Monday, September 08, 2008

Working for friends. Part 2.

My last post “Working for friends can lead to battle” dealt with the hazard of working for friends and family.
I stressed that you should always get a contract no matter whom it is you will be dealing with.

There is something however that I did not touch upon, and that is before sending out that written proposal, you should question your client to the best of your ability, know their exact budget, and understand what they expect from you.

In the aftermath of my last post, it turns out that no matter what I quoted my friend to create his project, it would have been deemed too expensive.
As I mentioned, my quote was 15% of what I normally charge as a favour to the company. Far less than industry standard. This was for concepts and production of 2 direct mail postcards which would be sent to households across the city.

I now understand why my friend went ballistic over my quote.
The creative "professional" they have hired to do the project (instead of me) is charging them…

Are you ready for this?


$200 from concept to completion. A direct mail piece for a company that has a service which probably earns 5 times that amount in commission off one single customer.

I am speechless.

I was told that my higher quote ruined my credibility.
I’m wondering what kind of credibility you have when you charge $200 for a project of this nature?
The truth is, if this is what your potential client is looking for, then should you even bother from the very beginning?

Let’s now look at this in another way…

You buy a house and decide to paint the entire interior.
One qualified painter quotes you $2,000 for the job.
Another quotes you $100.
Who are you going with?
Would you really trust the guy willing to do the job for $100?
It seems some do.

As Red Adair so eloquently put it..."If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur".

In cases like these, I find it’s better NOT to quote based on the information you receive. It saves you the headaches. Also, you have a choice. You can be known as "expensive but worth it" or "the cheap guy".
Simply chuckle to yourself, say no thank you to the project and walk away. Which is a whole lot easier to do when it's not a family member or close friend.

An aquaintance of mine (who is a very successful designer) wrote me and said “you give discounts to family and friends? You should charge double for pain and suffering”.

Wise words. I will forever keep them in mind.

Until next time. Keep Dreaming.

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