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    I have made commitments to my clients that will be difficult for me to fill


    I have a freelance web/graphic design business that I have been building for a while. I recently accepted a full time job at a company working in web development. My problem is that the job starts in a couple of weeks. I have made commitments to my clients that will be difficult for me to fill while I have the full time job, i.e. due dates, etc.

    As I am the only person in the company (it's an LLC) it's really too small to sell. Here is my dilemma. About a year ago I moved from a large city to a small town in south east Iowa. Two clients that I recently picked up is the city I live in. Only a population of about three hundred people. And the transport company that is located about a block from my house. I live next to these people so I don't want to make anyone mad. I need someone to take over these projects (websites) if I can. These clients have already signed contracts and paid me half up front to begin work. We are in the early stages of the design process.

    So what do I do. I don't want to get into any legal problems as there is a contract. I also don't want to upset anyone because I am neighbors with them. I just don't have the time any more to commit to what I told them I would do.

    Any business advice would be much appreciated.
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    When a contract is signed with the understanding that you will take on the project, and you even receive half up front, you will likely make people mad if you tell them you can't complete it. Most people that go through the process of finding a designer, have deadlines and such. When the contract is signed, they are signing with the understanding that you will complete what was agreed upon within the time frame allotted. Not doing fulfilling the obligations of the contract can:
    1) Lead to legal ramifications
    2) Cause people to be upset
    3) Put companies behind schedule
    4) Make the companies waste time looking for another designer who can do what you don't have time for.

    Now, I don't know who these people (or companies) are that you agreed to, nor do I know the terms of your contract. What I can say is that you may want to act as if you have two jobs until these projects are complete and then don't take on anymore. That is, work your full time job, and in your off hours work on the design work you agreed to.

    Your other option is to hire someone or contract someone to take on the projects you agreed to. But if something goes wrong with them, this would fall back on you.

    My suggestion would be to complete the projects as agreed upon.

    I'm no lawyer though, and not having seen the contracts, nor do I know the terms of your relationship with these people, I can't be 100% on what will happen or what they will say/do. But they could take you to court if the contract is breached.

    If they are friends or good acquaintances, you could talk to them about your situation and see what they say.

    If they are random companies, I would suggest completing them or taking on someone else to complete them for you.
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    In the EXACT same situation. Just hang in there. I am also a FULL TIME college student. Knock the sites out quick, lol. What I am doing
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    Be honest to your employer about the situation you have. It's better to tell them instead loosing the reputation your small business starting. Always take in mind first before accepting commitment. Foresee the available time your having.
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    Assist


    Hi,
    I am available to help if you need someone to take over the projects. I do design, html, css, and basic scripting. I have a strong resume; since 1994 I have 18 years worth of experience.
    Private message me if you want assistance and I'll provide a real email address.
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    Try to complete as much as you can before you start working full time, then when you do start working full time and when your off of work you should then work on the sites that you have contracts with.

    or

    If they gave you a down payment then refund the money and explain to them the situation your in and apologize.
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    If you are not going to be able to deliver. Don't! not even a small bit.
    Explain them what's going on, and that you don't want to deliver half work, and they will agree with you (no one likes crap). Instead Try to find someone that is suitable for them and does have time (don't promise anything or you end up with the same ****). Give them their money back and make your apologies.

    People don't like to get screwed over. Be honest and they respect you for it. If you hire someone and you are the middleman you are still potentially in trouble. (so don't)

    As for the legal Stuff. You can't force a designer to design. Since nothing is delivered you can retreat and refund them(unless they had a vital deadline and you knew about this).
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    Originally Posted by aeternus
    As for the legal Stuff. You can't force a designer to design. Since nothing is delivered you can retreat and refund them(unless they had a vital deadline and you knew about this).
    You're right. You can't force a designer to design... with or without them having a deadline. However, a contract has been signed, and the company can try to hold the designer to the terms by taking them to court. This, inevitably, costs lots of money on both sides. Without seeing the contract, none of us know the terms, but most contracts usually place the cost of the lawyers and court costs upon the losing party.
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    Originally Posted by hiker
    You're right. You can't force a designer to design... with or without them having a deadline. However, a contract has been signed, and the company can try to hold the designer to the terms by taking them to court. This, inevitably, costs lots of money on both sides. Without seeing the contract, none of us know the terms, but most contracts usually place the cost of the lawyers and court costs upon the losing party.
    This attitude of I see you in court might be true in the US. In Europe a proper Lawyer would for both parties advice to stay out of court and settle the matter outside, even a Judge will suggest this to parties when in court already. I happen to know this, and you may guess why
    But even if this would go to court, which is super unlikely. (if this was a big case would you expect to see this topic here?)
    Fact is, if he gives a full refund, offers additional help in finding someone and he didn't screw up a vital deadline, this is not a big problem at all and a judge will not like the party bringing this to court at all (since its a waste of time and resources, and its very likely that both parties end up paying their own legal costs due to this)
    To the topic starter, Did you screw up a vital deadline? If that is the case, here in Europe, one can hire another coder and the extra but reasonable costs are for you.
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    When Times Get Tough, The Tough Get A Backbone. Hardwork makes you a stronger person.

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