Avoiding deadbeat clients as a Graphic Designer
There are some warning signals that you may be dealing with a deadbeat. If you are speaking to a potential new client who is unhappy with their current situation, that is perfectly normal. They may want you to take over their website, for example. Good people sometimes have a falling out. I don't like to ask a lot of questions, I just imagine that maybe some ketchup got spilled on a new suit at a meeting or something.
But if you are talking to someone who seems to have a conflict with everyone they're dealing with, look out. If your potential client appears to be involved in a lawsuit with just about everyone from their previous webmaster to their publisher, it may be a sign that he is a deadbeat. Of course, he may just have had bad luck, but it's worth thinking about. If you have a client who tells you gleefully about things like pirated software, it's also a warning sign. If they have lots of stories of how they got stuff for free, and never got caught, you may be next to be cheated by them.
Of course, just saying to someone, "I think you are deadbeat, I don't want to work for you" is unfair. I believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. If a potential client gets the impression that you don't consider them trustworthy, give them the ability to prove it. As just good business practice, when preparing an estimate, ask for a deposit. Make it clear that no work will begin until you receive the deposit. A reputable client will pay the deposit. A deadbeat won't. If they won't, walk away. All you've lost is a little time, and you weren't going to make any money, anyway.
If you would like to get personal on-site software training in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or Dreamweaver in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, please contact me. As of the writing of this post, October, 27, 2010, my rate is $95 per hour with a three-hour minimum in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area (within 25 miles of Glendale 85302). The deposit is $140, which guarantees your appointment on my calendar. Yes, I will also do a training session on setting up your blog on Google Blogger. Paypal accepted, morning appointments only.
Posted by Brad Hall