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What are some tips for finding paying web design clients and closing the contract? How long does it take to close a $6,000 contract?
No doubt web designing is huge business and its growing. First it was limited to desktops and now it moved to smartphone and next move may be something bigger.$6000 worth of project is huge and it totally depends on the requirement of client.E.g when, I design a website. I charge $10 per page for wireframe and $10 design. Means in total 5 pages of site which I designed is worth of $100 or maximum $150 and I finalized it in one week to ten days. Because, I work from home and one man team (army).Back to the point how much time it takes to windup the project worth of this price, my answer is minimum 3 months like 90 days and maximum 6 months. Because, one guy who was one year senior to me in my University has completed one project of web development worth of $10,000 lump sump or may be higher amount. It takes around 06 months to be completed. That was a WordPress based project consisted on multiple websites.Best of luck.
What are the ways to sign an IT outsourcing contract between a client and a company without travelling?
There is no need to visit the client or vice versa to sign a IT outsourcing contract.To speed up the process you could do the following:1) Ask them to send you a signed copy of the contract via Email. And in turn send a signed copy from your company to the client.2) After that you can already start the collaboration and you could also ask them to send a hard copy of the contract to you.I have worked in large IT companies and currently working in my own IT outsourcing company and it both, it is handled in the way described in this post. We are in India and most of our clients are in Germany. In the large IT company where I worked before, the contracts where between a German company and Swiss companies.(Photo: http://Flickr.com / Signing Paperwork / Dan Moyle)There are some things you should consider though:a) Where will disputes be handled? Usually the provider company will write into their contracts, that any disputes will be held in their location. In your case that could be a city in the USA.b) Which law has to be applied? When two countries are involved, you will need to specify which countries laws will apply. There is also the option to opt for international law (governed by UN, WTO, etc.).c) Intellectual property (IP) rights: Especially in software development IP is very important. So you need to make sure that the clauses are in such a way, that both parties are satisfied. In some countries, like Germany, it is more common that the provider company just provides the solution, but the rights to the source code remains with the provider company. This way the source code can be re-used again. In other countries they might prefer to have the rights to the source code as well.d) Non-disclosure agreements (NDA): It is always advisable to have a Non-disclosure agreement in place, which will regulate which information should be kept confidential, and which can be disclosed to third parties.e) How are exchange rates handled: When different countries are involved, then there are also different currencies. So you should specify how that will be handled. Will there be a fixed currency rate, or will you adjust the price according to the currency fluctuations, which can be around 5 to 10 percent.ConclusionNo need to travel for signing a contract. Only additional thing to consider is to ask the client to send the signed copy first. Oftentimes they will add things in written form on the contract, if you send the signed copy first.Good luck with your endeavors.Kind RegardsSascha ThattilCEO and Project Manager at Software-Developer-India.comDisclaimer: I run a 30 + people strong software development company in India.
What should I answer when a potential client asks how I arrived at my price for contract design work? Is it reasonable for him to ask for my pricing structure? Should a designer have a clear-cut pricing structure?
While it is a common reaction to blame the client, the truth is simple:You've accidentally stepped into a negotiation unprepared and you've been caught with your pants down.It is the right of the client to see how you arrive at your price.  It is your job to show how the value you prcorrelates to the financial reward you are asking for.  The most common way is to establish a day rate and a timeline.  Some creatives avoid this because they do not know how to negotiate.  I propose you do neither.I never break down my tasks by time and I've never had toI've used this specific technique many times and I think it's perfectly fair for both sides:Show interest in the project not the money: Go to your first meeting with them to start working on their problem.  Bring your sketchbook and immediately start the design process.  Once you have their trust and you can see the sparkle in their eye move to step three.Don't discuss money: If they ask about rates etc, try to avoid the question, if you can't move to step three.Ask for their budget: Ask this question (over the phone or in person) and leave them hanging.  Whoever speaks first loses.  They will squirm and it will be uncomfortable but do not say anything.  They will ask why you need to know or tell you.  Of they ask why, tell them you want to make sure you don't overshoot their expectations and want to give them the best value for their dollar.  I've always gotten the client budget using this tactic.Show value by over achieving: Next you will need a some time to prthem with something that shows you understand the project and that you can over achieve what they are asking for as a measure of quality.Establish the 'items at the table': In your brief or pitch you must lay out every thing you will do for them on paper.  Dates, deliverables, quality bench-marks, quanities, even the little things like how you will deliver the files etc.  It's imperative that you carefully exclude non-essentials, things the client could live without.  Only put items you know they will find value in.Quote over budget with 'items on the table': While they are wow'd in your presence and by your work tell them the total cost to do the work you have laid out for them.  This is when the negotiation begins...The negotiation only works if they know you are not motivated by money.  They must TRUST that you are only interested in doing the work and are not trying to rip them off.When they ask you to lower your rate or total price start lifting 'items off the table'.  However, it is imperative that these not be the following:Do not suggest that the work can be done in less time or fewer hoursDo not suggest that you could do the work to a lower standard of qualityDo not suggest that the work go without key features the client needsDo not lower your daily ratesDo not apply percentage discounts or one time price reductionsYou can see that without 'items on the table' the above list is the typical set of things that the negotiation is over.  In the end the client won't budge on features, time or quality (despite what they might say to get your price lower), so all you can do is lower  your daily rate if you want the work.  However, doing that just makes it look like you tried over charging them and any future work they will assume your lower rate is applicable.Focus instead on the items in your pitch that included as extras.  This is your battlefield.  Are you delivering the poster at 600dpi or 300?  Did you say you would pra lighter email size version so they could show their boss.  Remove things that should actually save you time, as in the end they are only paying for your time.  Try to remove things that will save you time at first, inconvenience items that normally a client would just assume you would do.  If they can take on the burder all the better, and if you actually get the time to do it for them you're a hero, rather than a delivery guy.If there is nothing that they can live without but must further lower the cost you can add things to the table that make your life easier or ownership of your art:Creative Ownership Rights (normally you sign these away as part of 'work for hire' jobs)Limit the number of revisions (I never set this by default as it's counter to building trust, but it's a good idea to get this as part of the negotiation because if they want more revisions they know the price will go up)Make them work for you.  Ask them to do part of the work for you that makes sense (as above if there is anything you would normally have to do as part of the job but didn't include in the pitch or quote)  The best here are things that are mundane and time consuming like sourcing high resolution photos from their stock or scan items for you.  Perhaps you need them to find you 60 high resolution photos of a spoon on a single color background.  What if you have 40 items like that to source.  Maybe you won't need this stuff but if they have to work a little too for a lower price next time they might just let it slide in favor of not having to do anything.Be creative!  I'm sure there are a hundred million things that you could ask for.  Ask for their hat... maybe you want them to do your personal shopping for you?  What about skill trading?  Can they oil the chain on your bike or bake you a cake for a friends birthday party?  Think WAY outside the box, that's what negotiation is about.Worst case you end up at their budget, rather than below it.  Best case you get ownership over your art and have less work to do...Hope that helps!Also, I highly recommend the following books:Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni Influence by Robert B. Cialdini
How do I propose a contract for design works to my American client, if I live and work in Indonesia?
