OT: Costing

This is totally ott for a diy newsgroup but ...
Normally I visit a client, agree what work I will be doing for them, they give me money and I go off and do the work. Sometimes the extent of the work is not clear initially so there might be stage payments, but the general prinicple is that I am paid for work done
My latest job is somewhat different. I have to make a presentation to a panel, who will (I hope) like my ideas and will then be the 'front' for me to raise money and agree a location for a parget with various large and bureaucratic bodies .... and then hopefully I get some money and get to do the work
Already I have done three days preparation and I can see several meetings ahead before there is a glimmer of any money for me, so I want to charge a risk premium on my usual hourly rate because the project could all fall through after I have put in lots of work
My question is - what is a reasonable premium? On this job I feel that I am more in the position of an artist than a builder, so perhaps speaking to an artist who works on public projects is the way forward, except that I dont know any
Any comments or suggestions from the panel?
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On Wed, 24 Feb 2010 10:58:43 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@googlemail.com (Anna Kettle) wrote:

What risk premium on your daily rate? I would double it.
Either that or just walk away.
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A risk I would be concerned about, is that you create and provide all the expertise and material that supports their fundraising - effectively being a free of charge fundraiser for them - and then they go off and use someone else's plastering services.
I would ask for a *written* undertaking that by gaining access to your fundraising work, they agree that any subsequent contract must first be offered, exclusively, to you.
If they're not willing to do that - then try them with "Would you agree to some charge for this presentation work, if it doesn't lead to a contract for me?".
Nicey, nicey charadees sometimes think that entitles them to use any unscrupulous business practices.
At the very least, if you hand over any printed material, especially photos, make sure it's marked as copyright to you, and *make them sign an undertaking that it may not be reproduced/slapped on a website/used in their magazine/handed over to anyone else without your written permission/be used for any other purpose than getting you a contract*
Sounds harsh - but it's from bitter experience with a large charitable visitor attraction in Cornwall.
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snipped-for-privacy@gglz.com wrote:

A similar situation in my own field is where a client wants some software written, but does not really know what it is they want. Normally we suggest that they engage us on a time and materials basis to do a requirements capture and produce a detailed requirements spec for them. We normally bill them at that point for the spec, and give them a fixed price quote to implement it - with an incentive that if they give us the job, we will waive some or all of the cost of the spec production.
At least that way if they go elsewhere to get the spec implemented we have still not lost out.

Failing that, make sure that everything you do is communicated along with the your terms of use. Explain that its commercial in confidence and they may not reuse it without your written consent.

You could even try the bolder approach of saying that there will be a small charge for the presentation work, without further qualification. The you can negotiate back to that position if they complain.

Sounds advice. Use photoshop to watermark any images you let them have as well.

--
Cheers,

John.

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Anna Kettle wrote:

The way we used to handle this one, anna, was an upfront fee for the presentation, refundable against the actual order.
i.e. you got a slaes visit and a chat free.
You got a project plan and a detailed presentation for a few grand.
You got the whole installation for quarter of a million.
This stopped them from getting a free plan, and giving it to someone else.
At least they had paid for it.
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An interesting one. Who approached whom? If they sought you out, you should be in a reasonable position to recover your costs from them. If you approached them because you saw a new business opportunity, it's more of a sales and marketing exercise and they'd expect you to carry some of your costs. I'm with a big consultancy that can afford to throw money at seriously large prospects, but I guess you are more like a sole trader selling just your personal time. Damien Hurst can afford to make some pretty big gestures for publicity because he is in a position to get big payback but, without being in any way disrespectful, you are probably not. (That said, I'm sure I'd rather have your stuff on my wall, at least from the aesthetic viewpoint!). So no-one should expect you to put a large amount of effort in up front.
As others have said, guard your intellectual property if there is any chance they are fishing for freebies. In my world, we get to sign lots of confidentiality agreements. There must be models out there on the web; try the legal newsgroups.
And do tell us how it goes!
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On 24 Feb, 10:58, snipped-for-privacy@googlemail.com (Anna Kettle) wrote:

