I have a repeat client who recently sent me a brief for a project, reading for the first time it sounded simple and as I am new to this, I rushed and provided an estimate.

After writing down a list of everything that needs to be done, I now think that the estimate is a bit low.

I am currently waiting for the client to decide and give the go for the project.

How should I handle this case? Should I email the client ASAP to inform them of the change before they decide (I am afraid I may look unprofessional) or should I just keep it this way, it is after all an estimate and not a quote?

1 Answer 1


Assuming that there isn't a significant difference between your first and subsequent figure, I think one strategy to deal with this is to frame it as a best/worst scenario where your first figure is if everything goes according to plan (which you know it probably won't) and your second figure is if some things don't go to plan. You may then be asked to consider what the worst case scenario is, in which case you can be as optimistic or pessimistic as you like.

Actually, normally I do try to just provide an estimate with the caveat that it is an optimistic figure assuming that all goes well. The key is to be able to explain the reason for the change or difference in the estimate. Someone who is quite experienced will actually try to under-promise so that they can over-deliver, because it is an easier way to exceed expectations and still get the work done diligently.

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