12

It is perfectly acceptable to keep clients away from your home. I have been freelancing with local clients for 10 years and have never invited a client to my home. I offer to meet with them at: Their offices Coffee shops Co-working spaces or other rent an office for a day locations I've never had someone insist they should come to my office, but I'd simply ...


12

I, and other freelancers I know do a lot of meetings at coffee-shops. Also, I constantly see a part owner of a designer firm I know, who has a large office, also doing meetings in the same coffee shops. In Canada it is also very difficult to get home insurance (if you give full disclosure) if clients come to your home, or even if they don't but you are ...


10

Most often what I do is send the client a link.... Hi Client, Here is a link to the hosting package you'll need: (insert link here) Please follow the steps to sign up, including paying for the hosting. You can register your domain at the same time, so it should be a simple one-time processes. This hosting provider is one of the best I've ...


9

For SLA agreements you should be able to make an estimate based on fixed tasks and average expected work for improvements/bugs. For fixed tasks: Server costs. If you're paying for this-- add it up and add this to the rest of the total. Don't just absorb it. Outline an update plan. For instance, Update all server software monthly. All device software ...


9

An exception or two can be made. When you do so (fix bugs for free, outside your economic/contractual agreement) don't forget to remember to your client that what you do is a favor/exception because you know it is only a one time request and because you appreciate him/her as a respectful/respectable client. Imagine that at his/her turn was (maybe) in the ...


9

Absolutely! If you did the work you were expected to do, and there was an agreement in place beforehand (even verbal), then I'd expect you to send them a bill. This client may decide not to pay it, given that "you didn't fix it yourself", but you still need to show that your time is valuable! Hopefully, lesson learned. In a previous job, when I was ...


8

There are very good reasons to not meet in your home (at least in the US). If a client were to meet in your home for business, then have some accident, like tripping and falling, homeowner's insurance may not cover the accident if the due to the fact it was a business transaction and not standard home use. I know, odd, but leave it to insurance companies to ...


8

I typically offer free support on a software development project for 60 or 90 days after the project goes live. After that, I offer fixed-fee monthly support to clients. This support includes bug fixes, answering questions and general troubleshooting via email. I generally find that my customers appreciate knowing that they can call and I won't be starting ...


8

In a project I recently finished, we offered a warranty period for 60 days after the release date, in which we agreed to fix all critical and high priority defects within 48 hours. You could offer something similar. The key is to get mutual agreement on what is critical/high priority. Is this just copy changes? Could be low, could be high depending on the ...


8

I am in the fifth year of running my own web design and development business. I hired a legal professional to help me with my terms and conditions and despite the copyright notice on my website, my terms and conditions have been copied by web design and development firms all over the world, often with very little changes. I guess I should be flattered! How ...


8

First off, calm down. Nothing good comes from those who panic, and don't think things thoroughly! Now that you're calmed down, I want you to Ask a Duck. Pretend your duck is the client, and they are asking you questions about a website. What seems important? Write it down! What seems like an asinine request? Ignore it! You may look silly, but I promise it ...


8

Free??? No, no, no. The client has already indicated that they're looking to save a buck. Now, pose this question: how does the work that you've already been doing suddenly become worth less money per hour??? Where I'm going with this is to point out that if the client needs the services you have to offer, they'll find some way to get the money to spend ...


7

I don't think those are small reasons, especially the first one. Here's how I would explain it: "I have to set aside time in my schedule to be available if you have questions or problems. That time costs money. If I don't set aside that time and you have an issue, suddenly all my other work has to be dropped by the way-side which is not fair to those other ...


7

I think this has to be done on a case-by-case basis. What is good for one project is not always good for another. I usually base my support cycle on the scope of the project. If it was a weekend project, I'll give it a week to find any bugs. If it takes longer, say a few months, then I may give it around a month. The problem is, there isn't a magic number or ...


7

I will usually recommend a domain and web hosting provider for my clients, since they normally do not have any existing hosting, and don't usually know enough to choose one themselves. I will sometimes give them a couple of options to choose from and let them select which one they prefer. I am normally remote from my clients, so I will email them detailed ...


