As promised, I’m continuing my rant on keeping clients in check. The awesome thing is, now I’m doing it with a taste of positive experience. I just bid a second job for the same client, but this time made it clear I’d be limiting my time. Included in my proposal are nine (count ’em – 9!) milestones for a two-week project. Everything is detailed as far as number of revisions and what to expect. I’ve also included a clause discussing further revisions expanding the job — in next year. I don’t think there can be a mistake now.
The important lesson, though, is that I don’t think my client is a bad guy. He wanted things done just so and that’s okay. If I’d put all of this in the first agreement I don’t think there would have been any problem and, honestly, I think I would have been earning more.
As an aside, I was pretty careful in my wording. I kept the focus on the positive, like this: “Over the next weeks I have some other commitments as I mentioned, but this plan will allow me to incorporate these final touches into my workflow. If we need to do more rounds of major conceptual or minor cosmetic edits, or try other ideas or add more components, we can definitely talk about expanding and extending the project into the new year. And of course, once you get into prototyping, we can talk about how to move forward from there if you need anything. And, at the end, I hope I can see pictures of the final product when you’ve had it made.
I’m really excited to see how all of this will look together at the end…”
It’s clear, but I’m keeping the client focused on the end of the project, the piece that he holds in his hands. Or, on his computer screen. Details.
In order to avoid future mistakes, I’ve done a little research on contracts and ways to avoid “revision hell”. This article has some good ideas I’ll start using with the next project I win, and this one I could definitely identify with. I also stumbled across some project management ideas to incorporate more.
And, being Monday morning, I need to work.