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The Customer Is Always Right & Budget 2009/2010

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by glenwheeler, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. glenwheeler

    glenwheeler Senior Member

    Hi Guys,

    I have had a few clients lately who have come to me asking about work. Before I qoute the clients all I seem to get is "I've got a very small budget" and it has seemed to be this way for quite some time now, definatly starting mid last year some time and its becoming quite frustrating as I can't seem to really turn it down and I feel at times I am working my guts out for monkey nuts along with all the pressures like "is it ready" this dosent look right" "oh I want this changing" and to be quite honest I am getting rather pi**ed off! I just wondered how you bigger company owners deal with stuff like this? Maybe Berry could advise me on this one and how I go about dealing with it?

    Secondly as a freelancer and at work @ times also I try to tell the client about web development using my knowledge and what I have learnt in the past and also pointing out to them the rights and wrongs of design and creating websites. Even when I do this they always just want to completely ignore it and just want what they want and want what they have in there head when in theory from my view I know its going to be a complete shambles. I give the client what they want everytime even if I know it shouldnt be like I've done it, just to meet what they want. Again this could come because of lack of experience and I've only just got into the real life stuff as I've just finished University. Do I need to put my foot down a bit when it comes to stuff like this or should I always be following the "Customer Is Always Right" theory...in my eye's I dont think I should be and I think I should be stepping in saying "no you cant have this" and "no I wont be doing that"...any advice would be cool! Thanks guys, sorry about the essay!
     
  2. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Now I'm no big company like Berry etc but here's my view :)

    A little bit of wiggle room is fine but never sell yourself short is my approach, remember they are paying for your skills not just your time.

    I put in a quote at what I feel is the right amount for the work I'll be doing and then it's their choice to take it or not. You're not going to get every job, it's the nature of the business.

    If I get told 'I've got a small budget' I ask what the budget is when I find out what they want - if it's too low a budget I tell them. There's no point in me working myself to the bone just to get the equivalent wage to working in a supermarket etc when realistically our job is simply put requires a higher level of skill (no offence intended to supermarket workers, I've been there when I was younger) and as such a higher hourly rate.
     
  3. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    I know a fair few people whose contracted aproach to clients is:

    1. Concept/Sketch - agreed by client
    2. Artwork in a proof form.
    3. Maximum of 3 amendments.
    4. Additional amendments will be charged at a rate of xxx

    I try and agree this with people, just so it means there is less of the back of forth, can you do this, can you change this, can we see it like that....

    There are times where I want to scream, for the love of god, do I have to spend 15 minutes of my time changing colours? Can't you just use your imagination?

    I feel your pain.
     
  4. allyally2k

    allyally2k Senior Member

    I know you can't really say an exact figure, but when you charge for extra amendments how much more would you charge in relation to the project? Would you make it high so they are more likely to not make tons of amendments? E.g. Say you charged £200 for a logo and included x amount of amendments how much would you charge for any extra amendments?
     
  5. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    I would guess it would make more sense to charge at standard hourly rate rather than £x amount per revision/amendment. For some jobs (to get the job I'm quoting for) I've even gone to the point of offering unlimited revisions until the client is 100% satisfied, it's worked out well with some clients, and turned into a bit of a nightmare on a couple of occasions with others, so it may be better to judge on a project-to-project or client-to-client basis I think.
     
  6. allyally2k

    allyally2k Senior Member

    ahhh I see, I guess that makes sense!
     
  7. Harry

    Harry Senior Member

    Contracts, sign-offs, enough said. Once they've signed a design off, they must be charged for amends.

    Also, firmly but politely explain why their ideas might not work. I've had this before, once quite majorly, where a client just kept trying to dictate designs that wouldn't work. If they are wrong then you will be able to explain why it's wrong. If you can't explain why it's wrong then either a) it's not wrong at all or b) you don't know why it's wrong and therefore you are no more in the right than the client is (make sense? :S )
    The reason they're paying you in the first place is because they don't have the skill/ability to do it themselves, just say that 'you have to put a degree of trust in me as the designer'. That line always seems to work.
     
  8. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    “If I’d listened to customers, I’d have given them a faster horse.”
    —HENRY FORD
     
  9. glenwheeler

    glenwheeler Senior Member

    As a freelancer I have written contacts and I guess I should write something about the amendments. Thank's for the feedback guys.
     
  10. Sunburn

    Sunburn Active Member

    A well designed and thouhght out contract is a real life saver, when a client can see what they will be paying in amendment charges from the outset it focuses them in getting the intial spec right to start with.

    Of course there is always discretion, I have had prjects previous where I have enjoyed the project so much and become so involved with the clients buisness that it made more sense for my own business plans not to charge full whack for ammendments.
     

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