Rule of Thumb #0001

It’s tempting to do web design or development work for a cut rate. Sometimes, it will be a client which you’d just love to have on your portfolio. Other times, it’ll be an old friend, family member or the dreaded friend-of-a-friend.

Either do the work for free or charge full price. Never, ever, do work for “mates rates”.

If you do work for free, you have some leverage over the client if they become difficult with daft amends or pixel-pushing pedantry. Everyone knows where they stand and the client is normally happy with the fact that they’re getting a freebie. It’s also worth noting that if the whole gig goes pop, you may lose a client but there’s no guarantee of paying work in the future. At least you don’t have to deal with chasing partial payment.

Choose to charge full price and you won’t be so fed up with amends and client-faff. It also sets a good standing for future paid work and the client won’t be expecting any sort of special treatment.

If you do choose to employ cut-rate costs, you’re stuck in a kind of limbo state. The client is less likely to accept “no” for an answer and you’ll end up feeling like you’ve sold yourself short.

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