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#1 general656  Icon User is offline

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My first Client

Posted 15 September 2017 - 02:33 PM

My first client. My Ex-Boss (I worked as a Data Process Employee)
Well, he asked me to make a small Web App. It took me around half-month to learn fluent NodeJS & React ... so Fullstack.

I went to show him my first (and final) demo, it was only a Frontend Showcase. The backend was half-implemented, but the Frontend wasn't yet communicating with it.
He asked me ...
- Well, nice we talked ... but you didn't say ... how much are you asking?
- Hmm, it took me like 2-3 weeks to learn all that stuff, but that's my thing, not yours. I'll make you a friendly price of 300$.
- That's what I was planning.
How much is it gonna take? I don't want to say tomorrow but it won't be possible
- 1 Month
- 1 Month? Why that long
- Well, it's not a Wordpress Website like you were doing 2 months ago. It's a Web Application from Scratch.
- Yeah yeah, I know ... okay!
[ Gestures and Handshakes of Happiness followed ... I suppose ]

I said 1 Month. That was because I wasn't quite sure if I'm gonna have any troubles. But honestly? I believed that it could be done in a week. But as he's my first client and a person who trusts me very much, I don't want to get in a rough situation by letting him wait for something that was supposed to be finished in 1 week.

I mean I was still learning. I still had to learn how to implement some Libraries that I didn't learn yet. So, what if that Library would be switched afterwards because it sucked or it just didn't fit in the Project?

Did I act right? In my opinion ... well ... not quite. But it was gonna turn a little bit of a boomerang to me, in a good way. If I was gonna have the Project finished in 2-3 weeks before the Deadline, well I suppose he'd be bonus-happy. Or would he?

So ... how was your First Client/First Job experience, and how did you handle things?

This post has been edited by general656: 15 September 2017 - 02:39 PM


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Replies To: My first Client

#2 Atli  Icon User is offline

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Re: My first Client

Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:17 AM

If there is one thing you learn quickly as a freelancer, it's to always over-estimate time estimates. Give yourself a little breathing room, because sooner or later everything that can go wrong will go wrong, and clients tend to have a real hard time with the concept of an "estimate". You estimate two weeks, and they expect it in two weeks on the dot.

I've had clients try to refuse payment because I was a coupe of days over my one month estimate. Like it's a freaking "30 minutes or it's free!" pizza place.

Also always make sure to explicitly point out to the client that the estimate is an estimate. I like to use the words "rough estimate", and if they question that, tell them if they want an accurate timeframe, it will take a few days (depending on project scope) to come up with a concrete plan for that. (And that I'll be charging for those days!) - After all, no matter how experienced you are, you're basically just pulling an educated guess out of thin air most of the time. It's kind of ridiculous to expect an estimate to be accurate without excessive planning first.
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