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I have a web design business - tips for reducing the revision process?

Discussion in 'General Business' started by mqs1000, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. #1
    One of the main problems I am having is that people will send me a million revisions for their website over and over spanning over a month of time. The revision process takes longer than it does for me to hand over the first draft of the website...

    Basically I charge a 50% deposit up front and the other 50% once the site is finished and uploaded. People literally keep giving me revisions after the 1st draft which I'm glad to do at first, but after a few weeks and their 10th email of revisions, it's like enough is enough.

    What is the best way to handle this in terms of the contract I send them? I tried adding something like "After first draft, all revision requests must be made within 2 weeks after the 1st draft is delivered. All requests will be complete within 24-48 hours. After that, any revisions will be billed by the hour." Some lady called me out on it and wanted this part removed from the contract, because she was worried that she would still have revisions after 2 weeks. What's the best way to solve this problem? I literally have some open website projects for months because I'm too nice of a guy. At some point should I just tell people that's enough (politely of course)?
     
    mqs1000, Apr 25, 2014 IP
  2. cpoalmighty

    cpoalmighty Member

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    #2
    The best advice I can give you is to create a system. Based on your post, it just seems as though you are shooting in the dark with your business which should not be. There are great lynda tuts on how to run a design business but to give you an immediate insight into running one, you have to be direct, firm and confident with your customers. Do not beat around the bush. If you can guarantee revisions for up to 2 weeks, then let them know and be firm about it. Customers who do not like it may not be a good fit for you since they may want to seek to advantage your talent.

    Another thing, why are they requesting so many revisions? Is it that you are not completing the revisions according to their specifications or is it that they are requesting additional changes based on an "idea" they got when they woke up this morning? You need to assess that! Someone could be making endless revisions to the same thing for weeks which is a major time waster. It's either you want the menu blue or you don't...what else can you change?


    You should also obtain a project management script or something to manage your time and your interaction with customers. That will greatly assist in your ability to monitor the requests which are coming in and how many changes they are making to particular aspects of the design.

    My final advice to you is for you to be consistent with your customers by always conducting business with them using a contract which clearly outlines all of your promises to them and expectations from them. That will save you a lot of headaches later down. If the client cannot agree to those terms, then they can always seek their interests elsewhere.
     
    cpoalmighty, Apr 25, 2014 IP
  3. varindia

    varindia Member

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    #3
    I think it will be better to plan your project management system with proper time bound. Make the project works schedule clear with proper time allocated for different segments the project work. Then should be strict on this. After completion of the work, the new extra work will be started as a new project.
     
    varindia, Apr 26, 2014 IP
  4. transcendev

    transcendev Member

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    #4
    You should limit revisions to a set number of rounds. I give my clients 3 rounds of revisions, after that it's outside the scope and billed hourly. So, if they want to continue revising, that's fine but it costs them more money.
     
    transcendev, Apr 26, 2014 IP
  5. SuperiorWD

    SuperiorWD Greenhorn

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    #5
    Good tip, Transcend. Provide the client with the BEST design you can come up with, be there to do 2-3 revisions on that and then bill hourly. If you're doing your job well, you shouldn't have too many revisions anyway, but letting them know there's a limited number also helps them decide easier and be more focused. The reason I don't provide more than one mockup design either. If they have too many solutions presented, they'll find it difficult to decide and this will cost you time and money. If you blew it with the design, be willing to create it again from scratch, but otherwise, few revisions will help a lot. In all my career as a web designer, I was out of the initial 'scope' 3 or 4 times, when I didn't get the client's view properly. I re-did the mockup and it was a success.

    So ... offer one (or maybe 2) mockup designs and say that you will do few revisions on it (2-3, whatever works for you). Let them know, EACH TIME, that there's 1 or 2 more revisions left and then you'll bill hourly. As soon as the design part is done and you go into coding the layout, let the client know that any design change AFTER THIS STAGE will cost them the design again. I did have few people who approved the design, let me code the template only to change the design afterwards. Lesson learned: as soon as you approve the design, there's no turning back. OK, there's turning back, but it costs :D
     
    SuperiorWD, Apr 26, 2014 IP
  6. cowboy1015

    cowboy1015 Member

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    #6
    There's no way you can reduce it. You just got to deal with it to make the clients happy. If they're not satisfied, of course they'll ask for revision. But if they ask revision after delivery, you should charge for changes as per contract.
     
    cowboy1015, Apr 30, 2014 IP
  7. Ethan Alvin

    Ethan Alvin Active Member

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    #7
    Firstly, I do believe you are doing your best to provide the best designs, and you're coming from the point where your clients might be taking advantage of you.

