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  1. #1
    Senior Member Tech0rz's Avatar
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    Working at a supermarket on Friday and Saturday really takes its toll, especially while studying at college. I am looking to set up my own web design business but I need some advice before I take the plunge. There are a few things I'm not quite sure about:

    1. Considering I'll be working around 15 hours p/w and creating 5-10 page websites for small businesses (no interactive features) I'm assuming it would be wise to only take on one project at a time. This being the case how do you handle potential clients that want your services while your in the middle of a project, and even have one or two projects lined up after that, just pencil them in?

    2. How do you do the 'handover' of the complete website and arrange payment? Do you just make the site live once a payment is recieved?

    3. Is fixed pricing an appropriate strategy for the type of sites I'll be doing? Say, a fixed price for 5 pages then an additional fee for each page after that, or is there a more attractive pricing strategy for businesses looking for this type of small website?


    Any questions just ask. All help is greatly appreciated!

    -Tech =o

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  3. #2
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    Well the obvious (?) way for handling multiple clients at the same time would be to

    1: Sit down and specifically plan how many hours a week you can do (take into account your other commitments, it is better to be honest, than to take on too much work). Also break this down further into how many hours you can do for each day of the week.

    2: If you are keen to take on more than 1 client, and you know it will not effect your other client(s) or your other commitments (work, college, partner etc) then divide the time, say you have 6 hours on a particular day, maybe 3 hours on each. *

    * = Depends if one of the projects has been going on longer, you may want to focus on that one.

    I would say a fixed price is better, particularly if you are sticking with a small business website, as the pages are going to be the same roughly (about us, services, products)... If they want one or two other pages, it really is not going to break your scheduling.

    Hope that helps. Good luck too

  4. #3
    Senior Member Tech0rz's Avatar
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    Thanks.

    As I'm only just getting started I've decided to take on one project at a time until I get a feel for the way things work and how long each project takes. How long are clients usually willing to wait for a site to be completed?

    Also, taking into account the fixed pricing strategy, is it standard practice to charge more for content to be written and worded by myself? Rather than say, just using the bulk of the old content from the firms previous site.


    -Tech =o

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tech0rz
    1. Considering I'll be working around 15 hours p/w and creating 5-10 page websites for small businesses (no interactive features) I'm assuming it would be wise to only take on one project at a time. This being the case how do you handle potential clients that want your services while your in the middle of a project, and even have one or two projects lined up after that, just pencil them in?
    On the rare occasion i have 2 people wanting sites at once I inform my second client that i am already doing a project at the moment. I tell them the expected finish date for my first project. I then inform them when i would start on there website, as an incentive i also offer to do all the planning and fluff before that date.

    If they don't want to wait then i lose them(its better to have 1 happy client as opposed to 2 content/unhappy clients), i always keep there contact details so when i finish my project i call them up and see if they are still looking for someone to do their site.

    2. How do you do the 'handover' of the complete website and arrange payment? Do you just make the site live once a payment is recieved?
    Generally speaking, i take half up front and half on completion. Once the final amount has been sent to me i either set up the website on there domain or send them the site in a zip file with instructions on uploading the website.

    3. Is fixed pricing an appropriate strategy for the type of sites I'll be doing? Say, a fixed price for 5 pages then an additional fee for each page after that, or is there a more attractive pricing strategy for businesses looking for this type of small website?
    With fixed pricing... the positives.
    + People know the price you are offering when they immediately visit your site.

    Downside
    - You are not always offering your best price meaning you may lose small projects.

    A good contract and the ability to turn away projects means that your pricing scheme can't be exploited.

    Also, taking into account the fixed pricing strategy, is it standard practice to charge more for content to be written and worded by myself? Rather than say, just using the bulk of the old content from the firms previous site.
    Don't write content unless you are very very good at writing. Leave it to them, it takes a lot of pressure of you. If you do offer it then you should charge by 100 words.

    If you writing content you need to make sure it is spell checked, grammatically correct and best represents your client in question.

    I am rarely asked about writing content. When I am asked, I always say that i don't or won't do it. This is because its not my job. They are paying me to design and code there site. They are not paying me to write about there company.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Tech0rz's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, exactly what I needed to hear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Perad
    On the rare occasion i have 2 people wanting sites at once I inform my second client that i am already doing a project at the moment. I tell them the expected finish date for my first project. I then inform them when i would start on there website, as an incentive i also offer to do all the planning and fluff before that date.

    If they don't want to wait then i lose them(its better to have 1 happy client as opposed to 2 content/unhappy clients), i always keep there contact details so when i finish my project i call them up and see if they are still looking for someone to do their site.
    Good idea to offer incentive and I'm agreed about having 1 delighted client over 2 satisfied ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Perad
    Generally speaking, i take half up front and half on completion. Once the final amount has been sent to me i either set up the website on there domain or send them the site in a zip file with instructions on uploading the website.
    I'm obviously going to have the domain and webspace as part of my servce. How often do you find people wanting to do it themselves? I guess it's just nice to have that option available.

