I don't know a polite way to ask.
I need something for my very small business, let's call it a Widget. It was Number One on my list, ie I could use it yesterday. I was chatting with friends on the weekend, and someone asked me if I had any Widgets. I said no, but it's TOP priority on my list right now. I added that I didn't really know how to go about making a widget, or getting one made, but that it was first on my list for Monday get done.
My friend Amanda piped up, "Oh I could make a Widget for you!!" I didn't know that Widgets were part of what she does, so I definitely hadn't been hinting. I replied, "Oh really? That's fantastic!! Are you sure?" She said of course, and that Widget-making is actually fun for her and very easy. She was offering it for free. (She's been a good friend, always willing to help out). We talked about it a bit more later over drinks, and at the end of the day I said, "Thanks, I'll send you the information for the widgets I need."
On Monday I emailed her to thank her and I sent her the info. She asked a few key questions about it, and I replied. But I haven't heard anything back yet. I think this is something that would likely take an hour or two max, and I have also offered her a service in return.
The thing is, I would like to find out what kind of time frame she is thinking of. I would like this in the next day or two, but I'm wondering if she was thinking more along the lines of "sometime in the next few weeks." I now wish I'd specified, when she offered, that I need it this week (she did hear me say it was top priority) and that if she couldn't do that, it'd be fine and I'd pay for someone else to do it. I feel it's too late to say this now, seeing as I gratefully accepted her offer.
If I email her with, "How are those Widgets coming along?" it might sound a little pushy, since she is doing me a favour. But I can't think of a polite way to let her know that I need it now, and if she can't do it now, I'll have to pass on her offer. Suggestions?