How We’ll Work Together Guidelines

 

Over the past three (going on four) years of running Design It Please, I’ve learned a lot. A lot about project management and communication and expectations. I’ve learned about lawyers and contracts and so many things that are part of running a successful business. Sometimes, I’ve been successful, and sometimes I haven’t been.

This year, I have hired a part-time project manager who is helping me, not only, manage some projects but also put processes together for DIP that will build on our successes. This page is written out of a need to codify some of the things I’ve learned and make sure all clients, new and old, understand them.

Any good relationship is built on honesty. With that in mind, this page covers everything you’ll need to know about how Design It Please runs. When my team and I are working on telling your story (through design/website/strategy), we have set aside the time and energy to give it our all. As the founder of Design It Please, I intend for us to deliver the best.

In order to do that, we carefully schedule our projects, time, and energy. The success of our plan hinges on DIP doing certain things and on you/your team doing certain things. In order to deliver high quality work and maintain good turnaround time, we must all be on the same page and run a tight ship.

 

Below are the “must knows” when working with Design It Please

 

Office hours and communication:

  • Office hours are 9-5 Berlin-time, Monday through Friday, with the exception of US & (some) German holidays.
  • Communication can occur via email, phone, or Skype (samfagan). The DIP team doesn’t read or answer emails on the weekend (and we don’t expect you to, either).
  • Scheduled phone calls are fine (within limits), but unscheduled phone calls are reserved for emergencies only because of the productivity cost.
  • If you have a true emergency (like if your site is down), call me or text me.
  • I do not correspond with clients via text unless it is an emergency.
  • If I’m going on vacation or taking personal time, you will receive at least one week’s notice. Typically, you will receive one month’s notice.
  • We use Google Drive for file sharing.
  • We use Asana for project management.

Turnaround time and scheduling:

  • Our turnaround time can be as short as 48 hours.
  • Some design and development projects and tasks require more time, though, and sometimes our calendar is fuller than others, so I will let you know the soonest your work can be scheduled.
  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday are my client work days. They are 100% devoted to working on whatever client projects are scheduled.
  • My DIP team members may hold different hours than me, but they will not be expected to work on weekends or outside of their scheduled work hours unless rush rates apply for the project.

Revisions:

Unless you’re billed hourly, every project will have a set number of revisions included in the price. Most projects have two sets built in. This is adequate for most projects and will keep the schedule on track.

One set of revisions counts as one uploaded document with a phone call to explain, if necessary. Revision documents are to be uploaded on the Submit Your Revisions page.

Missed deadlines work in two ways:

  1. During web design/redesign projects, you are allotted a set amount of time to offer feedback for revisions. If you don’t offer feedback during your feedback window, your approval will be implied and the rest of the project will continue as scheduled. Any revisions that have to be made after the feedback window has expired will be billed at our hourly rate.
  2. For all work, if you are responsible for missing/pushing/extending a deadline, you can expect the project to be delayed up to 2x the length of your delay. So, if you push a deadline by a month, don’t be surprised if it takes two more months to work it back into the schedule.

Payment:

  • Invoices are sent through Freshbooks. You can pay via Paypal or credit/debit card.
  • All invoices are net 15.
  • Important: If you opt to pay via Paypal e-check, the due date includes the processing time (2-5 business days on average, which means the invoice needs to be paid within 9 business days of receipt to be on time).
  • I don’t accept checks or e-checks with new clients. Once we’ve established a working relationship of at least 90 days and all payments have been prompt, we can discuss that as an option.

Design It Please is in the business of telling your brand’s story not chasing up missed payments. When we have to spend time inquiring about where the money is, it’s very stressful, and it takes away from the time we could be working on your project or someone else’s. If you know a payment is going to be late, please, communicate it. If your last payment was denied, for whatever reason, please, be the first to reach out and explain how and when you will rectify the situation.

In closing

 

So, those are the guidelines for working with Design It Please. We want to serve every client to the best of our ability, and we want to set proper expectations for how we can accomplish our best. Constantly shifting and rearranging deadlines and schedules is not conducive to a well-energized project.

When deadlines shift, work piles up, and then we suddenly have three sites to develop by the end of the month. Even if that amount of work was possible in that short of a time period, it would mean punishing other clients who stuck to their schedules. I’m sure you can appreciate why that’s not fair to them, and see how you wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that as a client.

Of course–I need to know how you work best, too. We need to make sure our working styles mesh in order to create our best work together. So, please, send me your own guidelines and best practices. And feel free to ask questions about ours.

I look forward to working with you!