It doesn't have to be too complex. A good contract has to have the following specifications : payment terms (30 days after invoice, if they are late they 'may' have to pay penalty rates (3% interest per day calculated cumulatively, or whatever average interest rates is set by bank Indonesia), kill clause (if they cancel project halfway they are liable to pay 50percent of the remainder of the fee), 50 percent upfront payment (if you don't receive this, you don't begin work), signed off stages cannot be revisited without incurring penalty rates -- usually twice as high as your usual daily rate), and most importantly : you retain all intellectual property. If they request for a full buyout and transfer of Intellectual property, you need to charge for that, usually much much much higher than what they agreed on at the start. As an aside, every illustration contract should list the kind of usage they want (how long they want to use the illustration for? Standard terms are 6 mths, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, and forever, territory covered --international or just US? And what media they want it to appear in---online only? Online plus banner advertising in bus stops? Everywhere? The more they want the more they will have to pay). No you don't need a US number, most people are happy to chat via Skype. This is not the 1950s :P. You do need a business PayPal account  though. Most US customers hate paying via bank transfers as they are stuck in an outdated banking system. Don't forget to add 3% PayPal transaction fee to your contract and invoice. Good luck!
How can I build a system that, upon a client filling out a form, automatically creates contracts that other contractors can accept?
I would encourage you to look into Business Process Management software. The question is not only how to trigger those events upon signature, but also to consider flexibility to change the workflow, and BPM shines at that. There are many flavors, but my experience is with Activiti and Alfresco, which you might want to review. Activiti provides the workflow flexibility, and Alfresco gives you a repository to manage the content, i.e., the contracts.
Is it possible to display a PDF form on mobile web to fill out and get e-signed?
Of course, you can try a web called eSign+. This site let you upload PDF documents and do some edition eg. drag signature fields, add date and some informations. Then you can send to those, from whom you wanna get signatures.
As an interior designer, I require a legal contract for my upcoming project between my client and myself, how do I go about it? Will I need a lawyer?
Although a written agreement between two parties is a valid contract, in matters of professional understanding between two parties it is always advisable to have a lawyer draft an agreement.
What are some ways clients try to take advantage of web designers? And how can you prevent screwing yourself over just to land a contract?
I have quite a few examples but the most common one is the one when they try to bait you with how big they are going to get or with how many connections they have and they will promote your business for you and they are going to give you another project to work on later. They are quite free to do that out of their own freewill but when they are given to you when they are asking for a quote, then it is more likely that they are hoping you are a sucker and they are haggling your price down.If you are a web developer, designer or any other service provider, then your best protection is just to be able to say ‘no• to such ‘opportunities’. If you are working on your own, the risk is that you end up working a lot of unpaid hours to keep your client happy. If you have a team relying on you to pay them, that’s even worse, because not only will you not get paid, you also will not have enough to pay your people and therefore have to dig from within your pocket. You cannot do that long enough before you become dispirited, go bankrupt, or both.It is very important to discuss as much as you can with your client to make sure they tell you what they are expecting. Your job is to know what these expectations are going to cost you in terms of time and resources. Whatever your expectations are, it is highly likely that after your project is done, the project took more than you initially expected. So you need to have a good method to eand let them know that extra requests may cost them extra too. That’s only fair.If you’ve offered your most honest cost eto your client, do not be afraid that they will pass it up because the chances are, that project will end up costing you money, time and effort, if you undercut yourself and/or your team.Usually, when a person does not seem to bother taking the time and effort to explain what they want and you sense that they have a certain personality and attitude that you do not think you can work with, then I would suggest to not work with them. When you are dealing with a person who seems to be respectful, considerate while being fair and professional, you can easily work things out when things do not go smoothly as planned. It’s not always easy to tell but it is usually a good indicator.
How do you explain to a client the difference between design and aesthetics?
Show them a website with a "good" design, with all blings and everything too shiny. Then show them an aesthetically appealing website. Something like a comparison between the old and the new myspace.I once had this client who wanted a website for his start up, but was refusing to listen to me about how terrible it would look based on the design he was giving to me. I decided to go on with his design anyway, and created ANOTHER webpage with the same content, but my own design. The only difference was, in the first website, he wanted marquees and "glowing" text. In the second, I used jQuery, to create sliders and fade-in-outs.Needless to say, he took the second website and paid me extra. :D
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