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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Should I charge 50% Upfront or not?

    I am currently revamping my portfolio website (www.simplisticstyle.com) and rewriting all my policies, service agreements and whatnot. Additionally, I have been visiting hundreds of competitor portfolio websites and it seems apparent to me that quite a significantly large amount of them are requesting a 50% Deposit before the design is created.

    Is charging 50% a good policy to have? Or are there any other ways of ensuring that your clients are serious about the project they assign to you? I'm just wary, since I don't want to push potential prospects away.

    I bought the web design business kit a few months or so ago and I'm fully convinced I can start and maintain my own online website business, mainly to fund my future dream of becoming an airline pilot.

    Another question, how does a person who isn't terribly outspoken carry out essential marketing and advertisement in the local community? And I'm also quite young to say the least :P

    Thanks

    MK
    eFlair Design | Premium Design Services and Web Consultation

  2. #2
    I hate Spammers mobyme's Avatar
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    I think it depends a lot on the size of project and type of customer. 50% upfront is normal with small value projects for small mom and pop type businesses. Bigger projects often have a smaller deposit with payments against milestones thereafter. Whoever you are working for don't forget to get everything in writing before you start. I think the best way of marketing yourself locally is to network.
    There have been a number of threads about marketing and networking recently and I would suggest a quick scan of some of them for some great posts about the best methods. Best of luck.
    There are three kinds of men:
    The ones that learn by reading.
    The few who learn by observation.
    The rest of us have to pee on the electric fence.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot Roar's Avatar
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    An easy, subtle, yet powerful marketing idea for you is to make a basic newsletter.

    You can start by adding names & emails of people you're already in contact with and gradually grow this list.

    Share some of your knowledge in the form of a nice looking newsletter a couple of times each month.

    When you have more than a handful start getting more specific about what you do and the advantages of your service. Start asking for business.

    This strategy is effective because it keeps you fresh in the minds of a network of people. When their is an opportunity for web design you'll be the first person they think about.





    The key is to indirectly promote yourself in every email.
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    Nerd Business Blog : for NERDS only

  4. #4
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    I don't always state this as policy, but this is what I do especially with new customers.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Kailash Badu's Avatar
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    For regular customers, I don't charge anything upfront. I just send them an invoice at the end of the month. For new customers, 50% is something I always ask. But then the amount of deposit also depends on the size of the project. It it's a fairly big project, the client would be asked to pay in regular interval after each milestone is complete.

  6. #6
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    I would add it as part of your policy but then wave it for regular/trusted customers. Maybe if someone requests a smaller site tell them that you will wave the upfront % or maybe reduce it to 25%.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for your help! I will enforce this policy on new clients then.

    Another question, do you guys get more clients through online or locally?
    eFlair Design | Premium Design Services and Web Consultation

  8. #8
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    I think that is going to vary pretty widely. Some people are great online, but when meeting people face to face they freeze up. Others are great with people, but can't sit in front of a keyboard too long. I think you have to look at your personality.

  9. #9
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    Well, I'm a fairly shy person but there's no reason why I won't be able to meet clients anyway. I live in a fairly industrial area and I think there's a lot of potential for finding corporate prospects here. Even though I would love to find online prospects who would pay the same kind of capital, I think it's more of a rarity online than offline.
    eFlair Design | Premium Design Services and Web Consultation

  10. #10
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    I think you may find that people you meet offline will pay a little more too (if you hang out in the right places)


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