Web Design: Getting Paid
I know of a few designers whom have been ripped off by some client whom has received a service and have simply refused to pay. I want to share my method of payment for Web design services I undertake, its simple, requires few steps and never fails, well not yet anyway.
As a web designer the projects that I undertake are service based and therefore commonly priced per hour or for a set project fee.
Hourly rate payment
If I am undertaking the service on a hourly rate I estimate the amount of time each required task will take and add up the total number of hours, then multiply this by your hourly rate and ha presto, you have the full project price and timespan.
Set fee payment
If I am undertaking the service as a set project fee I estimate the amount of time each task will take and again work out the total project pricing and timespan.
Both these methods of project management give me 2 crucial measurements to base the payments on, a total project fee, and an end date.
Whichever payment type you use your outcome is an accepted proposal with the client for an amount and timespan. I always like 50% of the agreed fee upfront to guarantee my time and this helps build a level of trust with the client, your meeting half way with them and if they will not pay at this point you can simply state “sorry, were not a good fit”. The large deposit will ensure that you get rid of time wasters and criminal types.
50% on project end date
I describe the “project end date” as the date I have said the projects tasks will all be completed by. On the end date the 50% balance is to be paid. The main emphasis for this stage is that the website is a finished product with all tasks undertaken but still sits on my test server. Upon this final payment I go live with the website.
If the client wants to cancel the project at any stage you can simply add up the time that the completed tasks have taken you and multiply this by your hourly rate and either refund the amount or charge the extra.
Go forth, Be bold
I used to be scared of charging half upfront as I believed it would scare off potential clients, it may have scared off a few, but the rest paid on time and in full, since I installed this system I have had no problems getting paid. If you are going to use this system it is very important to spell out each payment step to the client upfront before proceeding with the project.