Deciding the costing of a web development project is really difficult. Web developers decide the pricing on the basis of client specs, but when you start working, clients request for additional work and the profit margin drops. In such situations, you either have to accept the loss or ask your clients to pay you for the extra work.
Most of the clients don’t know what they exactly want and when you start developing a site, they ask you to add new features and functionalities. If the client is ready to increase budget for unspecified tasks, then there is no problem, but unfortunately, some clients argue about project cost and think that the developer is bound to do anything he wants. If you run a company and offer web programming services, then here are some tips that will help you decide a project budget. Read them and you will be able to handle extra work without compromising your profit margin.
Web development is a time consuming process. Some of your clients may not realize how much time and effort goes into a project. If you don’t quote proper rates for your services and tell the clients what is included in the project contract, complications may appear later.
1. Create a List of Questions – When a client contact you for his website development project, you should send him a questionnaire and check his answers to decide project costs. The questionnaire also works as a reference paper for you. If the client denies anything, you can show him the questionnaire and prove your point. Some of the important questions you need to ask are-
- Total number of pages?
- How many people will check your design and who will take the final decision?
- Project deadline?
- Hosting service provider?
- Who will maintain the site once it’s launched?
2. Meet the Client Face to Face – A face to face conversation with the client can solve some important issues and make your job easier. Your client must know you, your working style and you should also know your client’s attitude. Start building a positive relationship with the client so that he does not request you to do something impossible during the project. If you are a working for an overseas client, then use Skype or other video calling software for online conversation.
3. Create an Initial Proposal – Once you know what your client wants, develop an initial project proposal and break down the project into small parts. For instance, you should divide the project in design, web programming, hosting, SEO and post development support. Put hours and pricing beside each part of the project and mention the total remuneration at the end of your proposal. When you show the clients how much work you are handling, they generally don’t argue with your about budget.
4. Set Client Expectations – Set your client’s expectations during proposal review meeting. Tell your client exactly what services are included in the proposal and what are not included. If he wants to any additional service, increase your remuneration.
Be honest with your client and tell him that most of your clients asked you to add additional items and features in their website during their web development projects. Let him know that you are ready to make sudden changes as long as he is ready to pay you extra money for the additional work.
5. Create the Final Proposal – Write down everything that you have discussed with the client and create the final proposal. Do not assume anything. For instance, if the client said he will provide website content, then note down “content will be provided by the client, if not, he is bound to pay for content writing services.” When you have such a strict clause in your project proposal, clients will think twice before asking you for a “small favor.” Send the final proposal to your client and make sure that he accepts all the terms and conditions.
In web development business you can earn money fast and lose it even faster. Following the aforementioned steps, you can reduce that chance and get paid for the work you do.