Hi during the last two years I've managed to build a good business creating websites, and I love most of it. The thing which really demotivates me however is getting the client to give us the content the first time round, or the endless changes to the content before they accept the site going live. I was wondering how to improve this process and would like to know how others do it.
As I'm sure most of you know, the typical client will phone and say: 'Uhm, just a very tiny change needed.....'
The thing is that it might or might not be a small change but it definitely wastes time on our end and distracts us from whatever other job we would be doing.
Maybe consider using a CMS, which allows the clients to add their own content. Then it's up to them to add content, and you can move on.
And maybe deal with situations like this in your contract? Change of scope, limited number of content modification (after all, if the client deliveres the content, they can't hold the approval of the project because they don't like their own content, can they?)
And of course, you plan your activities. You can always tell your client (diplomaticly of course) that this n-th change of mind will have to wait two weeks because you've got other work planned.
I'm already using WP and they edit the site after release, but we usually agree that initial content input is done by ourselves so we give them a complete site. Following a training session they then take over responsibility of the site and content.
Firstly, change your payment terms. For example, get paid monthly throughout the project, or get paid in multiple stages and only leave 10-15% to be paid upon completion.
Secondly, make sure your contract stipulates very clearly that any content provided by the client is to be considered the final, proof-read content that you are expected to add to the site. Once the content is added, any additional changes are charged at £xx per hour, with a minimum £xx charge per revision. That tends to encourage the client to be a bit more careful about what they send you.
Thirdly, try to get the definition of 'completion' to be the delivery of the 'empty' site (before text content added). If they don't bite on that, insist that the site is signed-off and paid for the moment the content is added - if they insist on wanting more changes, tell them you want paying for the original spec first.
I'd also add that if they have a CMS, then these minor changes should really just be bounced back to them. Maybe use the training session to teach them how to fix a few of the changes and then leave them to it. But make sure you get paid in full first. I usually expect final payment to be made immediately after the training session, so I forward the balancing invoice to the client in advance of the meeting and make sure I take the singing off paperwork with me to the training session.
If you and your client agree on those terms, then why are you having this problem? Are you sure that the agreement is clear?
Thanks all for your comments, I think it was a mix of not being clear enough with the client and not enforcing the agreement enough. I will use these tips to reword a better agreement and make sure to explain everything better to the client. Thanks!
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