At the end of 2019, I decided to discontinue offering web design services and signed my last client. In my proposal, we agreed that we would start with a cover page in January 2020 and officially redesign her website in March 2020 when she had more time to gather content (I require all image and copy to be uploaded before design work begins).
She paid the 50% deposit and signed the contract. She said she was so excited to get started and was impressed by how organized and on top of things I was. I followed up on what I needed from her (i.e. domain login info, copy for her email marketing opt-in) to get her cover page up and going for January 2020. I followed up twice and didn’t receive a response. It’s now March, and there’s no cover page.
I plan to shoot her an email this week asking how everything is going, and if she still want to continue with the project. I don’t know how to best proceed here. I have a lot of thoughts.
The cover page was included in her package, and because she didn’t fulfill her end, we don’t have a cover page. I’m okay with continuing with part 2 of the original timeline i.e. starting the website redesign in March because I like her, believe in her business, and still want to help her. Given how the cover page went, I’m concerned that this might mean that the project will drag on. I don’t want to continue this project if it’ll go on for another 3 months. I have a full-time design job, a new business with a friend, am starting certification later this month, and I just don’t want to potentially add this to my plate.
I’m also considering letting this client go, but I don’t know how to go about with the refund. I’ve already sent her a welcome gift which she loved, and spent a lot of time and mental energy preparing and thinking about her business. To fully refund her would feel like I’m dishonoring myself (plus, my 50% deposit is non-refundable). To partially refund her would feel wrong, too, because she never got her cover page or website redesigned (although she also created this result for herself by not providing login info).
Ideally, I imagine it going like this:
I email her and ask how things are going. Write that because we missed our first deadline with the cover page, does she still want to continue with the project? Give her two options moving forward:
1) Content must be ready by end of next week. I start designing in the third week of March, and we launch in April.
2) Because the deadline has been missed, I will terminate the project and refund her 30% of her 50% deposit as a courtesy.
A part of me is also thinking, “So what if the project drags on?” Maybe I can create a win-win situation here. But I wonder if I’m venturing into people-pleasing…
I know it’s just business, and I’m wrapped up in emotions. Can you help me navigate what’s happening here and how I can proceed with my email? Thank you!