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My biggest problem as a startup web designer…Getting People to Pay! 
Posted: 08 November 2008 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello,

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  With web design specifically, I now tell the client the site will not be published until the final check clears.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?

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Posted: 04 January 2009 12:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hey marushka.css

I have had the same issues with clients or should I say I still have that issue. Creative work is extremely underapreciated. In general people always look for ways to save money...if not having it for free. They don’t consider anything else. They only look at their needs. Very few of my clients actually pay me on time. I only have one client who I value so much because he is always on the lookout for my well being and my success. I guess it depends on the person.

So what can us designers or programmers to combat this crisis? We have to educate ourselves more in business. Because we are running a business, we must operate like one. We cannot only be designers/programmers. It’s like making a doctor build a website from scratch. We are the doctors trying to operate a business. We must become a successful business professional to take on these business related problems. These problems are not design related.

This is a good subject to talk about in a guide. I want to elaborate more on this but I have to go for now.

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Posted: 17 May 2009 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I have had the same problem with clients wanting the website done yesterday but getting information from them to put on the website is like pulling teeth.  Usually if a client is in a rush then the goals they have are unrealistic.  I had one person tell me they were going to be on T.V. the following day and wanted one made over night.  I’ve had a president of a company that was leaving in 2 months want one done before she left but she was so busy trying to wrap things up before she left I was left on the back burner.  A website is not something a company has to have unless they are selling something so they want it done without putting any time into it.

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Posted: 22 September 2009 09:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Common problem. First rule is don’t deliver coded work without payment.  Period. 50% upfront and that gets delivered then the next step on the second half the same way. It s different if it is a bigger company or corporation.  As for the clients that want it yesterday and vanish for weeks a t a time - can’t do much about that.

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Posted: 28 September 2009 02:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Payment is always a problem in service industry. But belive me guys you are at better ends. I run a placement agency (GS Job Point) which provides HR services and Placement consultancy.
The main problem with our Consultancy business is that you do not ask client for upfront payment, and even if you ask they will not pay.

In hr services, Its a genral trend that clients make payment after the candidates joins the organization. But once the candidates joins the organization, many clients do not pay and you can not do anything about that.

What you think, is there a solutions for this problem?

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Posted: 02 October 2009 12:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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They don’t consider anything else. They only look at their needs. I only have one client who I value so much because he is always on the lookout for my well being and my success. I guess it depends on the person.

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Vanberk

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Posted: 15 October 2009 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Well, you shouldn’t give the output without the full payment. That’s how it goes for me.

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Minzy
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Posted: 19 October 2009 09:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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this problem arises every where in every field where public dealing is involved.

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Posted: 04 January 2010 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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What I have felt from reading all the problem is that you are in the phase or learning new things. I am more than 100% sure, more than 90% of us here pass through same issue one way or other… So don’t worry, learn from your mistakes :-)

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Posted: 06 January 2010 09:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I am new here and I am very pleasure to meet you and join in here.I share things with you when i searching online and hope you can find more things that you like.I dont wanna disturb anyone of you and if you are not interested in these,leave them alone.
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Posted: 29 January 2010 04:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Its a general trend that clients make payment after the joining of candidates in organization and many clients do not pay, so we can not do anything about that.
But we should learn from our mistakes!
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Posted: 09 February 2010 01:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I offer what I like to call Holistic SEO. I take a look at the website as a whole and not just the SEO portion. I always figured that it doesn’t make much sense to bring traffic to a broken website. But I am not much of a coder so I outsourced the design work. I found it to be not worth the hassle. I now, provide a list of vendors when the site needs redesign work, which most do.

Even though my site ranked well in Google for design related keyword phrases I was never able to land any projects that started from scratch. Along the way I have run into many struggling designers most of which are no longer in business. It was much easier getting the SEO side of the business going. Just my thoughts on the subject!

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Posted: 05 April 2010 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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designerbox - 22 September 2009 09:39 AM

… First rule is don’t deliver coded work without payment.  Period. 50% upfront and that gets delivered then the next step on the second half the same way. It s different if it is a bigger company or corporation.  As for the clients that want it yesterday and vanish for weeks a t a time - can’t do much about that.

...couldn’t agree more.  A good way to help motivate lazy clients is to make sure you offer some sort of service that includes a monthly charge.  If their laziness is costing them both business potential **and** money, then they are far more likely to provide you with the information you need to complete your task.  If I’m just doing design work or coding work, then I demand full payment up front.  Then, if they want to take six months to get me the information they’ve agreed to provide… then the custom is always right.  :o)

Last bit of advice? Don’t be a bottom feeder, or you will always be a bottom feeder.  It takes great customers to make a great company to work.  Better to have five perfect clients than to have fifty problem clients.  When times get slow, work on your own development projects.

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Posted: 13 May 2010 12:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Yes, I had my share of clients that wouldn’t pay right away. I just pray that they would pay me soon. I guess that’s part of having a business. Maybe that’s why there is such thing as bounty hunter or money collector. 

I am trying to practice one thing. When I submit my design to any client, I save as my work on PDF file with password. Client’s would not be able to print it nor edit or use it. Always remember to give the password only when payment is received because I happened to give it without the full payment, I loose again.

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Posted: 13 May 2010 12:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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i havent start web design service as i dont have any knowledge about it, i think both of web designer and buyer must have commitment about their agreement so both of them dont need to have any problem each other
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Posted: 19 May 2010 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Believe me, it’s not just web design which people delay payments for at the moment, it’s everything.  The problem is that they are being paid late, so have to then delay paying their suppliers too, it has only got really bad in the last year or two.

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