Monthly Archives: August 2015

After 16 years designing websites there are still lessons to learn

Can you be too accommodating to your clients to the point where you lose in the end?  I believe it is so important to have a process, set boundaries and don’t deviate from what has worked in the past.  I just had an experience where I was too accommodating, didn’t set clear boundaries and wavered from my tried and true 16 years working process with clients.

I agreed to work in a clients home and was expected to start and finish a brand new website in a matter of a few hours.  This 100% went against my work style and policies.  Because the expectation was unreasonable and the work environment was hot, noisy, and the internet was not working correctly I was not able to finish and was only paid 1/3 of what was originally agreed to.  I over accommodated and as much as you want to make your clients happy sometimes you just have to say no and keep your process in check.  Lesson learned…….

I think in general people have preconceived ideas of how long it should take to design a website or put all the components of a website together.  They may think what they ask for should only take 3 hours……If I give you the example of a blank white canvas like you buy at a local art supply store and a palette of paints maybe I can make my point more clearly.  Sure I can take a brush and grab blue and paint onto the blank canvas in 1 second…..but how long does it take to create a Picasso?  There are paint by number artists that can duplicate a famous painting in 1 hour where it may have taken Picasso 2 months to create that very same piece of art…who knows… I can’t speak for other web designers but I don’t charge for my time I charge for a completed project….and I estimate 1 to 2 weeks for a brand new website for this reason.

I have a process and it is the following:

1. Meet with client or talk on the phone 2. send proposal, 3. get hired/get 50% deposit, 4. get all copy, photos and videos from client, 5. complete the project within 1 to 2 weeks, 6. provide client with draft, make revision, 7. get 50% balance, 8. launch live website on clients hosting server.

By |August 12th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

The Mystery of the Client Budget

I have found over the years that the clients budget is always a mystery when in reality it should be the first things discussed.  For me as a business owner it feels like asking “what is your budget” is no different then asking on a 1st date “Do you want to get married”…it just seems too much too soon so those questions are always discovered usually before it’s too late!  Although I can be flexible on my pricing to suit my clients needs I do have a bottom line on my pricing and I need to stick to it if I am going to make a living.  I feel people don’t want to tell you their budget number because it might be higher then what I was going to quote them…..but I feel my giving up my quote price right out of the gate before I know what you really want and need and we have met is also shooting myself in the foot and can end the deal before it even starts.  It’s a bit of a cat and mouse scenario…..

I just went through one such scenario.   The person wanted to meet with me and they were out of town so numerous phone conversations were going on, texting and emails.  They wanted a new website with advanced options for a faux shopping environment and a way to login and edit the site themselves…..in my mind the bottom price was 750 up to 1200 depending on the retail product side of it…..they had viewed my portfolio and client list and they were keeping their budget price to themselves… I decided to ask before we met because I was already investing a lot of time chatting back and forth and based on my earlier post about how many that i meet with actually do anything vs. the phone only people I asked what is your budget….???  Guess what it was under 300.00 and they even commented how they could go to another country and get it for less…..so this was the perfect time to find out …..

What is your budget?  I believe you should always cut to the chase and tell the vendor what you are willing to spend …so we don’t waste each other’s time…..seems fair eh?

By |August 1st, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|