I have been in the web design field for a few years and just recently took my business to the next level and started some major outreach. So now I’ve had a few clients under my belt that aren’t strictly friends/friends of the family/business associates.
The first biggest problem I have is having to remind people to pay. It usually takes me 2 months to get paid the full amount after the product is delivered. I always charge a down payment of at least 25%. With web design specifically, I now tell the client the site will not be published until the final check clears. I could do that for graphic design work, but I tend to think it’s better to invoice people for this work. Perhaps I’m wrong!
Another thing I started doing is setting up a paypal subscription payment form for those who are paying me a retainer. Now, their credit card automatically gets billed at the same time every month.
The second biggest problem I have is communication (isn’t that interesting?). I have had several clients say “I need this right now!” and then they don’t get back to me for a couple weeks. Then when they do get back to me, they expect it to be done in a week.
Usually if someone has not contacted me after two weeks of me emailing and calling them, I generally tend to think that I either scared them off with the cost (although I’m probably the most reasonably priced designer around!) or they don’t like what I designed for them. However, most of these clients say “I trust your design, just show me what you think” and it usually doesn’t resonate with what they had in their head.
So! Has anyone else had these issues? What are your biggest problems in running a business? Have you found any good ways to tackle them?