I've been involved in web design/dev business before, and it's been rather big of a headache most times.
- Re-work requests
- Scope changes
- Lots of work to nail down requirements to prevent clients from wriggling out and finding some loophole to say, "a ha! you didn't do it to my liking yet"
I'd really like to just run a more cookie-cutter type business where staff can do their work without me getting involved so deeply each time. Now, tell me what you think of the following:
Offer up Joomla/OSCommerce packages with templates. Client picks one, and gives sales an idea of what they need. Sales presents to clients 3 different packages. Each package comes with a pre-determined amount of dedicated tech hours. A tech reviews the requirements and gives a good estimate, then sales presents to the client the most suitable package (based on # of hours of work required).
This positions the concept of "pay by the hour" to the client and nails them to it.
Then, a schedule is made to reserve work time by the tech. The client can either be on the phone, chat online, or just monitor by email. I'm thinking of dividing up these chunks of times into 4-hour blocks.
So suppose a client picks a package with 16 hours of tech time, then he can use the first block to communicate all the various pieces as well as negotiate with the tech to find the best way of getting what he wants. The last chunk should really be reserved for fixing bugs and cleaning up last-minute changes, as well as some training, if needed.
Now mind you, I am doing web dev. in an asian country. Here there is not concept of "charge by the hour" except maybe massages lol. No other web design companies work this way, so it's kind of a hard sell to tell customers, "well here's your quote, but it may go up depending on the situation".
What are your thoughts on this?