Here at Boost we like to be as honest and fair as possible with charging, but there are some grey areas, so this page will help clarify them.
What we guarantee:
- We will not write directly competing submissions in single-winner awards.
- If we agree a cap on a project, we will not exceed this without your permission.
- We will keep an accurate and honest time sheet.
- We will explore all the avenues we can think of to impress the judges, but we will not be untruthful or exaggerate. At best, we will make honest statistics look great with our Excel skills.
- We will be honest about what we think your chances are of winning an award (N.B. reviewing the likelihood of a story winning is not a free service, as it can take many hours to do properly).
- We will be reasonable about expenses. We also do not charge for incidental expenses such as phone bills.
What we ask in return
You need to help us find the evidence we require. Please bear in mind that unless you have all the evidence to hand, there will be some time investment required at your end.
Please allocate a named person who has agreed to take ownership for the award to liaise with Boost, and ensure that this person has the necessary availability to undertake this role.
If you book our services to help you enter a category for an award and then decide not to enter, please notify us as soon as possible – otherwise this prevents us from helping someone else (particularly for popular awards). See cancellation policy below.
Please ensure the quantity of documents/pages that you send for us to read is reasonable and in line with allowances in the budget.
What we do not charge for
Firstly, our most popular service is free: our Award Alerts. Once a month you will receive a list of forthcoming awards via email, ensuring you never miss a deadline.
Secondly, a chat about ‘can we help?’ or ‘how much we charge to help’ or even ‘how we help’ is obviously a sales discussion, so therefore free of charge.
We also don’t usually charge to discuss the sorts of awards (in general) that could add value to your business, except if your requirement is extensive and complex.
What we do charge for
We work to an agreed budget that is based on time spent helping with entering awards, preparing for judges’ visits or developing plans and strategies. This could include:
- Exploring the storyline.
- Agreeing the most appropriate categories.
- Finding evidence that is needed to prove excellence or innovation.
- Evaluating the merit of specific stories or specific categories (we have to charge for this as it is a common request and very time consuming).
- Helping you create an awards strategy or process.
- Formatting entries and design work (done in-house).
- Printing and binding entries if required by the awards organisers. We outsource this and charge at cost (see below).
- Any time spent on-site.
- Travel expenses at cost.
- Travel downtime.
If you would like a site visit, this may be possible, but please bear in mind that we have to charge full rate for travel time, where we cannot work, and travel expenses. This can be useful when there are a lot of people to meet, something important to see, or where you are anticipating several submissions over the course of a year. As we often work to tight deadlines, sufficient notice of a site visit is required.
It is possible that an award entry requires a survey, market research, mystery shopping or another similar piece of additional research to provide important missing data. If this is just a few hours’ work, then this is included within any agreed quote. However, if the research is extensive then we reserve the right to seek an extension to our pre-agreed budget to cover the costs.
In general, we charge on incidental expenses at cost net of VAT (and then add our own VAT in the invoice). Please note the following points:
1) If we submit a printed, hard copy award entry then this is outsourced to external printers. The cost of this will be estimated upfront by the printers and included in our invoice.
2) If we have to pay the entry fee for an award submission on our company credit card on behalf of a client, we add a 10% admin charge for doing this.
If you choose to cancel a submission before the deadline, then the time invested will remain on the time sheet and is therefore billable. Most often this is because of a change or heart by a key stakeholder.
Occasionally we recommend that a client reconsiders entering an award because we find that putting the story under the spotlight reveals an issue that cannot be addressed satisfactorily. For example we might find that a vital piece of evidence necessary to demonstrate success is missing, off-message or cannot be obtained before the deadline. If this situation arises then we will still charge for time clocked to date. This is important because it means that there is no financial penalty to us for being honest with a client about their chances.
It is our policy to raise an invoice based on an agreed quoted amount at the start of the project, with a due date for payment one week after the award entry deadline (or 30 days from invoice date, whichever is later). This would mean payment is not due until after the work is completed.
Occasionally work is agreed at short notice, with only a short period of time to go before the deadline. In this situation, it is likely that we would invoice once the work has been completed, in which case the credit terms on our invoices are strictly 30 days.