Isn’t it strange that the word “creep” features in scope creep? If you’re not too sure what this term means, it’s working out of the parameters of your agreement with your client. Something that is asked of you over-and-above your ordinary work. May not sound too hectic. The only problem is that this new requirement often ends up being free.
Compare this to a builder commissioned to fix a border wall. Before he knows it, he’s fixing the dog house, bathroom sink, and kitchen table with no extra remuneration. Sure, it may not seem like much, but if it’s “such a little thing”, why didn’t the homeowner fix it themselves? Makes ya think, doesn’t it?
You Have A Certain Amount Of Hours Every Day
Think of scope creep as the naughty little fellow that creeps in and steals time away from your friends and family. It’s the same little creep that prevents you from reaching certain personal goals. You find yourself running out of time, ALL THE TIME. In fact, if you had to tally up the hours you spend on scope creep work, you may finally afford that holiday or ballet classes for the kids.
Learn to say no.
How Does It Even Creep In?
We all go through moments in our career where we’re not too sure about our rates. Where we feel sorry for our clients, or embarrassed to remind them that they actually need to pay for these extra items. But most of all, it’s when we’re not sure what the parameters of our projects are. Suddenly, as a writer, you become a web designer who needs to learn code for one of your client’s sites because the words need to look pretty. Or as a designer, you need to add copy to your design as well. Or a few high-quality images of their products.
Decide on the parameters of your work.
Are Clients Evil When They Are Guilty Of Scope Creep?
No, not everyone knows just how much work goes into your work. Not everyone knows that while they’re still sleeping, you’ve already done two hours’ worth of research. It’s important to make your billing more comprehensive to let your client know exactly what they’re paying.
They might feel that the fee covers a host of other services, however, it’s important that your billing information is clear and concise. Ensure that you include everything. Rather give your client too much information than risk scope creep.
Define your work on your invoice. (Without giving away your secret methods, of course!).
Send The Amended Invoice Before Taking On The Additional Work
This allows the customer to choose whether they want to take on the additional work themselves or pay you to do it. Furthermore, you’ll feel better for being transparent. If you’re afraid you might lose the client, bear in mind that the extra, non-paying work that you’re doing for this client is keeping you away from your dream client.
Be transparent from the start.
When It’s Time To Move On
You’re upfront about the work and the time and resources required to do it, and your customer says that they will find someone else to take on the project. Someone cheaper and easier to deal with. At this point, you’ve done all you can for this client and it might be time to say goodbye.
Remain professional when you say goodbye.
Yes, You Can Bless Your Clients With A Freebie
I have a few clients who continuously provide me with work and constantly get me in contact with new clients. From time to time, I decide to throw in some copy for free. This is a way for me to say thank you for the business and the referrals. You will need to use your discretion.
Bless your loyal customers once in a while.