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Every project is different, and I specialize in tailoring my services to your needs. However, the general process below has served my clients and me well.
Initial meeting – I offer up to one hour of initial consultation time at no charge. I prefer that this meeting be in person, so that we can get to know each other and have ready access to any materials you might have.
Proposal and estimate – I prepare a proposal for the work to be done, along with an estimated cost. I charge only for time and materials. My proposal is usually broken down into as much detail as possible, so that you can see exactly how my estimate is derived. I often assign a “confidence” factor to individual line items, which allows you to more clearly understand areas of higher risk. Often we identify alternate ways of accomplishing your objectives at different cost levels. I include these alternatives in my proposal so that you have a clear understanding of your options.
Acceptance – Once you agree on the work to be done, the cost, and the schedule, you accept the proposal. I usually require payment of about 50% of the estimate before beginning work. Out-of-pocket costs such as domain registration or hosting are payable in advance.
Progress reports and meetings – We usually work out a mutually agreeable reporting interval; one that balances the time and cost of preparing reports vs. how frequently you would like to receive updates. If you so desire, I can track my progress against the line items of my proposal so that we can clearly identify areas where the project is at risk of going over budget. Regardless of the reporting interval, I will contact you immediately if I find that my progress is significantly different than planned. This allows us to quickly work together to resolve the issue, and avoid surprises.
Invoices and payment – I typically invoice monthly, and send invoices via email. Payment is usually due 15 days after the invoice date. A late charge of 1% per month is assessed on any overdue balance. Other payment terms can be arranged during the proposal and acceptance process.