[thelist] Project Price

Matt Warden mwarden at gmail.com
Mon Dec 3 10:43:23 CST 2007

On 12/3/07, Portman <mrport at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> BTW, I often tell people that if they think that my price is too high, I
> will work hourly for them. It ALWAYS comes out more....

Really? I think you may want to reconsider how you calculate fixed
price work, then. The client wants fixed price work because they will
feel more comfortable knowing what they will pay. You are taking on
additional risk, because your estimates must account for many
unknowns, many of which are under the control of the client, and
others (scope) which require a lot of effort to manage such that your
risk does not increase.

My experience is that estimates for fixed price work are *heavily*
padded, and the client knows that. But often they're willing to pay
that premium for the knowledge of exactly what they are getting and
exactly what it will cost.

Anyway, back to the original question. Fred, I could not tell if the
client decided to go with you after he got the quote from Big Internet
Corporation X or whether that quote was an afterthought. If the
former, then clearly he saw additional value with you. If we can
assume that he is a good businessman, then he didn't go with you to
"throw you a bone". He likely went with you because he considers YOU
to be trustworthy and honest just as you consider him. He probably
didn't want to deal with corporate bureaucracy and he might even know
a little (specifically or generally) how such a quote of $x will often
end up as $3x when all is said and done (oh, you wanted the rust
proofing? That's extra.)

You went with him because he's not going to screw you. He went with
you because you're not going to screw him. I would just remind him of
this and try to understand why there is a concern over this now. Then,
ask HIM whether he feels like you need to justify this cost and, if
so, HOW he would prefer you do this. Put the ball in his court;
otherwise, you will spend a lot of time worrying. Apart from that, he
will be a hundred times more likely to buy in if it is his idea of how
to justify the cost rather than yours.

Good luck,

Matt Warden
Cincinnati, OH, USA

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