Creating Transparency with Upfront Pricing Quotes

There are many reasons to be upfront about the pricing of your services. It will, for instance, let potential clients compare your services with other providers based on price, as well as other factors such as qualifications, services and suitability. And your clients will appreciate an accurately quoted price so that their project will be completed within budget. Being upfront with your prices should inspire confidence in your clients.

Our business associate and friend, Brent Kobayashi, who runs Toronto digital marketing agency Kobayashi Online discusses this topic in great depth in one of his blog posts, “Hiding your prices – Don’t do it!”. Please check it out – it will be worthwhile, we promise.

In our post, we’d like to outline a few techniques that we use to provide accurate and transparent price quotes:

· Create an itemized list of services provided. Include a spreadsheet itemizing the estimated time for each task, and the rate being billed. For instance, if you’re billing a client for design work, you can break down that task into the time spent doing procedures such as personal consultation, art direction, design and layout, and client revisions. This will give your client a sense of transparency to the project, letting them know the amount and nature of the work you are providing them.

The itemized list shows the client the tasks and associated costs at a glance, as well as giving the client and supplier a document that effectively tracks costs as the project progresses. If the scope of the job changes or there are extensive changes, the client can see where those costs are incurred and approve the additional costs before the supplier proceeds.

And an itemized list will also allow your potential client to properly compare your design and marketing proposal with other vendors.

· Always come in on budget for the items specified. Coming in on budget is dependent on creating accurate initial estimates, and establishing the project’s scope. To provide an accurate estimate, we suggest gathering as much information as you can about the client’s marketing needs and expectations before the work begins. This will help your team cover all the bases both in quoting and guiding you towards the best decisions for your project.

Estimating design and marketing projects well is one of our strengths at Finesilver. The initial estimate can determine whether the project budget is realistic and allows for an effective end product, and we believe it would be unrealistic and misleading to submit a firm quote at the outset when the scope of a project has not been clearly established.

· Be transparent with what services you offer, and which you don’t. Your client may need services beyond your company’s capabilities. In these cases, you may refer them to trusted partner companies rather than try to hide the size and scope of your company. In fact, clients could very well appreciate your expert recommendation of a company that specializes in their particular need.

Transparency and ethics is absolutely at the core of business today, and providing clear and upfront pricing is central to keeping these high standards.

Let us know your experiences with pricing estimates in the comments. And please drop us a line if you have any questions. We will get back to you!

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