As a freelancer, one of your biggest ongoing tasks is finding clients and sourcing work.
Part of that undertaking includes bidding on work when sending quote templates or proposal templates. You have to include all your costs as well as ensuring you’re making a profit. You have to guarantee you’re being appropriately compensated for your work while not scaring away clients.
In other words, in order to be successful at finding clients and work, you have to know how to make a quotation for your freelance work.
That can include a number of components, such as the work to be done, the hours of work needed (keeping research in mind), your costs per hour or per job, any expenses, and even work done on a retainer basis.
So let’s explore how to write a price quotation, with a look at the 4 things you need to know.
In its simplest form, a quotation is an expression of how much you charge for a product or service.
Depending on the type of freelance business you operate, you may have some standard prices for standard products and services. In those instances, you can prepare a price list and have it ready for clients.
In other instances, a quotation will serve as the basis for what you will charge for a set amount of work. For example, a potential client may approach you and ask what you would charge to do a specific job. Or, you may be responding to a published tender, a request for quotations, or a request for proposal.
Generally, a quotation becomes a fixed-price document. In contrast, an estimate can have some flexibility built into it. You’ll have to be sure to clearly differentiate whether your quotation is fixed price or flexible depending on deliverables.
You can also provide options for clients with differing amounts of work and different levels of pricing.
In order to make a quotation letter, or to write a price quotation, you need to know your fixed costs and your variable costs. You must determine how long it takes you to do certain work, what your expenses are, and how much you need to charge in order to make a profit.
The costs for you to consider when building a quotation can include:
You can then make a quotation based on what you think the freelance job will involve. That doesn’t mean you need to quote by the hour or the task, for instance. You can make use of some excellent freelance tips like asking for the budget before giving a price, and giving price as a bundle rather than an hourly rate.
Here’s the deal:
You need to be certain that the work you’ll do has clear requirements, particularly if the freelance quotation will commit you to a fixed price. You also need to be certain you fully understand your costs.
Finally, there are other considerations that form part of any type of bidding you do for work. These include what type of client you are targeting; any research you can do on your competitors’ prices; and, the need to occasionally adjust your prices, to name a few.
Now it’s time to get to work on your freelance quote.
To start, you need to understand exactly what the client has in mind. If you’re approached by a potential client, be sure to follow up with any questions you have about the work, including timelines and budget.
If you’re responding to a tender or a request for a quote, be sure to follow the documented requirements when preparing your freelance quotation.
You need to be sure to give a detailed breakdown of what the work will involve and what it will cost, including any milestones and a payment schedule. The quotation will form the basis for a freelance contract if you’re successful in obtaining the work.
Here are things to consider including in the quotation:
You also need to be sure to include full details about the client for whom the freelance quotation was prepared, as well as full details about your business, including contact information.
It’s also important to remember your branding when building the quotation. As Rana Tarakji says, “Branding is essential to every freelancer and consultant because it helps create a powerful reputation for yourself. Some think that it only involves designing a logo or creating a look for the business. However, it also involves all the aspects that go into creating a perception for your brand, including everything from the message you send to customers, how it is delivered, to how you work together…”
You can build the quotation on your own, or you could consider looking for proposal templates. For instance, Bonsai offers a free trial for its services, which includes the ability to build professional looking proposals and quotations, then integrate them with contracts and invoicing.
You’ve got all the information you need. Now, what do you use to prepare the actual document?
There are several options available to you:
You might be thinking:
The actual format of the quotation is not as important as the content.
But, any time you send a document to a client or write a pitch, you’re saying something about your business. You want to be sure your freelance quote is professional, clear, concise, and actionable.
Responding to a request for a price quotation, pitching to a potential client, or responding to a tender can be time consuming. But this can also be a great way to find new work, including long-term collaborations and loyal clients.
It’s important to do your research in advance, so you’ll be prepared when you are asked for a price quotation. You’ll want to be able to prepare material within a deadline, and ensure you’re soon doing the actual work.
But it’s important to understand all the components of making a freelance quotation in order to ensure success.
Finding clients and sourcing new work is one of the most important tasks in building a successful freelance business. Now that you understand how to make a quotation, you’re well on the way to bidding on new contracts. You can also consider the option of using the integrated tools available to you as part of Bonsai’s freelance suite by signing up for you free trial now.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?