Category Archives: ZenPunk

Why Some Web Pros Charge for Proposals and Why We Don’t

Recently I was involved in a discussion with fellow web designers and developers about charging prospective clients for putting together proposals. People onĀ both sides of the debate made some valid points. We wanted to share them to help you make an informed choice when hiring a web professional.

Why Some Web Professionals Charge for Proposals

Building websites is a complex process and it’s not getting any easier. Web designers and web developers must deal with creating engaging multimedia experiences that look great across countless devices and browsers and that ultimate deliver more sales to our clients. We also have to make sure that the experience is accessible to people with a wide range of disabilities.

To further complicate things, the technological landscape is constantly changing. What was considered best practice a year or so, can be considered bad practice today. Design trends and available tools are also ever evolving.

When it comes time to write a proposal for a website, designers and developers have to put some serious time into investigating the needs of the client and create a comprehensive scope of work that meets everyone’s needs. This process can take a few days, even longer and more major projects.

It is understandable then that web designers and developers want to get paid for that time, especially if those proposals don’t convert into paid jobs. Time is money, and most of us work very hard for it.

A lot of other businesses charge for initial consultations (like lawyers) or estimates (auto mechanics). Why shouldn’t web professionals do the same?

Why ZenPunk Doesn’t Charge For Proposals

We take a slightly different approach to this issue. More specifically, we adopt a slightly different business model. We are not saying the other business model (charging for proposals) is wrong or bad or less than. It’s just not the one we have chosen to adopt.

Ultimately, we take position that we are not in the proposal writing business any more than GEICO is in the television commercial business. Both proposal writing and advertising are costs of doing business. So as not to go broke, businesses average out the cost of indirect expenses and build them into their pricing.

That said, we also take steps to minimize these costs. For example, before we meet with prospective clients, we ask them to fill out a comprehensive form on the nature of their business and the nature of the project. We ask about their needs, their customers’ needs, style preferences, competition and even allocated budget for the project.

It takes prospective clients some time to fill this out. It helps us qualify who is serious about hiring a web professional. Those that choose not to fill out the form don’t get proposals. They’re not committed enough to the project for us to commit ourselves to writing a proposal. Let them waste someone else’s time.

Consequently, the number of proposals that we write that don’t ultimately turn into paid jobs is very low. Everybody wins.

Which Business Model is Better?

Neither one. Our attitude is that web professionals should do what works for them. If you find you’re writing a lot of proposals that don’t turn into paid jobs, charge for writing proposals. If you find that you can sufficiently qualify clients before it gets to the proposal stage (so that you’re not writing a lot of unsuccessful proposals), be like us and don’t charge. Not right or wrong, better or worse, just different.

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We're also happy to provide assistance directly. Just send an email to dharma@zenpunkwebworks.com.

Our New ZenPunk Squeaky Toy!

buddha-geek-squeaky-toy

Our dear friend and fellow writer Rissa Watkins generously gave us this adorable Buddha squeaky toy.

In case it’s not clear from the photo, it features Buddha typing away on a laptop. How very ZenPunk! We love it.

 

Need More Help?

If you liked this article, be sure to sign up for your FREE subscription to the Nickel's Worth of Free Advice newsletter where we send helpful articles every Tuesday and Friday. You can either fill out the form on the right side of this page or visit the Nickel's Worth of Free Advice signup page.

We're also happy to provide assistance directly. Just send an email to dharma@zenpunkwebworks.com.

Punk Yet Professional

We here at ZenPunk are all about challenging the status quo. We like pushing boundaries (and buttons), questioning authorities and trying things that are considered experimental.

At the same time, we hold ourselves to a high standard, not just in terms of the quality of our work, but who we choose to have as clients and how we work with them. We’ve turned down people who want to hire us, often for ethical reasons. We also turn down projects if we feel we are not the best fit for the job.

So it should come as no surprise that we have signed on to the Code of Conduct put forth by the Academy of Design Professionals. It reflects our pre-existing commitment to promoting ethical business practices, civil rights, continuing education and quality work.

 

Need More Help?

If you liked this article, be sure to sign up for your FREE subscription to the Nickel's Worth of Free Advice newsletter where we send helpful articles every Tuesday and Friday. You can either fill out the form on the right side of this page or visit the Nickel's Worth of Free Advice signup page.

We're also happy to provide assistance directly. Just send an email to dharma@zenpunkwebworks.com.

Kelleher Web Design has a new name

If you made it over here to ZenPunk Web Works, you probably already figured out that things are changing for Kelleher Web Design.

Our decision to change the name is part of a rebranding and refocusing effort. Before we served a wide range of clients. And that was okay.

But our passion is creative projects. We love artists, musicians, writers and other creative professionals, especially those that love to innovate and are passionate about their work. Art is such a powerful and often overlooked part of society.

Art tells the story of who we are as a people. It conveys dreams and fears and perspectives and priorities and diversity. It serves to educate, enrage, heal, and create social change.

With ZenPunk Web Works, we are going to be focusing on building websites for creative professionals, including writers, visual artists, performance artists and other creative innovators.

We hope you liked the changes and would love to get your feedback.

 

Need More Help?

If you liked this article, be sure to sign up for your FREE subscription to the Nickel's Worth of Free Advice newsletter where we send helpful articles every Tuesday and Friday. You can either fill out the form on the right side of this page or visit the Nickel's Worth of Free Advice signup page.

We're also happy to provide assistance directly. Just send an email to dharma@zenpunkwebworks.com.