don't know what's wrong with these people -- they have to keep invoking him. It is their administration, their war. If they can't stand on their own two feet, they're no Ronald Reagans, for sure." - Ronald P. Reagan.

InI
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 06-29-2004 19:04 Edit Quote

The poster has demanded we remove all his contributions, less he takes legal action.
We have done so.
Now Tyberius Prime expects him to start complaining that we removed his 'free speech' since this message will replace all of his posts, past and future.
Don't follow his example - seek real life help first.



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