7

Although open-ended, I'll try to address it as best as possible. GET A CONTRACT DRAWN UP ASAP! Do not offer remote support, except to those you know quite well, and personally. The contract should be signed before you take in the system, and before you touch it. It should explain that you are a professional, but shit happens... Essentially. It needs to ...


7

I would have to say that this is an opinion based question and there is no right or wrong answer. My answer is based on my desire to do the right thing for my clients. I would say yes, but to a point. Perhaps this is a bug that was in your application? Whether the project was fixed bid or hourly, it is your responsibility to deliver a working application. ...


7

No you should not. Support should be a package they pay for, under your terms. You build an app. It is tested by the end user, signed off and paid for, and only then does it go live. If bugs become apparent after they have signed it off they need to have purchased a support package of some sort from you. You cannot be retro fixing your app and ...


7

Let me tell a story.... I did some (very) minor design work about 5-10 years ago for a client who is older and not at all "tech savvy". It wasn't an expensive job... and really I only agreed to it because I was slow at the time. It was just a 3 page "brochure" static HTML site. Nothing real involved at all. And I went ahead an hosted it on a reseller ...


6

This is not a complete answer, as I don't really have time to write one at the moment, but I wanted to take a minute to address a few issues relevant to the contracting questions you raised in your post. (My apologies if any of this seems self-evident or is already on your list of things to do.) Do you draw up a contract and what general things are ...


6

This is a sales meeting. It's for you to find out what he wants, for him to get a sense of who you are, and for both of you to decide whether his requirements and your skills are a good match and whether you want to work with one another. To that extent, it's a little bit social, a little bit techy, and a little bit business. Your goal for the meeting ...


6

I have a friend who is part owner of many hosting companies throughout the USA and Canada (he has dual citizenship), and he is able to have the customers sign up directly through him. I assume this is not the case with you. When you are creating the websites, you should be running everything off of YOUR servers, so you maintain control until all the bills ...


6

Whenever you run across an issue like this, you frame it like an accident. "Well, it looks like you accidentally opened the email and then flagged it as spam. I know you probably go through a lot of emails every day and it's easy to accidentally miscategorize something, but you might try to pay extra care not to flag this newsletter". You can also go to his ...


6

I like this question: I struggled with the exact same thing with meetings in general. Clients one hour away asking me to join in on a meeting. I usually ended up spending an afternoon with 2 hours travel and 2 hours meeting. So these days, I'll try Skype first. If the client doesn't want Skype I'll explain that I will need to invoice the time because the ...


6

Every one of us has come to this point. In my case, at some point when I got "too many" clients, I started filtering them on those keep working and those that simply take my time. I sent circular email to all of them informing them that in 6 months my rate will increase and will be XYZ dollars. I found this fair as this gives them time to find someone else ...


6

So you told the client it would be 16 hours of effort to complete, and that you need 3 weeks to complete it... What the client hears is "I need 16 hours ... to complete". This comes down to the client having different expectations than you do. I would counter back with reasons why it's not 16 hours straight: You didn't get into Freelancing to work 16-hour ...


5

Wow, Teresa was spot on! I'll add this: Wherever the road takes you, a repeating theme you're going to see is "move the risk". What is that? Let me give you an example. You're a web designer. When you're using your favorite HTML tool - that you've spent good money on - and something's not quite right, you can PICK UP THE PHONE and get an answer (to ...


5

Since I have multiple project in working and in queue, should I fix those bugs immediately if the support period has not expired or I should tell the client that I will fix it as soon as I have free time? What I am asking is does free support mean that I have to fix bugs immediately or simply free but in my free time? As you see I am confused with "support"...


5

You don't get free maintenance on a vehicle (unless you've paid for it, which means it really isn't free) or it's under warranty. Likewise, unless you handed over your code and specifically mentioned a warranty in your contract (which can be oral), then it was delivered AS-IS, and the client needs to pay. Most markedly, the client also needs to understand ...


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