4elements web design & consultancy



  • like 2 23

    Subsequent costing.

    4elements | web design The Hague blog • Subsequent costing.

    I think that every Freelancer or Web Design Company experienced the following story.  The story is what happened to me and since than I provide my potential  new clients with a custom made checklist.

    A potential new client calls me and we made an appointment to meet. With my up-to-date portfolio I went to the client and the meeting went great, I asked the right questions and if needed explained my questions to them.

    Back at the office it was time to write my quotation, I always start writhing my quotation the same day while I don’t like to keep a client waiting too longs. It took me two days, it’s a big assignment and all needed to be perfect.

    Next the design. A complex website, member section, payment options and so on. It took me 5 days to finish 3 Photoshop pages of the new website. I always design 3 pages and include it in the quotation, if they sign the quotation I’ll design the rest.

    Quotation and design where handed over within the agreed timeframe, 2 weeks, and we walked through the quote and design. The Client loved it, the quote was okay, within their budget and they ask if it was possible to respond within 2 weeks, of course I agreed. Especially while it was a big project, the quote was over $20.000. After the 2 weeks we met again, they had some changes to the website and I re-wrote the quote. This continued several times, ending up with a quote of $25.000 and ready to roll.

    I remember it clearly, it was on a sunny Wednesday morning, the day my potential new client would become my client and sign. So I went over as promised and than it hit me.

    Client: “Well, we’re sorry to tell you but we found an other company that could do the same for just $1.000”

    I was speechless!

    Whatever I tried, lowering my quotation to $1.000 was absolutely not reasonable or possible, the client made his decision. So after several weeks, maybe months, hard work for this potential new client ended in loosing the client.

    6+ months later I spoke with the client just to see how everything was going, I knew when their deadline was. Website was still not done and won’t be, “Why” Was my question? Well, the company, that took my new client, didn’t mention that the $1.000 was a kind of start fee and that all other work would be Subsequent costing. $50.000 later the website was half finished and absolutely not ready for any, near future, launch.

    Final words of the, lost, client where: “We had to go with you, than we would never had this problem”, he was right…

    The point I want to make with this story.

    As client: always ask if the total price is a fixed price, without Subsequent costing. (Until some point of course, while some non calculated extra adjustments will have their price. Use an extra quote for that to be safe.)

    ​Attached to this blog, a checklist for clients who are ready for a new website or website re-design. What information do you need to know and have before talking to a web designer / company / freelancer.

    Download checklist
    We share this article with our sister company,, get insight in your website

    martijn broeders

    founder/ strategic creative at 4elements web design & consultancy
    e-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    phone: 06 38 55 28 54

By - category

    By - date