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May 31, 2010


Jean-Louis Mainguy

As a freelance web and graphic designer, I have to interact with clients often for projects. I had a couple of experiences where I didn't sign any contract and ended up going overbudget and working for 6 bucks an hour. For this project I'm working on, I send an estimate with a contract that was clear about certain things. The estimate was for information purpose and the final amount could change during the process depending on all the corrections or changes the client would ask for. On the other hand, I have to provide time sheets that can support the estimate. This way, if I reach the max amount stated in the estimate, I inform the client and he choses or not to continue with the project. If he choses to finish the project, I calculate the overtime and add it to the final bill.


A nice benefit of "shadow budgets" is that they quantify your expectation of overage. That, in turn, increases the likelihood you'll generate a change order when it's called for.

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