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  1. #1
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    Help in making a bid for a client.

    Well, about three weeks ago I went to a local golf course to pick up an application for summer work, and I talked with the owners and such and they started talking about their new website so I mentioned that I have been doing web design and development for about eight years, and I left it at that and yadda yadda...

    I go back this past friday to pick up an employment package and I also show them a little mockup of a site that I did for them. Then they started to talk about the companies that had been bidding for them, the first was around $20k, and the one they're talking with now is around $10k. I started talking to him about doing it through my studio and he could save a lot and get a lot better quality.

    Anyways, I asked if I should come up with a bid for him and show it to him when I drop off my employment papers, and he said sure. So I guess what I'm asking is what exactly do I put into my bid?

    Going with my normal pricing, it would be a couple grand lower than their current bid and they would be getting more (I'm young and I'm still establishing a name for myself). What I invision for their site(s) is one main landing page that spreads to three different sites for the three different courses and clubs that they manage and doing all four of those sites. They have seen the mockup I did and he loved it and said it was better than what other companies had come up with so I really think I could win this client, but I don't know where to get started with the bid.

    Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks for your time.


    - Steve

  2. #2
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creative Default View Post
    Anyways, I asked if I should come up with a bid for him and show it to him when I drop off my employment papers, and he said sure. So I guess what I'm asking is what exactly do I put into my bid?
    I'd lay out the site structure as you envision it, do a couple of very preliminary mockups, estimate the time to complete the site, and then state your price.

    One tip I have for you, don't lowball your price. you know they're willing to pay up to 10k for their site, so don't come in with some ridiculously low price (even if that is what you would normally charge).

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Creating mockups before you win a project is a risky business - if you lose the bid, there's a good chance your design may end up being used anyway. Most professionals would not create mockups until they get the project in the bag as it's basically working for free - however, if you feel you'd rather use the mockups as sales tools, I suggest you have the prospect sign off an agreement regarding copyright; if they use the mockup (or any part of it), you get paid some compensation.

    As for your bid - as you know the guys, do it verbally. Find out what's important to them, don't assume they are looking for the cheapest price, there are usually more important criteria especially on larger sites. Just sit down over coffee and explain what you'd build and take it from there.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the feedback. I know doing the mockup as I did was a bit risky, but I really made it because I was bored and I wanted to try some new coding.

    Anyways, I know about the don't lowball, I did a site for $600 once when I could of easily gotten double (that was about two years ago) so I'm never starting low again. Since this job would have about three different sites inside of it, it will be a lot more work along with a larger backend so the bid will be up around the $7-8k range.

    My schedule for the next couple of days is pretty open so I think from taking what you guys have said and coming up with my own vision for the site, getting that down on paper as well as what features and user interaction I can implement and asking to go out to coffee or something with the people and sit down and present what I have come up with and see what they think and what they would want.

    Again, thanks for the quick feedback!

  5. #5
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox View Post
    Creating mockups before you win a project is a risky business - if you lose the bid, there's a good chance your design may end up being used anyway. Most professionals would not create mockups until they get the project in the bag as it's basically working for free - however, if you feel you'd rather use the mockups as sales tools, I suggest you have the prospect sign off an agreement regarding copyright; if they use the mockup (or any part of it), you get paid some compensation.
    Normally I would agree, but the OP is obviously a student (who generally have more time to burn ) and he can probably get paid more for this one job than he would working all summer at the golf course.

    Throw together some preliminary mockups, bring them with you on a disc to show them to the client and then take them home with you when you leave. Don't leave them a copy to use as a sample to take to another company and you should be fine. The worse they can steal are the concepts and there's only so many ways to design a website. So what if they go to another designer and say we want a menu on the left, and a big picture of a golf course on the top and a map of our course on another page?

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot Roar's Avatar
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    For submitting the actual quote, do you have a proposal template? You'll need at least a few pages describing what you're going to create along with an itemized quote & terms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roar View Post
    For submitting the actual quote, do you have a proposal template? You'll need at least a few pages describing what you're going to create along with an itemized quote & terms.
    Yeah, I'm going to include an invoice-esk page with the prices for everything including every site with the main page design + coding and the subpage designs + coding as well as the backend and any other services that I think would be good to have for them.

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    SitePoint Zealot Roar's Avatar
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    You have a big advantage in getting this project because of your interest to work there. If I were in your shoes, I would really hammer home the fact that it is advantageous to contract you for the website because you will also work there over the summer: which means they will get a great result and have you readily available for training & additional website support.
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  9. #9
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    Thanks for the advice, I'm going to finish up my proposal today and tomorrow and then schedule some sort of meeting later in the week. I might have some questions between then and now so I'll just post them up if I do.

