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Making money as a web designer

What is ‘job creep’ and how to avoid it?

Daniel Walter Scott || VIDEO: 6 of 8


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Hi, my name is Dan. In this video, we're going to look at 'Job Creep'.

Now, Job Creep is a term where the brief has been outlined, but then the client comes back, and keeps asking for extra stuff, and the job keeps getting bigger and bigger. 'Job Creep', keeps getting a little bit bigger, and bigger, and bigger. And before you know it, the size is twice as big as that when you quoted it on, but nobody's really addressed the price while you’ve been doing that. So, a clear brief at the beginning is really useful, with some actual physical details, this many pages, this stuff on these pages, who's doing what?

Now, what I tend to do-- the easiest way to keep Job Creep in check, is, making sure it's part of the quote, And I'll say, "This is my hourly rate for any additional work," so that, later on they say, "Hey, can you do this extra page as well?" or, "Can we add this bit, or can we do this bit." It's a lot easier to talk about hours; they know what your hourly rate is.  I'll say, "Great, it's outside the brief, but it will take an extra five hours, are you happy to do that?” 

I can talk about hours quite freely, but talking about money, if I said, "I need an extra $600,” I find that's no quick conversation to have, but when I say, "Look, it's outside the planned job, and it's five hours," they do the calculation, and then quite often, those jobs, those little extras that keep popping up either don't get done, or at least when it comes to the invoicing time, it's really clear, and makes it nice and easy to send their invoice, because they know about the extra hours.

Now, one of the main culprits for me, for Job Creep is the logo. So, new company, new website, no talk of the logo, ask for it once the brief has been signed off, and there's an awkward moment like, "I thought you were doing this as part of the website,” and for me, I've worked with branding for a long time, and I know it's a complete separate job, it's hard to then explain, "Look, that's a big job. You can get somebody to make your logo, and I can put it on there, but to just fold it into the website brief is a whole different quotable job.''

Now, say it is aunty Mildred, and you know at the beginning of the job there's probably going to be a logo done as part of it. So, often the easiest way to go down, is something called the logo type, which is just, generally the stylized type, and it is not going to be covering that, but go have a look at logo type, small, like what Google does; or it's a stylized font, and lettering, but not like the Nike swoosh, where you go through to build up a logo. So look at logo types.

Probably the best way to get around Job Creep is looking at Phase 2, so they come to you, and they say, "Oh now, we want-- can we also get it, so that we've got a member's area?" What you can do is, you say, "Look, that's all, in the brief, let's get this first Phase 1 finished, and we'll do that in Phase 2." And often that's better than saying no. If you say no, doesn’t come under the brief, that's an awkward conversation to have, so saying, "Don't worry, we'll stick that in Phase 2. Let's do that in Phase 2." 

It's-- I don't know-- it manages in a sweet kind of-- kind of helps disarm any kind of, having to say “No,” or “I want twice the money.” Say, “Let's do that in Phase 2.”  So, get this site done, what we originally agreed to, and then we can look at these other things once that's all going. Because otherwise the job's end up exploding, website gets bigger and bigger, and out of your scope, and becomes this big mess that you've quoted $500 for. So, try and keep Job Creep to a minimum. It's got to happen, and it'll happen loads when you're new, and you get better and better at watching the signs for it as you get more experienced.