    Quote Originally Posted by Perad
    With fixed pricing... the positives.
    + People know the price you are offering when they immediately visit your site.

    Downside
    - You are not always offering your best price meaning you may lose small projects.

    A good contract and the ability to turn away projects means that your pricing scheme can't be exploited.
    I'm going to have to think hard about pricing. From doing business studies I know that pricing can make or break a startup business. Basically the web design service will include:

    • Desk research (Should the firm be telling me who its competitors are or is it down to me to find out? Most of my target market probably won't know who theirs is. Should this be optional or just left up to them?)
    • Planning (Page structure, wireframing, storyboarding etc.)
    • Prototype(s)
    • Finished design
    • Domain and hosting
    • Checkpoints (Client input at appropriate points during the process)


    I'm thinking of maybe creating a flexible service where clients can choose what services they want and don't want. Like if they want a brand new logo, OR an improvement on an existing logo, charge them accordingly. Basically, I'll just find out exactly what they want and quote them happy. What do you think about that strategy? I'm going to get some competitor analysis done over the next few weeks, but I'd appreciate your input.

    Quote Originally Posted by Perad
    Don't write content unless you are very very good at writing. Leave it to them, it takes a lot of pressure of you. If you do offer it then you should charge by 100 words.

    If you writing content you need to make sure it is spell checked, grammatically correct and best represents your client in question.

    I am rarely asked about writing content. When I am asked, I always say that i don't or won't do it. This is because its not my job. They are paying me to design and code there site. They are not paying me to write about there company.
    Agreed, it would save a lot of headache to let them talk about their business, after all they know what they stand for, and what services they offer better than any web designer does. But how do you extract the information from them? Do you create the page arrangement based on the info they give you? OR get an outline of the business, create the pages and ask them to write down what they want to say on the appropriate pages?

    Appreciate the help!

    - Tech =o

  7. #6
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    I'll mention, btw, that when considering hosting someone else's site, I saw a very neat-looking plan that Site5 offers what they call a `MultiSite' plan, where you pay a monthly fee just like you would for regular webhosting, but you get several sites, with their own management backends and everything. Then, you can offer these to your clients as a middle man of sorts, or offer it for free for the first X months and then do it as a middle man, etc. http://www.site5.com/multisite/ describes a little more about it. It seems interesting, but I haven't looked into it too too deeply.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Tech0rz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowfiend
    I'll mention, btw, that when considering hosting someone else's site, I saw a very neat-looking plan that Site5 offers what they call a `MultiSite' plan, where you pay a monthly fee just like you would for regular webhosting, but you get several sites, with their own management backends and everything. Then, you can offer these to your clients as a middle man of sorts, or offer it for free for the first X months and then do it as a middle man, etc. http://www.site5.com/multisite/ describes a little more about it. It seems interesting, but I haven't looked into it too too deeply.
    This looks very useful, thanks.

  9. #8
    Senior Member solidgold's Avatar
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    i usually charge 10 per hour for a website, i dont know what this is in dollars, but i guess its about $5?
    Don't write content unless you are very very good at writing. Leave it to them, it takes a lot of pressure of you. If you do offer it then you should charge by 100 words.

    If you writing content you need to make sure it is spell checked, grammatically correct and best represents your client in question.

    I am rarely asked about writing content. When I am asked, I always say that i don't or won't do it. This is because its not my job. They are paying me to design and code there site. They are not paying me to write about there company.
    I'm very good at writing (believe it or not!), and usually do add content for people for free, should i be charging?!
    i never really thought about it like that, i just sort of added it into the original price, i guess i'll have too add a bit more on to the price, but how much?!
    i'm fairly new to the whole freelance game myself

  10. #9
    Senior Member Tech0rz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solidgold
    i usually charge 10 per hour for a website, i dont know what this is in dollars, but i guess its about $5?

    I'm very good at writing (believe it or not!), and usually do add content for people for free, should i be charging?!
    i never really thought about it like that, i just sort of added it into the original price, i guess i'll have too add a bit more on to the price, but how much?!
    i'm fairly new to the whole freelance game myself
    UK 10 = US $19.75 :cheeky:

    I assumed content should be written for the client as part of the package. But now it's been mentioned I can see the sense in leaving it up to the client. I would still like to learn more about the process of collecting the information and organising it into specific pages.

    Which comes first, the page or the info? Hmm...

  11. #10
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    Yeah, the pound is waaay stronger than the dollar and the Euro.


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