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Help On Designing And Pricing Mkt Proposal
11/3/2012 at 8:48 PM ET
I am starting a small marketing consulting firm and have landed my first contract. I am putting together a proposal and timeline for a small market research project (gaining data that will later be used to contact and follow up with a direct mail campaign.) I will also be in charge of putting together this campaign in addition to designing the collateral pieces that will correspond with it. Are there any suggestions to websites that provide great templates to use for proposals suck as this? Also - I have no idea as to how to price this type of project...per hour, per category? Any suggestions would be greatly accepted.
11/4/2012 at 12:16 AM
I will weigh in here as I am also very new to marketing. I am not new to consulting though, having been an interior decorator.
If there is one thing I have learned it is that most people will only respect you if they have to pay for your advice. That means you need to scale your fees so that whoever hires you will think twice about paying them.
Whilst this sounds counter intuitive, it will mean that your offer to them needs to be rock solid (and of course your USP needs to be copper bottomed too). Charging lots of money means two things:
(1) The client respects you
(2) The whingers disappear.
Now I live and work in the Netherlands where charges are substantially more than they are in the UK, and certainly the US. This has taken me some getting used to. My charges need to reflect this, and it does take some courage to demand these things. You also need the courage to say "no".
You are going to need your wits, and any sensitivity you have for your clients will pay off handsomely. That is why I call myself the cat's whiskers!
This hasn't been much help so far, has it?
However, what you will need to do is negotiate with each of your clients how things are to proceed. For myself, I demand a six month contract with at least one week's work paid for even if I don't need to work that. Any extra work is then charged by the hour. With my scale of fees, I only need one client a month to pay me a decent salary, and I limit myself to two at a time. Even suggesting that you have a waiting list means that clients get the idea that you are serious. In short, make 'em beg for it.
Which is why I am writing this from Luneburg in Germany as I get a lot of free time!
To your success, Gemma xx
11/4/2012 at 6:28 AM
You haven't landed your first project if you haven't agreed on price.
Pricing is an art in itself. You must price according to what the market will bear, yet not so low as to leave money on the table. You have to know your customer. A reasonable price for one business may be out of the ball park for another.
Review in your mind the amount of hours this will take. Then add at least 25%. Set in your mind what your time is worth and go for it. I would price the first segment at a flat rate. See how that works out and review.
Write your first proposal with a scope of project. Be detailed here, otherwise they'll be adding "oh can you add this" stuff -- you need to be in a position where if they start adding -- you need to start charging more.
Lastly clearly define how you expect to be paid. If this is your first time dealing with this client, ask for a % upfront. Set a milestone for another payment and then define terms for final payment.
Sell Well and Prosper tm
11/4/2012 at 8:28 AM
We're you retained because you are new or, we're you retained because you are an expert in your field?
The difference is tens of thousands of $,£,€,¥ per year.
Did you think to ask them what their budget is for this project? If you do not ask, how will you know that you want the job?
Many of us here, within MProfs can be considered "seasoned" veterans, and charge more than others. But, you need to make up your mind about what and who you want to be. Carol had great advice. Take it!
11/4/2012 at 11:15 AM
Without an agreement on price, a time line and the size and scope of the project, all you have is an expression of interest, not a commitment.
11/4/2012 at 3:42 PM
Until the client signs on the dotted line and agrees to your price you've got jack.
Charge per project, within a scope of work. Do not charge by the hour: it seems logical to do so but it's a fools errand.
Insist on 50 percent (or at least one third) of the fee up front. If the client says no, walk away. Rich people become rich by getting paid up front.
I've learned the hard way to NEVER work for free. I did that with a would-be client earlier this year (a non-profit) that wanted the wind, the stars, and the moon for nought until they saw something that "spoke" to them. I did a good amount of work at a discounted rate (for which I wasn't paid), and when I firmly but politely informed the client that henceforth, I'd be billing at the normal rate the client was suddenly incredibly tongue tied. Since then, nothing. Not. A. Word.
Avoid clients like this as you would a venomous snake.
Agree on a rate. Get it in writing. Get a signature. Get a fee up front. Then over deliver and do so massively.
Good luck to you.
P.S. I've only worked on an hourly rate ONCE in the last year and ONLY then because I know the person involved and know them to be a person of integrity.
11/14/2012 at 10:12 AM
I am closing this question since there hasn't been any activity in 10 days.
Thanks for participating!
Carrie (Production Editor)
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