Speckyboy RSS: Your Web Design Business Has Grown: How Do You Manage Legacy Clients?

Your latest Speckyboy content is here!.

Speckyboy Design Magazine

Design News, Resources & Inspiration

Your Web Design Business Has Grown: How Do You Manage Legacy Clients?


By Eric Karkovack on Mar 08, 2021 06:19 pm


Growth is among the most desirable goals for any web design business. Whether you’re a freelancer or an agency, it’s likely that you’ll want to become bigger and more profitable over time.

It takes a lot of planning and hard work to get there. And your business will continue to evolve all the while. Things such as pricing, workflow and ideal projects will change along with you.

One thing you may not expect with that growth is the continued pull of your legacy clients. Those who you’ve worked with for years and have long been a part of your journey.

For these folks, you’re not necessarily that big-time web designer. To them, you’re a trusted source of information and maybe even like a member of the family. You’re the person they call on year after year.

While that’s a great thing, it may also feel as though you’re stuck between the future and your past. These longtime clients may still expect things to work the way they always have, even if it doesn’t fit with your current business model.

So, how can you keep old friends happy while forging ahead? Here are some tips to help you manage.

Determine a Client’s Place in Your Business

The first challenge is to look at what role a particular client plays in your business. For example, are they considered vital? If they left today, would your revenue suffer?

You might also think in terms of the services you provide them. Are they using a content management system (CMS) that you specialize in? Is their website outdated and difficult to maintain?

If the client in question fits seamlessly with what you’re doing, awesome! But even if they don’t, take a moment and consider what it would take for the relationship to change in a mutually-beneficial way.

Sometimes, this is the perfect segue into a redesign or some other shift in services. It brings your client in line with your preferred practices and may spark a renewed energy. This is also a great way to bring in some extra money.

A client/designer relationship can often stagnate simply because there’s not enough communication. This can quickly change with a little initiative on your part.

Of course, not everyone will take you up on the offer. But it can’t hurt to ask.

A person holding a puzzle piece.

Adjust the Rules Where Necessary

The way you worked even a few years ago may be vastly different than today. For example, maybe you weren’t quite as busy back then. Thus, a client could email or call anytime with a request. Now, you’re so swamped that you have implemented a ticket system. If only everyone was on board.

These types of changes can be difficult for clients to grasp. Not because they necessarily want to be troublemakers. Rather, they’re likely so used to working with you in a certain way that policy changes don’t show up on their radar. They pick up the phone because that’s what they’ve always done.

For designers, the problem is that you end up different rules for different people. Maybe your most profitable client uses the ticket system, but the smallest insists on taking up more of your time. That’s not really fair to anyone.

Here’s where some gentle reminders can make a positive impact. The hope is that, once a client uses your new process a time or two, they’ll be comfortable enough to keep on doing so.

If they still don’t get the hint, well, you’ll have to make a decision. Is it worth a battle or do you just live with it? Only you can answer for certain.

A sign that reads, "Please Stay on the Path".

Stick to Your Current Pricing Structure

The longer you have been in business, the more likely it is that your pricing structure will have changed. This will have the biggest impact on longtime clients, as they’ve gone through those different phases with you.

What? You haven’t raised prices on them? It’s understandable. Sometimes we allow clients to stick with older pricing as a way to say “thank you”. Or perhaps we don’t want to deal with the anticipated blowback for doing so.

Except in very special circumstances, it’s a bad idea to provide deep discounts or failing to raise rates accordingly. It’s not only tough on your bank account, but it can be mentally frustrating as well. You’ll likely dread any work from a client who is paying half or three-quarters the rate of all the rest.

This isn’t your client’s fault. They’re simply paying what you’re charging them. It’s ultimately up to you to ensure that everyone’s paying the current rate across the board.

In the end, this will help you maintain a healthy relationship. You’ll feel like you’re being compensated fairly and that your hard work is appreciated. And clients are usually willing to pay that extra premium for someone they can trust.

A person holding currency.

Should You Bring Longtime Clients Along for the Ride?

The reality is that, as your business changes, not every existing client is going to be a perfect fit for where you are right now. To paraphrase an old saying: you can’t fit a square peg into a round hole.

That’s why it’s important to look at each client’s status within your portfolio. It’s an opportunity to figure out which relationships are working, along with those that aren’t. From there, you can try and make improvements where possible.

Ultimately, some clients may not come along for the ride. That’s OK – it’s part of the natural evolution of a business.

Then again, you might be surprised at how flexible some clients are. With a little communication, they could be with you now and well into the future.

The post Your Web Design Business Has Grown: How Do You Manage Legacy Clients? appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.



Read in browser »

Recent Articles:

8 Awesome Examples of CSS & JavaScript Polygons
Weekly News for Designers № 582
The Right Way to Add Recurring Revenue to Your Web Design Business
Tips to Help You Power Through Projects with the WordPress Gutenberg Block Editor
Leveraging the Power of Sushi to Improve Your Designs
Share
Tweet
+1
Share
Forward
Copyright © 2021 Speckyboy Design Magazine, All rights reserved.
You signed up for daily Speckyboy Design Magazine email alerts either via Feedburner or directly through our site.

