Remember when you first started out as a designer? That overly ambitious feeling to get any kind of work no matter what you’d be getting paid. Sure we all remember those days. Even if they were a few months ago for some. What quickly follows after your first few projects is the feeling of “wow I did all that, for all that time, and only charged what?” Or better yet, finding out what a friend or same level competitor is charging for the same kind of work you’re doing. Yea that doesn’t feel good at all. That’s the bite or kick in the ass we’re talking about here.
There’s really no such thing as taking one for the team when you’re an established designer. By now you’ve learned to accept or reject projects based on requirements, budget and your availability schedule. Though, for some reason these types of projects still come across our desks and even seem appealing due to our own temporary financial situation. Let me show you some points on what to look out for:
Budget: This one is first because you should be able to tell right from the initial consultation (free of not), whether the potential client will appreciate the amount of work you’re about to put in. We all know great designers and developers put in way more hours than they charge.
Timeframe: My “spidey” sense goes wild when someone tells me they need a full website done yesterday. The reverse of that situation is accepting a job when your schedule is already booked to the rim. Be cautious of your time. There is a healthy balance to adhere to and that’s to make sure you stay inspired and energized to continue to produce great work.
Accepting Jobs Outside of Your Scope of Work: This is a big one for me. I’m always concerned with landing a job that looks better to the eyes on my wallet than the better judgement of my mind. Taking on a client or project that you’re unable to comprehend on completing either on your own or with your support team is never a good thing. Not that you’ll be incapable of producing the job but the time that may be spent on learning or coming up to speed on platforms you’re not familiar with will drag you down.
Miscommunication: This could be a huge volcano just waiting to erupt. This happens all to often when a contract line item isn’t realized, a mockup version is confused in email transmissions, or timelines are misunderstood. All of these and more usually start off as small instances. Left unresolved or uncorrected and they’ll become that huge problem that drains all of your time, attention, and emotion from all of your firms business.
Ever been bit in the ass by something you overlooked? Share with us in the comments below.