[thelist] Paying for proposals?

David Wagner dave at worlddomination.net
Thu May 2 11:59:01 CDT 2002

Chris George wrote:
> Do any of you charge for proposals?  Is this a bad idea?  What are your
> results in doing so?

I've scanned this whole thread, and I haven't seen this point brought up

Proposals are essentially bids -- a brief description of a project from
the developer's view, with some numbers attached. It's probably best not
to charge people to tell them what you want to charge them. However, you
don't need to spend a day writing a proposal -- I usually find that an
hour or two is plenty for most projects.

Specs (project specifications) are detailed outlines of the work to be
done. As the specs are defined, they may affect the original proposal
(which needs to be made clear *within* the proposal). They are part of
the work that you do for a client. Once you've started outlining a
project in this way, the client is gaining from your experience, and
*must* pay you or understand the value of that in some way. I never go
into the detail of "How it works" with a client unless they understand
that they're getting something of value from me.

Drawing the line between proposals and specs is the trickiest part of
the business for me. I try to imagine myself as an architect. When we're
standing around at the building site, saying "Okay, the moat goes here"
<insert hand waving> "and the 4-story tower goes in that back corner",
then we're just talking. When I start drawing up blueprints, which any
contractor could use, then they're my blueprints until they're paid for.

Another $.02, bringing this thread up near the value of a candy bar. :)


David Wagner
dave at worlddomination.net

More information about the thelist mailing list