... draw up a tender
Before recruiting your services, clients often want to know how much it will cost and what the planning is for the execution of the assignment. You can provide insight into these aspects with a good tender.
What is specified in a tender?
Make sure that your tender is as clear as possible. None of the two parties is helped by lack of clarity about the assignment. So specify at least:
- The nature and duration of the activities
- The final target
- The applicable conditions
- The fee
Determine a realistic price
The total amount of the tender is determined by the factors listed above: How much time does it take and what is a reasonable hourly rate for the nature of the work? If you specify the expenses, the client can see how you work, how you spend your time and what he is paying for. That also makes any bargaining over the price clearer.
Calculate in your tender not only the hours that you expect to spend on the project activities, but also the preparation time involved. Bear in mind such aspects as research, interim consultation, presentations or the possibility of repetitions.
Determining the rate is often felt to be difficult. Find out from colleagues what they ask for similar work or ask a professional association for its current rates in your field of work. It is quite reasonable to take your experience and specialisation into account. Of course you ensure that you remain above the minimum wage and that you adjust your rate every year.
If executing the assignment also involves you in incurring expenses, make sure that it is clear whether your tender includes expenses or not. Bear in mind expenses such as travel and accommodation expenses and material expenses.
Confirmation of the tender
In order to be able to plan your activities, you must know in good time whether an assignment is really going ahead, especially if you have several projects running at the same time. If the assignment is postponed for a long time, you do not want to be pinned down to today’s price either, so always fix a deadline for the validity of your tender.
After approval by the client, the tender becomes an agreement. If you have general terms – and that is certainly advisable – send them together with the tender. These terms are then a part of the tender. Always make sure that you receive a written confirmation so that you have evidence of the agreement. For instance, you can mail a tender in PDF format and ask the client to sign it and return it by post.