Wednesday, June 20, 2012

You have been asked by a potential client to type up a manual, they ask you for a quote, what do you do?

The article below was written by Alison Fourie of AMF Typing as part of TAVASAs ongoing campaign to educate both clients and VAs on the ins and outs of the VA industry. 

You have been asked by a potential client to type up a manual, they ask you for a quote, what do you do?

It’s easy to quote on something, to just toss out a price, but is that price right? What is involved with the actual task? Not all copy typing is simply copy typing like the clients say.

You will often find there can be graphics, internet research that is required, tables, graphs, scanning that is required. You might have to go and find graphics through Google images, and that is time taking, finding the right graphic can be costly using your adsl or 3G.

Often copy typing is not simple copy typing and we need to think of this when quoting for just so much per page for copy typing. There is no reason why a client can’t send you an example if they want the work done properly, if the clients simply refuse and ask for a quote with very little information, is that the client you want you want to work with, as often that work will end up taking a lot of time.

With each quote you need to get as much detail as possible. Find out what the content of the typing actually is. A flow diagram within a document could take you a few hours to do just that one page so is typing at a per page rate really the right way to go on a document that has graphics, flows, tables within. Graphs are time taking, you may have to go into excel and do the graph in there and then import it to your document. Its things like this that takes time. Also don’t forget that after the typing is finished you also must proofread and check that your document is laid out nicely, so make sure you build this time into your quote price.

What about when the document is finished and you send it back to the client and the client sends it back with major changes, how do you handle this, do you do it for free or do you put a price to changes. Here I would charge an hourly rate, to cover client edits, some documents can come back and forward a few times and that is taking up your time to do the changes so you can’t really just charge a per page rate for comebacks/editing.

Another thing I never, never send a document back to the client as a PDF file unless that client specifies they want a pdf file. Few clients will ask for this, most clients want a word, PowerPoint or excel file back as sometimes they want to do the changes themselves once the main body of the document is done. Don’t think that sending the document back as a pdf file means that the client will send it back to you for every change they need, they can simple convert it back to a workable file through software available. So this is no guarantee that the work will come back to you.
Always check with the client and ask first will there be updates, changes to the document and how would they like to handle this, have this question on your form of requirements for the client so that it is addressed by the client.

Ask for as much detail as possible that is your right before putting in a quote to any client. Quoting blindly will often backfire on you.

Your comments on the above article are welcome.

Alison Fourie is a comoderator of Tavasa, is the first Certified VA within South Africa and owns her own business AMF Typing. 

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