    Thanks again!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roar View Post
    You have a big advantage in getting this project because of your interest to work there. If I were in your shoes, I would really hammer home the fact that it is advantageous to contract you for the website because you will also work there over the summer: which means they will get a great result and have you readily available for training & additional website support.
    The question is will he still be working there over the summer with a fat job like this
    "Am I the only one doing ASP.NET in Delphi(Pascal)?"

  11. #11
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    Watch the invoice-esq route for the proposal. It's always better to write a proposal like you're writing a story. Describe what the page will look like and how it will be used, rather than just listing that it will be there. That takes a while longer, but will give you good things to talk about when you sit down with them to go over it.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graedus_dave View Post
    It's always better to write a proposal like you're writing a story. Describe what the page will look like and how it will be used, rather than just listing that it will be there.
    Thats awful advice.

    Never waffle on in a proposal - keep it to the point, specific and be professional about it.

    RJ

  13. #13
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    That's not waffling, that's being descriptive.

    I think your big disadvantage is your youth, and your lack of company credentials. So talk about what you've done so far, mentioning the type of coding you are familiar with, and hopefully you could put together a list of sites your work can be seen on.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    From experience, clients want a straight to the point proposal - not some fairytale.

    I really dont understand why you suggest writing a proposal like a "story"

    To me that make no sense whatsoever.

    RJ

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast Grenland's Avatar
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    I have to agree with ramone_johnny here. Keep it short and simple and always to the point.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post
    From experience, clients want a straight to the point proposal - not some fairytale.

    I really dont understand why you suggest writing a proposal like a "story"

    To me that make no sense whatsoever.

    RJ
    I think you don't quite understand what I'm saying, probably because I didn't do a good enough job saying it.

    What I meant to say was that his proposal shouldn't read like this:

    Home Page - $125
    About Us - $125
    Our Services - $125

    Instead, it should read like this:

    Home Page ($125)
    This will be starting page of your website, and will be the first thing any of your visitors see. It will be this, this and that; and will include this, this and that, which will help to cause visitors to (insert something advantageous to the clients' business here).

  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast Grenland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graedus_dave View Post
    Home Page ($125)
    This will be starting page of your website, and will be the first thing any of your visitors see. It will be this, this and that; and will include this, this and that, which will help to cause visitors to (insert something advantageous to the clients' business here).
    That made a lot more sense to me and so I do a turn-around and agree with this...

    However, it still has to be rather short though - and to the point.

  18. #18
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by graedus_dave View Post
    Watch the invoice-esq route for the proposal. It's always better to write a proposal like you're writing a story. Describe what the page will look like and how it will be used, rather than just listing that it will be there. That takes a while longer, but will give you good things to talk about when you sit down with them to go over it.
    Ugh....

    Please don't do this.

    If you're only at the proposal stage you shouldn't be pigeonholing your work this way anyway because you don't have enough information from the client to determine this.

  19. #19
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    Hi,


    Quote Originally Posted by graedus_dave View Post
    This will be starting page of your website, and will be the first thing any of your visitors see.
    this is a bit nitpicky, but it drives me nuts that everyone still thinks people land on the homepage. Depending on what search engine result they clicked on it may be anywhere and thats great. But that concept of a 'front-door' doesn't exist anymore.

    Time after time I get clients that want to change their homepage for this and that, not realising that most people won't use that door.

    HTH, Jochen
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tke71709 View Post
    Ugh....

    Please don't do this.

    If you're only at the proposal stage you shouldn't be pigeonholing your work this way anyway because you don't have enough information from the client to determine this.
    Why don't you? I sit down with every client for a consultation before I do a proposal, and at that point I can exactly specify my work because I have exactly the information I need to determine it.

    In fact, I can't imagine writing a proposal without knowing exactly what the client needs. If you don't know what they need, what on earth are you proposing to them? I'm sure we all do business in different ways, so I can understand if your process is different, but mine works quite well. Consultation meeting -> proposal -> carryback meeting with hand-delivery of proposal specific to client's needs which includes a bottom-line cost and fully-defined scope -> in-person close -> $$$.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdog View Post
    this is a bit nitpicky, but it drives me nuts that everyone still thinks people land on the homepage. Depending on what search engine result they clicked on it may be anywhere and thats great. But that concept of a 'front-door' doesn't exist anymore.
    That's a great point!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grenland View Post
    However, it still has to be rather short though - and to the point.
    I agree 100%. I keep the meat of my proposals to 1-2 pages unless there's a ton of backend work, and I use lots of spacing and big fonts.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Guru CompiledMonkey's Avatar
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    I tend to keep these short and to the point. Don't ramble with words just to fill the page. The client is generally just looking at the bottom line and what they'll get for it. Congrats on getting the lead.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graedus_dave View Post
    ... and I use lots of spacing and big fonts.
    show off

    RJ


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