Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sweet and sour clients

On the left I smile...I have new clients!
On the right I am disappointed ...I have lost them!
I have another question for my blogger friends who are also designer:
Do you meet clients on week-ends and/or holidays? If so do you charge more for your time?
I was approached recently by potential new clients who wanted me to have a consultation on a Saturday. I did agree, saying I don't usually work on week-ends but since they both work full time I could make an exception for this Saturday. Then they moved the appointment to the following week, on a holiday, again I said I would make an exception but I stated that if it would happen again I would be charging a 20% more (I know designers who charge 100% more). They came back to me saying we were "not a good fit" to work together (I guess they were right...we are NOT a good fit)
I wished them good luck for their project.
Even if I do work a lot on week-ends for projects (ideas, drawings, research from the comfort of my home) I feel it is inappropriate to let clients take advantage of my free time and as a form of respect to each other I believe we should all stick to some rules and don't undersell our services since doing this will hurt the whole industry.
Would you call your lawyer for an appointment on week-ends?
Would you call a plumber during a week-end and not expect some surcharge?
Would you call your seamstress to work on a Sunday?
Would you (please fill the blank)...?
Would you please tell me your stories?

Image: Fornasetti vases


DesignTies said...

I'm a new decorator and I've only had two clients so far. But they were eye-opening experiences for me -- I now realize why designers and decorators don't come cheap!! There's a LOT of time and work and effort put into coming up with a design plan, and every hour you put into it is valuable time that you deserve to get paid for (I learned this the hard way!!)

A five-day work week is enough. Special exceptions on weekends might be unavoidable, but you should definitely not be expected to work on a holiday.

I say good riddance to the sweet & sour clients. They don't sound like the kind of people who would be enjoyable to work for anyway.


qerat said...

Alabarosa, there has been a lot of talk on different blogs about this very issue. About us (designers) respecting what we do and threfore having clients in return respect what we offer. I would refuse to work on a weekend, not out of being selfish or inconsiderate, but out of respect for my time. If they felt it is ok for a designer to work on a weekend, would it be ok for them to do the same? Would they change their schedules for a doctor's appointment and make time during the work week or would they ask the doctor to come over on the week end to give them a check up. I think designers and what we do are under rated, and I think we are the reason. We should always show people that what we offer is a professional serious business operation even if it was a one person operation and clients should learn to respect that.

Jaime said...

Preach sista girl! Although, I must admit I have frequently met with clients on weekends and evenings without a surcharge but have often wondered if I should....I think this post is confirmation that the answer is yes.


I don't meet clients on weekends, I already work all week. My grandfather gave me one of the best advices - The world stops on Fridays and start all over again on Mondays , even God rested the last day (lol).

What I do for clients that work During the week I meet them Thursdays after work. I also understand that they need to work to pay me, so a little bit of flexibility works wonders in the middle of the week.

Maria Killam said...

I also feel that as a professional I don't like to schedule calls on weekends. When people ask if I'm available for weekend appointments, my first response is "I try not to work on weekends, is there any other time that works for you?" All but a very small percentage say they can't work something out. And if they do then I'll still schedule the call rather than lose it.

I think when we can charge extra for a weekend appointment is when we become celebrity designers in high demand cause then we won't care in the slightest if people are not willing to pay.

Great post Albarosa!!

Carol Ann said...

Oh the stories I could tell...can we talk...
Clients that do not respect us from the get go will ^%#*%^ us all the way along the design process.
Some days I have to say, this is not a tv show, it takes time and a lot of work to get to a wonderful room.
I work for a company that sends me out for free to do the full room, right down to tables, lamps, area rugs, artwork etc... you can image the stories I have of clients taking advantage...but then most of the time they are great lovely people that get it...and purchase the whole room package, these are the designs I remember and cling to when everything goes sideways...hang on to your rules for dear life or you will be taken advantage of! I do not work weekends or holidays or friday evenings...(ok I work on floor plans over weekends to make sure I am ready for the next week of presentations, but I will not see clients)
Regards, Carol to my 4th measure this week, your blog

Cote de Texas said...

at least you got rid of them early or vice versa. I just had the worst experience of my working life with two clients - ugggh. i wish it had ended before it started.

don't you think that you should should get fabric protector on SIX pieces of furniture for $59???? doesn't tHAT sound reasonable. what a joke. a very very e xpensive typo. should have been 590.

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