Subject: Out-Sourcing
From: Paul Trummel <trummel -at- U -dot- WASHINGTON -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 1994 09:41:32 -0800

With reference to postings on the above subject.

Those who provide comprehensive outlines to clients as proposals without
agreed fees or a retainer do themselves (and others who provide
similar services) a disservice. Any time expended at a client's request
should be remunerated whether the work proceeds or not. I devised
a workable and profitable way to protect myself when I founded the
first full-implementation technical communication agency in London during
1957. I modelled my practice on the rules established by the Royal
Institute of British Architects with whom I had a close association at that
time. During my first meeting with new clients I informed them
that all consulting time was chargeable. Also that all work undertaken
became part of one of four implementation stages:

1. Proposal and Estimate of Cost.
2. Design Concept and Preliminary Drafts.
3. Final Proofs.
4. Production.

A retainer was required from all new clients and stage payment fell due
within 30 days of completion of each stage. This method has not been
foolproof, however, it has worked satisfactorily for almost 37 years.
Professionals should have no problem in negotiating such terms with
ethical clients. Refusal by a new client to show good faith and provide
earnest money indicates the need for further investigation prior to

Ask any attorney, architect, or realtor!

Paul Trummel
University of Washington

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