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Yes, does sound like similar business situations and similar stages in life. Fifteen or so years in R&D followed by this past decade in contract web development.

I've had the luck these past 5 years of having a small stable of regular clients in that small-to-mid-sized category you mentioned. So no issues with shady clients. But in general my quotes include a payment schedule where interim payments are based on achieving a demonstrable technical milestone. On any sizeable project there is always a deposit and interim milestone payments, so that the finished product is never delivered with more than ~20% of the contract value remaining to be paid. Clients like the milestone system because they see progress, and know they only pay for what's been produced. I like it 'cause I can never get stiffed for much. Everyone wins.

Referrals are always best - but are a problem for me. My particular clients seem more interested in keeping me to themselves. But they've grown to the point of probably making the leap to those large consulting firms soon - so it's time to start expanding my horizons.

Good to read that the smallish job-based web development contracting company formula is still working for others. Also good to read confirmation that others in the same boat are finding their business in the same kind of target market. I'll be pursuing that first...

Forget that fear of gravity,
Get a little savagery in your life.

In reply to Re^2: Consulting firm, job-based consultant, or hourly contractor? by punch_card_don
in thread Consulting firm, job-based consultant, or hourly contractor? by punch_card_don

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