0

In 2019 I created an online store for a friend of the family that knew I was in the business. From the get-go, I knew how this project would turn out as the very first thing I was asked was a discount. Nonetheless, I gave it, created the site, and offered a care plan to make some profit. It's been two years of working with this client and now she hired a couple of girls to handle the business' social media, ads, and all that stuff.

Since then the owner of the company has fired some people in accounting, and the company's manager quit — I relied on him for all communications related to the website and its management. My job is not too complicated but time consuming, I configure discounts, set up homepage banners for promotions, send marketing emails for new campaigns, handle some of the basic SEO, manage everything related to the server, and some other stuff. I've been asked to provide a full report containing:

  • Full report from the beginning of the site, with statistics and evidence of the website and my work managing it and how much it's grown since it started
  • An invoice with all of the expenses, including the amount I charge as an administrator
  • User journeys and behavior
  • How many sales, and the increment in those sales
  • How much has SEO helped the growth of the site

Now, since these girls started working in the company I've felt they are questioning and encouraging her to question my work and what I do. I do charge a yearly fee that goes around +- $500/month, and the website makes, in a bad month, between $3K and $6K, the best month they've had was around $25K. I also update the site on a staging site to prevent anything breaking, implement new features, create landing pages, and I'm basically on-call 16+ hours a day as they don't plan ahead and want me to do stuff last minute.

I'm happy to provide these things they ask, but I still fill the owner has lost some trust in me even though I'm providing results. There's also one other dude than handles the orders and shipping, and he probably charges around $300/month. They been saying the site is "in red numbers" and that their brick-and-mortar stores are doing way better — which might be true as they operate on 3rd world country where buying online is still scary. But I know the site is not doing bad, and aside from what I charge, it has very little upkeep. I believe they just want to cut cost wherever they can, including me.

My long-term solution is to stop working with them, I have clients that pay better and ask for less, trust me, and respect my opinions and what I do.

How should I handle this situation? I would even consider quitting working with them now if they hadn't paid me yet — funny thing, they still owe me 2/3 of the final payment.

1
  • If the extra documents they are requesting will take a significant amount of time, send them an estimate of time & cost. And claim the due before working anymore. Alternatively, if it is still time, have a frank conversation with the decision maker. Mar 22 at 11:36

5 Answers 5

2

Let's go through the list together:

Full report from the beginning of the site, with statistics and evidence of the website and my work managing it and how much it's
grown since it started

  1. Supermetrics for Google Sheets can provide all that: https://supermetrics.com/pricing/supermetrics-for-google-sheets

An invoice with all of the expenses, including the amount I charge as an administrator

  1. What a great request! Now you can do your own math and estimate the ROI on behalf of your client. Create a simple P&L report and add it in another spreadsheet.

User journeys and behavior

  1. Check out the user journey by looking at the Behavior Flow Report in Google Analytics (UA), it is free.

How many sales, and the increment in those sales

  1. Another useful request by your client. Should be in the P&L report. Ideally, your marketing budget should be a percentage of your client ROI.

How much has SEO helped the growth of the site

  1. Try Ubersuggest: https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/

It won't answer the question straight away, but it will certainly provide some initial data.

1

A good working relationship includes mutual trust and respect. In this post, I hear that you have lost some respect for them and suspect that they are not comfortable with your services.

If we turn their questions around, there might be some good outcomes. Instead of directly reporting on all the details, focus on the important parts: sales and profit increases. For a business owner, the most important information is whether or not a venture is profitable. So, if you could pull together a chart showing how the site sales volume has grown from the start till now and how your costs are covered by the increase in sales, that would help.

However, you need to ask if this client is worth the hassle. If you don't have good communications with the client and they are demanding on call behavior, this might be a good time to suggest that they find another supplier.

1

Is there a re-negotiation option? if the statistics and reports were not agreed on as part of the project originally, I think you want to "return to the table". If this is possible, I think you want to use your leverage in the way of the comment suggestion and bring your estimate. You have to emphasize how much higher your rate is for your other clients that did NOT get the "friends and family" discount.

The historical data report sounds the most difficult, if it means digging through archives and old logs. But which ever work that you determine to require the greatest effort, I would compare to the 2/3 payment that are owed. I mean it seems unfair that more than half the payment is still not paid when the store is online, in production, and collecting revenue for the owner. I think this does hinge on whether these stats and reporting were agreed on in the beginning. If the reporting requirements are new, you are totally justified in asking for the balance of the payment before continuing new work.

1

"Justifying your work" is work. Decide on what your hourly rate for this additional work is, let the client decide whether they want you to go forward with this. When you're done, you send them the invoice. Or maybe if instead of just inconveniencing you it costs them money, the matter becomes suddenly very unimportant.

-1
  1. In remote virtual works its quite common
  2. Depute a separate client manager for those peoples
  3. Send regular updates in email & mobile before he wakeup ...
1

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.