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.