Need a Website? Read this.

Meeting client expectations is the key to running a successful web development business. How those expectations are set is therefore something the web developer has to consider very carefully. Set them too high and you risk annoying the client. Set them too low and you won’t get the business.

A number of freelancers on freelancers.net have compared quoting for a project akin to buying a car. One in particular wrote:

1) do you want a Ferrari
2) does it need to be 4×4
3) do you want diesel or petrol
4) do you want a maintenance plan
5) do you want extras
6) do you want free MOT
7) do you want continuous improvements (this would equate to a lease hire
where you replace the car for the newer model at the end of each year)
8) do you want free upgrades (top of the range breaks and accessories each time the car is serviced) – £5000 upfront,

Are you a Trader or are you Private Seller or are you an Independent Dealer
or are you an Authorised Dealer.

£125 – £750 per day AND full Professional days. Quote by day and if it
takes you 10 more days than quoted, you can’t ask for extra money. so don’t promise more than you can deliver and agree a continous review to make sure you’re on track.

You need to charge for project initiation (establishing your Business,
Functional and Non-Functional Requirements) this isn’t included in the
Design, Develop and Deploy phases.

Or do you want to go to a trader and buy a car from him in the ASDA parking lot and not know where he comes from, hope the the HPI check is legitimate and hope that he hasn’t thrown saw dust in the gear box as well as 1 or 2 banana skins. £10000 and make sure your buyer can’t find you or review your work and make sure you can’t build a reputation to sell so the same buyer again.

Getting the quote right means treating the project in its entirety. There’s one thing I don’t like about this comparison, though, and that’s likening web developers to car dealers. In my experience, and I use those words carefully, web developers are somewhat more honest. I’m sure there are bad ones around – I’ve obviously been fortunate to meet the honest ones. The same cannot be said for car dealers!!