A Web Designer's View – Port Elizabeth, St Francis Bay, South Africa
This is a subject that really urks me. In our industry we get a lot of people that want things for free. Or they want a cheaper price than your quoted price. Now I used to do a lot of ‘charity’ work. If it’s a charity organisation or someone in whose cause I believe, I would give them a discount.
People also often approach me and tell me about this new business idea they have and then offer me shares in the business if I do their media work either for free or at a largely discounted price.
Well, those days are over. A while ago I did a website for this guy. He came to me and told me about his big thing he wants to do for the children. He published a book, and have a lot of educational games which he wants to promote. The idea behind it is to make hygiene fun for children.
I worked very hard on the site and really wanted to make it a fun thing for the kids. After completion I did what I normally do with a project like that and showed it to a couple of my associates to get some feedback. They all loved it. Then a week or so later, I had to hear from other people how this guy was telling them that he did not like the website. When I confronted him, he said no it’s nonsense, they must have misunderstood him.
Then not too long ago I did a Content Management System for a foundation based in the UK. They do a lot for the street children in South Africa. So I gave them a discounted price, trying to do my bit and help the cause. It all just blew up in my face. At first, the lady I was dealing with was impossible to please. No matter what artwork I did for her, she was just never happy with it. Eventually I got the site up and went to train her to use it. She just could not understand how it works. She seemed to expect the system to do every single thing for her, from optimising images, to automatically publishing banners. Now I am battling to get my money out of them for the work which I have done (and completed), because according to her the site did not work. Meanwhile I have countless customers using a similar system with absolutely no hassle. In the meantime, they have now gone and employed another web designer to just do them an ordinary static site, and honestly, the design is horrible, so I am mystified.
Then you get these customers who come to you and claim poverty. According to them they don’t really have the money to do the work, but they need it. And, of course, they need it now! So I go ahead and do the work at discount and actually go the extra mile to satisfy them, when at the end of the day, after the project is completed, they don’t pay me. Then I have to spend hours phoning after these people to get my money.
And then there are the entrepreneurs. They tell you about their big pie in the sky and how they are going to become millionaires and these guys are normally quite convincing. (suppose they have to be if they are entrepreneurs) So they end up telling you how they will take you with them when they make their millions, but if for now you could maybe just help them with a website and corporate identity. So stupid me goes ahead, put in the hours, even help with marketing, and then at the end of the day, realise that I am actually the only one working on the project while they are ‘too busy’ right now to work on it. The number of these projects I have taken on and which have just fizzled out, is so countless, that I should actually be ashamed of myself for stepping in it everytime.
I really don’t understand what it is about these people. If you cannot afford to buy the car, then be satisfied with what you’ve got. I’ve never seen a car dealer who will give you discount or a car for free just because you cannot afford the car. And then afterwards letting you get away with not paying for the car.
What makes my industry different? Everytime I sit down in front of my computer, it is my experience and skills that come into play. I am putting my time in for you.
Funny enough, the only charity work I have ever done which is a success, has nothing to do with humans, but is for an animal shelter. Visit them here, Save-a-pet. Makes you think!!
So, enough ranting and raving. NO MORE charities, NO MORE discounts, NO MORE freebies, NO MORE business partner offers! I offer a professional service which came with lots of work and time put in to get it to that level. Expect to pay for it, or go to someone who is prepared to do the work for nothing, but also be happy then with what you get.
In: Rants & Raves