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DeadFish

My first contract job and Im nervous

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There is a store in town that Ive been talking to, they want an app that one of thir salesmen can sit down with a customer at and plug in various numbers and it does all the calculating and can print out a customer and store cost estimate. This would be the first time I ever made any money with my programming skills, and I am nervous as hell about it. Here are my thoughts and concerns, please comment!! 1) I decided to use Visual Basic 6, because even though they have 800 stores nation wide, most still run windows 98 and I seriously doubt theyd go for getting the .Net framework working on any of them. Plus its basically a custom calculator, and it took me only 2 days to settle on a design layout they like. So far so good, not a hard decision, use VB. (Right?) 2) I am not business savvy *at all*. How do I figure how much to charge them for this? I take into account the time it will take me (not all that long as their needs are fairly straightforeward and Im highly motivated), and I'm guessing Ill have a fairly polished application for them in a month or less. But since it may be used in all (800+ of) their stores, and provides a needed service, Im torn. Do I ask real high (by my standards) $50,000 or is that a low price for this type of thing? Im afraid Ill ask too high and blow it but I dont wanna be pwned either. 3) Theres a lot more, but I gotta go pick up the wife from school. I really appreciate your suggestions!! (Maybe I should outsorce to India?...... NOT!!!) -Jason

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If this is your first gig, i would be inclined to suggest you aim low on the price. The reason is because one job can lead to another, but that first one is critical to get. Obviously anyone in their field who is well respected and experienced can command more for a job, even if it produces the same exact product some other lesser-grunt would have produced.

On the other and, if this is a big company, ask for a lot. Big companies have big money to throw around. In fact, they probably spend more on paper towels to stock the bathroom with than you'll end up getting. See what i mean? I am talking with my mom because the company she works for doesn't have a website and she suggested i make one for them. I was thinking just a couple hundred dollars until she told me the boss just spent $700 dollars on a company sign/logo for the lobby. Get my point?

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leiavoia is very correct about your first application for a company being the most critical one. But I'll look into the prices for you. I know the vice-president of Alias (which makes maya incase you didn't know) so I could probably get an estimate for you if your working on this for 1 month roughly for 800+ stores. Another thing you might want to know is that Maya is sold for 5000-6000 dollars an application. I'll pm you the estimates when I get them if you want.

Jake

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