101 Ways to Elevate – #27 Checkpoints

Number twenty-seven: Checkpoints

Good day, I'm Troy Dean from Video User Manuals and Agency Mavericks. This is the 101 Ways to Elevate Yourself and Demand Higher Fees, a practical guide for WordPress consultants to start attracting better quality clients, work on better more interesting projects and get paid better fees. Now, let's go elevate.

Number 27, checkpoints. This is something I kind of stole from the building industry. I've done a bit of work with architects and builders over the years and at various points throughout our project there are checkpoints where a client needs to sign off on the work that's been delivered and make a payment. So, here's how I've adapted that for my business.

The first thing that a client needs to do when they approve a proposal is they need to pay the deposit. I charge a 50% deposit up front. The next checkpoint I have is agreeing on the functionality and the design of a website. So, let's map out the functionality and maybe a site map or an interactive prototype which we'll talk about in future videos. Then let's have a look at a theme. Maybe we're using a premium theme or maybe we're custom designing a theme. Once we have the functionality and the hierarchy and we have the design in place, the client needs to approve that work and they need to make an additional payment of 25%. At this point before we've started to code anything and before we've even installed WordPress they've paid 75% of the total of the project.

The final checkpoint is when the site is ready on our development server with either their content or with some dummy content if they haven't got their content together yet which we'll talk about again in some future videos. At that point, once the website is built with or without their content and the functionality is proven to work they need to approve that website and pay the final invoice and then we can prepare to transfer it to their server, to their hosting account and we can give them the keys and give them the training materials they need to populate their website with their content.

It's really critical that you get the client to buy into your process because if you get a deposit from a client up front and then you don't talk to them for six weeks or three months and you just come back with a website and say well, here's your website, it's finished now, can I have the balance? You don't know what the relationship's going to be like. You don't know what's happened in the last six weeks and you don't know what head space that client's going to be in.

So, it's really important to keep the client on track and get them to buy into your process and get them to approve the work you're doing throughout. Most importantly, get them to pay those invoices on time because once they pay those invoices that's a very big indicator that they accept the work that's being done and they're happy to keep moving forward in that direction. In any sticky points, any resistance that the client might give you about approving this work and making these payments throughout the process should be alarm bills going off that will allow you to hopefully nip anything in the bud before it gets out of control.

In the next video, I'm going to share a funny little story about checking grammar whether it's in your proposals or on websites with dummy copy or final copy. Until then, go elevate. Make sure you subscribe to the 101 Ways Podcast in the iTunes store. Just search for 101 Ways to Elevate or visit us wp101ways.com and download the free 101 Ways ebook.

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Troy Dean

Troy Dean

I am the CEO of Agency Mavericks. The reason I get out of bed every day is because I love helping people to grow their web design or digital marketing businesses. I do this through coaching, creating courses, speaking, consulting and heading up our awesome community.

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