Our mailing address is:
Speckyboy Design Magazine
27 Braeside Park
Inverness, Scotland IV2 7HL
United Kingdom

Add us to your address book


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Older messages

Speckyboy RSS: 8 Awesome Examples of CSS & JavaScript Polygons

Monday, March 8, 2021

Your latest Speckyboy content is here!. Speckyboy Design Magazine Design News, Resources & Inspiration 8 Awesome Examples of CSS & JavaScript Polygons By Eric Karkovack on Mar 08, 2021 09:01 am

Speckyboy RSS: Weekly News for Designers № 582

Friday, March 5, 2021

Your latest Speckyboy content is here!. Speckyboy Design Magazine Design News, Resources & Inspiration Weekly News for Designers № 582 By Speckyboy on Mar 05, 2021 09:43 am Envato Elements Gradient

Speckyboy RSS: The Right Way to Add Recurring Revenue to Your Web Design Business

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Your latest Speckyboy content is here!. Speckyboy Design Magazine Design News, Resources & Inspiration The Right Way to Add Recurring Revenue to Your Web Design Business By Eric Karkovack on Mar 03

Speckyboy RSS: Tips to Help You Power Through Projects with the WordPress Gutenberg Block Editor

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Your latest Speckyboy content is here!. Speckyboy Design Magazine Design News, Resources & Inspiration Tips to Help You Power Through Projects with the WordPress Gutenberg Block Editor By Eric

Speckyboy RSS: Leveraging the Power of Sushi to Improve Your Designs

Monday, March 1, 2021

Your latest Speckyboy content is here!. Speckyboy Design Magazine Design News, Resources & Inspiration Leveraging the Power of Sushi to Improve Your Designs By Addison Duvall on Mar 01, 2021 07:39

The 25 Best Accent Chairs, According to AD100 Designers

Friday, June 18, 2021

Plus, more sourcing inspiration. View in your browser | Update your preferences Architectural Digest AD PRO logo image Welcome to the PROcurement, our new weekly roundup of the best designs to source

✏ 40 Javascript Memes, CSS Specificity Calculator, HTML Semantic Tags Sheet, and more...

Friday, June 18, 2021

The Problem with UX/UI Portfolios MARKBOULTON.CO.UK COMMENTS CSS Specificity Calculator POLYPANE.APP COMMENTS Your Image is Probably not Decorative SMASHINGMAGAZINE.COM COMMENTS Top 40+ Javascript

What Will Back-To-Normal Look Like?

Friday, June 18, 2021

A weekly dispatch from Architectural Digest's Editor in Chief. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

UX/UI Portfolios, Feels, Bear Plus Snowflake, Optical Size, Aspect Ratio

Friday, June 18, 2021

The 5 best design links, every day. Curated by a selection of great editors. Email not displaying properly? View browser version. Sidebar June 18 2021 The problem with UX/UI portfolios markboulton.co.

RWD Weekly #462— the one about the little yellow book

Friday, June 18, 2021

No preview text for you this week, you've got to commit to reading this one by opening it first :) Read online Hello again, welcome back to RWD Weekly #462 happy Friday! This week I've been

Meet Image Optimization, A New Smashing Book

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Meet Addy Osmani's new book on image optimization: from formats and compression to delivery and maintenance. Brand new book: Image Optimization by Addy Osmani. Dearest Friend, How do we deliver

🔥 Dashing Mobile UI Designs and more

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Round Up The Newest UpLabs Weekly Freebies 🤠 Check out some fresh high-quality Freebies that have been handpicked for you by the UpLabs team this week. The New Super Fast Way to Build a Website

Holly Hunt Reinvents Herself Once Again

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Plus, a houseplant sells for almost $20000 at auction (image) Architectural Digest AD PRO Logo house plant - philodendron Think You Love Houseplants? This One Just Sold for Almost $20000 Read More →

✏ 3 Ways to Design More Inclusively, What is a Design System?2021 Fun Typefaces, and more...

Thursday, June 17, 2021

3 Ways to Design More Inclusively WEBDESIGNERDEPOT.COM COMMENTS What is a Design System? ROBERTCREATIVE.COM COMMENTS Animal Crossing Font FONTSPANDA.COM COMMENTS Some Fun Typefaces for 2021 KOTTKE.ORG

✏ Issue #491: Google Page Experience Update, 22 Exciting New Tools for Designers, Diversity In Design, Invision Freehand, and more…

Thursday, June 17, 2021

View this newsletter online Unsubscribe NEWSLETTER ISSUE #491 JUNE 17, 2021 Work at the Intersection of Data, Design, and Technology Prepare for a range of dynamic communication roles in Northwestern