The focus in web design is not discovering or expressing yourself, it is about solving business and communications issues! Of course you can ensure that the websites you created will look good, but many times it is important for the customer that he does what he should do. When things go well with a customer then you pick yourself the benefits!
Do’s and don’ts
As in life there are certain things you should not do as a freelance web designer (or entrepreneurs in general), and things you can do better. In this blog I will post some dos and don’ts that are you can do to be a better web designer/entrepreneur!
Do’s: ask for a deposit
A deposit ensures that a customer never in the middle of a project may decide that he prefers the sea to go with another agency or something. A major customer has a budget ready for a project, and there will be no trouble to get a deposit. You need not be uncertain about whether the customer is going to pay, and the customer knows where to stand.
The amount of the deposit is somewhat dependent on the size of the project. I use for smaller projects itself a deposit of 50% and a larger down payment of 30% of the entire project. For larger projects I work with a number of “milestones”, once a certain goal is get the customer an invoice and will be continued to the next phase of the project.
Do’s: quote as much details as possible
As the title suggests, you should make an offer of your work as detailed as possible. Try all elements of the project to specify in the offer so you have something to fall back on if the client desires additional gain in the course of the project. My experience shows that virtually all customers at some point in the project want something extra, and if you are the project components are not properly specified then you can sometimes get in a mess.
For example, you send a bid to broker a showing “Website for customers, $ 400.00.” The customer accepts the offer and it’s go time. You discuss with the customer in detail the project you will design, this works out to xHTML and CSS, and implements it within a CMS of choice. Okay, I’m done thinking to yourself, and mail your customers satisfied with the message that the website is ready. After a few days you get the following answer:
Dear Web Designer,
Last time I visited http://www.clientdomainname.com, I saw there is still a nice system which I can easily add homes where people can see immediately the house with a Google Street View thing, or something!
Can you do this as quickly as possible and make it free because this is also part of my website!
The above example might be a little extreme, but you know what I want to go. Suddenly you are confronted with a problem because you are making a similar system too much time / cannot make yourself / and is too expensive to outsource. You are mailing the customer back that unfortunately this is not possible, but not up to the customer. He demands that you make it because it belongs to a “website” and that he would not want the site if its not included! And oops, you’ve spent quite some time that you are not going to get paid, and since you’re obviously not been to your quote you’re not strong in your shoes (let’s assume that you not have asked for a deposit).
In short, if you clearly specify in your quote the components of the project, you ensure that your additional services are billed separately from the quote. Clients often choose to wait before implementing these changes until the project is completed, or they do not want to use the extra services. It does not matter, the original project is protected and you have no extra unpaid work.
Dont’s: do not overcharge the customer with unnecessary information
Keep it simple for the customer. Do not narrate unnecessary technical information or send files no matter what it is because you just want to sound like a professional. The client will only start whining and asking why everything is needed and how he can best use them. If you simply tell the customer what he needs to know exactly, then, he will be happy.
Dont’s: make infinite respond to requests from the client
Yes, of course you can do things for customers that are not described in the project. Especially if you still have hours left (assuming that you are going project based on a fixed-price), but watch out with it. Often a customer will order a few small things, and that therefore you should expect it. If you go once to indicate that the next small thing will cost money, they will not be happy and they will wonder why this has not previously cost money. Of course there are plenty of customers being so reasonable in order to understand this, but surprisingly often not.
Finish the project
You heard it right. For whatever projects you encounter, make sure you accomplish it in timely manner.