Running a website design business comes with its share of hurdles, and many startups learn the hard way that their mistakes could cost them thousands. While most of these mistakes result in frustrating clients, others could bankrupt your business. Don’t just be another failed or web design company; avoid these 7 critical mistakes when taking on new clients.

Not Having a Clear Contract

You’d be surprised how many businesses don’t draft contracts when taking on new clients. No matter how trustworthy your new client looks, it’s always a good idea to protect yourself and your business by using a web design contract template. You can ask a lawyer to look over the finished contract, but asking them to make one will cost too much time and money. No matter what you use, ensure that contracts become a requirement for every client and project.

Clients Who Think They Own You

Some clients think that when you enter a contract with them, they basically own you. These clients will email you in the middle of the night and expect a reply in seconds, but you have to remind them that isn’t how your relationship works. It’s difficult to know upfront if a client does this before entering an agreement, but once they start showing signs – cut this behavior off immediately. Otherwise, you’ll have to be at their beck and call, which isn’t fair for you.

Undercharging for Work

Undercharging when you start your business is an effective way to bring in new clients, but pricing yourself too low can have the opposite effect. Some clients will think you don’t take yourself seriously, while others will abuse your low rate. However, if you price yourself so low that you can’t make ends meet, you’ll end up bankrupt before you know it. Evaluate how much everything costs in your business so you won’t sell yourself short and continue to expand.

Clients Who Don’t Take You Seriously

One of the most frustrating clients you’ll come across is one that questions your expertise. In web design, you must follow a few rules to have a beautiful and operational website, but some clients will think otherwise. Don’t let your clients bully you around. Professionally address them by stating you know what you’re doing and that trust needs to work both ways. You know what people want when they stumble upon a website, so stay firm.

Taking Any Work That Comes

Many web design agencies continue to make the mistake of taking on either too much work or projects they’re uninterested in. Often, companies will let bad client behavior slide if they feel their business is an asset to their company, but that can be disastrous for your morale. It’s possible that you aren’t prepared to take on a contract that contains a work expertise that you don’t have, which could make you receive a bad review and fewer future clients.

Clients With No Budget

Always ask a client what their budget is for a website and updates because you could run into someone who doesn’t know your worth. If you charge $5000 for a website design, you need to clarify what constitutes web design and what changes aren’t allowed. Above all else: never do extra work for the client unless you have a previous relationship with them. That will create a destructive pattern of your client continually asking for more free assets.

Not Having a Clear Deadline

Your deadline should be outlined in your contract, but some clients will expect you to be faster than what you say. This habit may have come from dealing with other freelancers, but be sure to state your terms upfront, so you have enough time to complete the project. Also, be clear about what possibilities could delay website completion, like add-ons or re-writes of code. Teach your clients that quality correlates with time and that the project can’t be rushed.

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