Really don`t be shy about looking for reward for work, your work.
Watermarks, pffft, big bold lettering and right across any image they are offered, they want an unmarked image they will be prepared to pay full going rate for owning a licence to an original work of art.
Meetings, all the people you are meeting are giving of their time and paying their own travel expenses , yes?
Having seen my drawings hawked around contractors by people who should have known better, local authority architect on public art project, its something that is close to my heart and still causing pain in my wallet.
Wasn`t the artist , they were sharp enough to get paid, just one of the Joe Blow contractors brought into window dress a project that was siphoning money God knows where out the back.
Reasonable research rate for an artist comfortably be 300 a day , plus expenses, for which client might expect a briefing and some proofed sketches after a few days of research to decide wether the client wants to progress further with that artist. Presuming they have researched the artist`s work previously and have reasonable expectation of the result being something they, the client, will like.
May then move on to more detailed drawings and instructing contractors which means more meetings, if it takes time you want paid, if it costs you money to be there, you must be reimbursed.
Attractive some projects may appear, the proposers may at first glance be on the face of it credible, like a Local Autority or registered charity for a couple of grim examples, they may even put in some effort to appearing serious,sincere and solvent.
BUT they may simply be after some free ideas , or like to talk to all and sundry about the `artist` they have working for them ,or just be simply dreaming about a project for which there is no and never will be funding available.
As have since learnt, a very expensive ,very very hard lesson in my case, the truly serious ,sincere and solvent have no difficulty investing a small sum intially because they are serious about their project, they sincerely want you to handle it for them and they are solvent and have the means to pay for intial preparation, as well as completed project.
On a lighting forum someone asked "how do you start on a fresh lighting design?"
All time best answer " With the clients signed purchase order"
Cheers Adam
P.S where is the best forum /newsgroup for useable business advice? would like to try and stop learning everything the expensive hard way......
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<boggle>
You expect the client to pay for your sales pitch? Being an 'artist' doesnt involve any business training at all, does it? Or are you just playing on the naivety of the client?
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On 25 Feb, 19:04, % snipped-for-privacy@malloc.co.uk (Steve Firth) wrote:

A client commisioning an artist for a site specific work is already sold on the idea, wether they are so convinced they will actually spend money....

Not sure if there is a business studies thread in Art school, succesful ones I have met have certainly also been very sharp and succesful business people. But what do I know , not an artist just a lowly technician...

Think some may do , but not any more than an array of other professional consultants from architects to solicitors may also seek to benefit from their hard earned knowledge.
Cheers adam
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On 24 Feb, 10:58, (Anna Kettle) wrote:

Consultant for putting together a funding proposal - 500 per day. Assistant / technician / secretarial support 300 per day.
Owain
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20K seems to be magic figure for a feasability study, saw one where after the 20K feasability study they awarded the 32K grant originally asked for.
Up here charity scandal has professional fundraiser spending 500K in a year and raising 60K.
Raising funds is expensive....
Cheers Adam
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Thankyou for your pearls of insight one and all. I am now looking at the situation from a completely different angle, which is good
I have put in plenty of design time The funder will be putting in money The charity will be putting in .... just what exactly????
... and my answer is that I think they should be putting in the seed funding in order to get the main money. ie paying me for my time spent in design and meetings. Now all I have to do is think how to say this to them in a tactful way
I have also taken on board the comments about holding on to my intellectual property and will show them my ideas as a powerpoint display rather than by handing out pieces of paper, that way they cant run off with them
Anna
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X-No-archive:yes Anna,
cue for you in thread "wooden float or steel" - suggested wood is for lime plaster...
Andy
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Anna Kettle wrote:

Good business sense :-) I like the bit about getting the money first, then doing the work!

This is always difficult. The difference between giving an estimate and being exploited is difficult to judge. Sometimes you have speculate to accumulate though.
A local Army barracks is being refurbed and the facilities management company in charge of the project have been people in for quotes. I know of a local electrician & a locksmith who have both spent a lot of time doing surveys and putting in quotes - and it now seems that the manager of the FM company is using their work as a specification to get cheaper quotes in. Exploitation pure & simple.

My gut feeling is that, if you are convinved they are genuine, go for it & charge minimum 50% above nomal rates if you get the job.
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
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