We picked up a new client this week who engaged us to carry out three specific projects, and who agreed our standard hourly rate. As part of subsequent email discussions over various details, they said they'd like to set a budget cap - not a problem, we are happy to work to that.
One of the projects involves engaging an external partner, a graphic designer. (New Client knows this and is fine with it.)
They do, however, want the budget cap to incorporate the fee of the designer.
Well...We've got quotes from three different associates and even the cheapest will take up around half of the total budget for all three projects. This is just for their fee, without factoring in our own involvement on this project.
So we're pretty sure we will be unable to complete all three projects within the budget New Client has set, and it's not feasible for us to simply absorb this and carry out all they want us to do for the budget they've stipulated. (And I will have to make sure my polite spine is in place so I don't end up agreeing to it anyway....)
Would appreciate your views on this response (which I haven't yet sent):
Hi New Client
Thanks for the update and for the details you've provided to help us get started on Project 1.
As promised, we've been in touch with several of our associates and asked them to quote for the design side of the work.
All the details are attached but, as you'll see, even the lowest comes in at £HalfBudgetAmount.
We pride ourselves on being honest with the people we work with, so feel we have to point out that - assuming you go for the lowest-priced option - this only leaves £HalfBudget for our own input across all three projects. This equates to around XX hours, which will not be enough to complete all the projects - certainly not to the standard we like to deliver.
Could we arrange a call or meeting to discuss how you would like to prioritise the projects and how we should proceed? Obviously we understand all three are important to you and we'd like to help you as much as we can, so we need to make sure we're working on the elements that you consider most essential.
We look forward to hearing from you.