Web Designers: How to Choose Which Projects to Accept

By Steven Snell

Web designers who work for themselves will constantly face difficult decisions as they have to determine if they should accept or pass on a client's project. Since there is no shortage of designers out there, many designers feel that they should accept every piece of work that comes their way, but that is not true.

One of the main reasons that you should not accept every project and every client is simply that some of them are not willing to pay what you need to get for your time. If you're spending all of your time on low paying jobs it will prevent you from taking other work. Of course, there are many other reasons as well, which we will get in to.

This article will serve as a reference for those situations where you are contemplating a potential project that has come your way. The factors that are discussed here should be able to help you during these evaluations in the future.

1. Income

The most obvious thing that you will want to evaluate is if the potential client can afford your services. Most clients don't have experience with web design, and that usually means they will have unrealistic expectations about how much it should cost.

If the client is working with a very limited budget that doesn't fit into your normal pricing scale, they should be willing to make some compromises that will reduce the amount of time required from you, or you should probably pass on the work. You may also consider having a package especially for clients who have less-than-ideal budgets. This would allow you to capture some business from clients that you would otherwise have to pass on.

2. Time Line

Almost every project will involve a deadline of some type. Larger projects may even have a number of deadlines or milestone dates that need to be met. In some cases the deadline may not be as firm, but the client will still have an expectation of when it will be complete.

Some clients will want you to finish their project by a specified time that is just not feasible. In most cases they just don't know enough about the process to understand how much is involved, so if you explain things to them they may be willing to push back the deadline. However, if they are not able to work with you on a realistic deadline, your best move is usually to pass on the job.

3. Fit Between the Project and Your Skills

Every designer is going to have his or her own unique strengths and weaknesses. Not every project will be a good fit for you. There will be some situations where you want to take a project for a learning experience, but in general it is best to take projects that are a good fit for your skills, and let the others pass.

4. Likes and Dislikes

Just like each design will have strengths and weaknesses, you will also have certain types of work that you enjoy doing more than others. If you want to enjoy your work more, make an effort to find work in the types of things that you like to do.

5. Current Workload

Just like pricing is important, you should also put a lot of emphasis on your current workload. If you are already as busy as you can handle, don't take new projects or at least schedule them to be stated at some point in the future.

One common practice is to speak with the client about their project, see what their time frame is, and agree on a tentative date for starting in the future when your workload will be manageable. - 29856

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