    I'd say, be as CLEAR & FIRM as possible.

    I think you should always draft out the requirements of the project and use it to remind your clients that your designs adhere to it.

    Well, there are some demanding customers out to "milk" you, and in my opinion, as long as you're providing quality work, you can afford to lose them. These customers are best ignored and they will come back to you once they realize the difficulty of replacing you.

    Set a revision deadline with a limited number of revisions. Don't let your clients waste your time with their indecisiveness. Of course you can give grace to loyal clients to build relationship.
     
    Ethan Alvin, May 1, 2014 IP
  8. BoostSoftware

    BoostSoftware Active Member

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    #8
    You can also tell the client that the amount you bit is for x hours of work. That you can say up front. Then, if it goes over that, then they would pay more. Of course, having a portfolio ahead of time should clue them in on the quality of work you do. Therefore, there should be no concern about how good your work is before you start. Therefore, the revisions you do should not have to be very time-consuming. As long as you communicate well with the client, it can cut down on research time.
     
    BoostSoftware, May 2, 2014 IP
  9. jestep

    jestep Prominent Member

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    #9
    What type of revisions are you talking about? I'm assuming it's design related and the customer has some method of changing the content on the site without your intervention so you don't need to deal with that part.

    Definitely need to be clear about it and get the right information from the customer as early in the process as possible. I would absolutely do a set number of revisions and define what a revision is. Be clear with them that you want to make sure their site is amazing, but at the same time you've had customers that wanted 10 times the amount of work for a site because they simply couldn't make up their mind. This sort of scope/feature creep will kill your profit because you spend all of your time messing with revisions and minor changes when you should be working on a new project. Also, when they need changes have them make a detailed list so you can do the changes all at the same time. 10 or 20 minor fixes all at the same time is no big deal. 20 emails over the course of a week is a serious distraction and is unproductive for everyone.
     
    jestep, May 2, 2014 IP
  10. uand.eye

    uand.eye Active Member

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    #10
    You need to be clear about what the client wants before you start building the site. Write a clear design brief and make sure they are happy with it. do a psd mockup. You can do any revisions on there quickly before building the site. You should tell your clients revisions of the mock up are free, but there may be a fee when the site is built.
     
    uand.eye, May 3, 2014 IP
  11. markjayswal

    markjayswal Greenhorn

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    #11
    You need to define clear terms and after completion of work or design you need to get written confirmation from client like "Work is ok and you can move forward". So that at the time of revision you show their approval.

    After that you can charge something extra for revision according to time and you rate.
     
    markjayswal, May 3, 2014 IP
  12. Alyssa Lochmore

    Alyssa Lochmore Member

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    #12
    This sounds reasonable. You want to do your best work, but it doesn't mean you have to allow clients to take advantage of you. It's good to try to please people, but sometimes you have to accept the fact that not everyone will like what you do for them. I don't mean to sound cold-hearted when saying this, though.

    After all, communication is a huge factor. As long as you and your customers can convey the messages that help you resolve problems along the way, it will ensure greater chance of project succcess.

    Before even all of this, you need to ask as many questions as possible about the assignments offered to you. This will ensure you understand the requirements before committing to the job.
     
    Alyssa Lochmore, May 3, 2014 IP
  13. Menaxerius

    Menaxerius Greenhorn

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    #13
    As stupid it sounds, simply ask your clients to describe what they exactly expeting, usualy they can help you more then they do. Simply: Ask them ;) Maybe you can send some drafts on a earlier stage then now. Tell them it isn't finished yet, but ask them if this goes to the direction they like. At all, don't put too much effort in it before you aren't 100% sure what he wants.
     
    Menaxerius, May 4, 2014 IP