The comments ranged from a simple one page document to a 26 page contract and of course everything in between. The person who went through his 26 page document with us is the most experienced web designer in our group. His contract has evolved over several years as he has learned from bitter experience that unmet expectations sour relationships and lead to projects not being completed and of course not being paid.
Is it the web designer's responsibility to educate the client as part of the marketing process? This can be quite risky.
Does the client actually need a website? Will Social Media pages fill the need of a small business? Paying R2 000.00 for a 5 page website that is static, never updated, insecure and unsupported is R2000.00 wasted. If you are honest and tell the client he doesn't need a website, you lose the sale.
On the other hand if you do a complete analysis of the client's requirements and make him aware of ongoing costs to maintain the site, you are again at risk that he will seek a cheaper option from someone who promises the earth but delivers little.
Like most small businesses, web designers frequently get trapped in the situation where they take on any work they can and are afraid to discuss Terms and Conditions which might be perceived as unfavourable to the client.
The banks, cell phone companies and other big companies can afford to tell you to "read the fine print" if you are not happy with what has been delivered. Small business owners can't.
Can you afford to take the risk?