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    Setting Up Business - Newbie Advice.


    Hi,

    I have been designing graphics and the odd websites for friends etc for a good while now, I wanted to take my knowledge a step further.

    All the websites I have created for friends, family etc have all been hosted on free hosts, as they are only self employed businesses.

    I'm starting up my own website, advertising sample websites & graphics, including a portfolio of my own.. open to do business.

    Well heres the questions.....

    1. After I have designed there website, do I choose the host and link it up for them, or do they choose? If I choose, do I make the yearly hosting payments for them, and they pay me yearly, or do they pay the hosting directly.

    2. Do I have to meet my clients in person, and discuss exactly what they want on there website? Or can this be done via email/live chat.

    3. Do you take a deposit of them before you start designing there website?

    4. If they don't like there website, what rights do they have? can they refuse payment, do I keep the deposit?

    A little advice would be very much appreciate to get me on my way!.

    Kind Regards,
    Ykay.
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    Would just like to add, I am not planning to use Web Designing as my main job, it will only be a hobby making money in my spare time.

    I'm not sure if that will change anything, but I will not be taking it as serious as you professionals . So just the basic advice would be grateful!
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    1. After I have designed there website, do I choose the host and link it up for them, or do they choose? If I choose, do I make the yearly hosting payments for them, and they pay me yearly, or do they pay the hosting directly.
    Most people will expect you to install the site for them on a host. Some may have a host already, some may not. Some may want you to choose the host, some may just ask for recommendations. If you're not planning on marking up and reselling the hosting I see no reason why you would act as a middle-man between them and the host.

    2. Do I have to meet my clients in person, and discuss exactly what they want on there website? Or can this be done via email/live chat.
    That's up to you. If you live reasonably close to your clients then it makes sense to meet with them in person, if you don't, then it doesn't.

    3. Do you take a deposit of them before you start designing there website?
    I don't know about the design aspect, but as far as programming goes you will want to receive at least something before you start development. The best approach is to work in a completely prepaid fashion. Don't deliver anything to them that they haven't paid for yet. If you don't work in a prepaid fashion, except at least some percentage of your clients to not pay.

    4. If they don't like there website, what rights do they have? can they refuse payment, do I keep the deposit?
    They have whatever rights are given to them in the contract between the two of you.
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    Very helpful reply, thanks.

    May sound a bit of an obvious question to you lot.. How do I go about tax, NI etc?

    Will this apply to me? or will it depend on how much I am earning. As stated earlier, it will only be a hobby. Selling a website around every 1-2 months.
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    I'm not sure, you should talk to a lawyer who specializes in small business. I don't work as a contractor, but you would be, and tax laws are different for contractors. I think you need to file special paperwork for taxes if you make more than $600 from contracting in a year, but IANAL.
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    This is up to you. You can ask for upfront payment.

    Plus you can run it using Freelancers and Odesk.

    And you can offer your services on hourly basis. In hourly basis the payment is guaranteed. but in project yes It might happen that they pay you less than agreed amount.
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    hereunder is what I do:
    1. After I have designed there website, do I choose the host and link it up for them, or do they choose? If I choose, do I make the yearly hosting payments for them, and they pay me yearly, or do they pay the hosting directly.
    You could suggest a host but don't guarantee things, that's up to the host. Don't act as the middle man between the client and the host. (or get an extra insurance)
    2. Do I have to meet my clients in person, and discuss exactly what they want on there website? Or can this be done via email/live chat.
    Depends on the client, some want you to come over. If you don't like that make sure they pay for this kind of contact. That way you raise the bar a bit for letting you come over for everything. (I prefer contact via a remote desktop with skype or use screencasts). Saves both parties time/money

    3. Do you take a deposit of them before you start designing there website?
    I don't, but that depends on the credibility of your clients. I don't work for everyone. In doubt check the chamber of commerce for their track record. In my country I just need the name and house address and I can see if someone is in serious financial problems in a judicial database.

    4. If they don't like there website, what rights do they have? can they refuse payment, do I keep the deposit?
    This you put in your general terms. But make sure that you have their written consent on everything. When you talked in private or on the phone, mail them with a summary (key elements) of the conversation. Make solid agreements that leave little space for interpretation. And pay attention to everything they mention that they find important. If you know you can't deliver, don't agree on doing so. I have in that way (legally) an easy job. What they see is what they get.

    P.s. Make sure you drive by your governments tax office. These people are capable of ruining your life at their pace (slow and painful). So make sure you do everything for them in time and correctly, even though they are themselves a few months late with stuff.
    Last edited by aeternus; February 18th, 2013 at 10:59 AM.
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    Hey YKAY, here is my 2 cents:

    1. After I have designed there website, do I choose the host and link it up for them, or do they choose? If I choose, do I make the yearly hosting payments for them, and they pay me yearly, or do they pay the hosting directly.
    To start you might want to look into some kind of affiliate program. This will allow you to direct your clients where to sign up for hosting and receive kickback from said company for the referral. Just google "hosting affiliate program" plenty of them out there. Alternatively you can get a reseller hosting plan or VPS / VDS with cPanel/WHM and sell your own hosting. (you might not wanna start off selling your own hosting if you have no experience in hosting)

    2. Do I have to meet my clients in person, and discuss exactly what they want on there website? Or can this be done via email/live chat.
    How you communicate with you clients is going to depend on you marketing approach and how you acquire new clients. Putting a face and a hand-shake on your product will definitely help when it comes to closing deals and walking away with a check for the deposite on a new project.

    3. Do you take a deposit of them before you start designing there website?
    Once you have a potential client you are gonna want to gather information about their needs. Put them together a proposal/ contract. If you google "web design contract" you will find many templates. This sets expectations and once the clients accepts what you have laid out in front of them. You can request a deposite to start development. Usually 50% but sometimes up to 75%.

    4. If they don't like there website, what rights do they have? can they refuse payment, do I keep the deposit?
    The contract and proposal will ensure you stay within the scope of the project and the client nows exactly whats being done and what their deliverables will be.


    Hope this helps.

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