Recently we’ve heard that a lot of businesses in our area have problems with Web Designers taking money for projects and not delivering anything. We are a new company, and as such we don’t have a huge portfolio of happy clients, so we needed to address this issue so people are more willing to trust us. We don’t want people wondering if we’ll actually do the work they are paying for, it’s bad for PR and the lot.
We already had a system to keep track of all the work we are doing, including different projects, clients, bugs and the lot. We decided to use that same system, upgraded a little, to incorporate milestones, and client logins.
The easiest way to describe is with a little scenario. Let’s say Mike Jones, a sole-trader, trading under the name of Mike Jones Trading, wants us to create an e-commerce website for him. We then create a client profile for him, which Mike can use to login into our system and see what we are currently working on. He can see all the tasks associated with his project, submit bugs, upload files (easy delivery if we ask him for high quality logo). He can also see invoices, and if his payments have arrived to us.
That brings us nicely into payments. The way we work, to cover both sides, is in the way of milestones. Projects are split up into milestones, and invoices are issued at each milestone. We charge 20-25% up-front fee, and then percentage of the rest at each milestone, with last milestone being completion of the project. At each milestone we provide Mike with all the work we’ve done up to date, so if we end up closing, he hasn’t lost his money. Also if Mike wants to close company, we haven’t worked for free.
So, lets say Mike agrees to paying us £2000. His up-front fee would be £500 (25%). As soon as we receive that, we begin working on the project per his specifications. Then once we reach a milestone (that could be either date or amount of work completed, depends on the project and what we agreed on with the client), we will invoice Mike further 25%, since his project is split into 3 milestones. At that time we can provide him with all of our work up to that milestone, if he so wishes. Once the last milestone is complete and we receive 100% of the agreed price, the contract is fulfilled. From that moment we provide 3 months bug support, in case we have missed any during testing. The cost of that is included in standard price.
We believe that system works for both parties concerned. If you have any questions about above procedure, let us know, and we’ll do our best to answer