We Need an Accurate Estimate
Last week, I received a call from an "old client" but it wasn't the "old client", my contact left about a couple years ago and there's a new person, Brenda. Brenda called to check if I was still available "to do some quick photos." I didn't argue and said yes, so she sent me an email asking for an "accurate estimate of the cost" with some description of the work.
The dictionary definition of an estimate is:
to form an approximate judgment or opinion regarding the worth, amount, size, weight, etc., of
The important words are:
But that's not what Brenda wanted. Brenda wanted a quote with a fixed price and wanted me to stick to that fixed price even when they would change the specifications and what the job entitled.
I have no problem being on fixed price, I have done it for years and now I am putting a different package where customers will be buying a license per photograph as a fixed price per photograph + expenses. One photograph: $199, two photographs: $398... and then there's the volume discount.
"Do I leave money on the table?" (I hate that expression.) Maybe yes, maybe no. Do I make a profit at this level? That depends. If the customer buys only one photograph, I usually do not make a profit. But it's unusual that a customer buys only one photograph.
Quoting fixed price has resulted in me getting some clients that would have not become a client. People like to know their costs. Would you buy shoes or clothes without knowing the final price?
Please note that a company is never a client. The company pays the bills but the client is the contact person at that company.