Tag Archives: the making of an online shop

Freelance Project Support – Fixing Issues

Project Daisy: Part VI.

Fixing issues with shopping cart and shipping cost calculations.

Project Daisy is over: I have received the final payment and feedback, and the client says that she is happy with the final result.

That’s what I wrote in my last post.

However, it turned out that the project wasn’t over. There were shortcomings in the shopping cart’s settings and its correspondence with the client’s PayPal account that required re-setting and guidance.

Daisy preferred to meet and ‘walk through’ the issues and new settings together, so we met Yesterday in a cafe in the city.

I’ll take it as an opportunity to cover one more aspect of freelance project work: after-service/support – the extra work that comes on (unpaid, usually) to make adjustments, fix issues and provide guidance.
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Non-verbal Communication in a Business Meeting

Project Daisy: Part IV.

Non-verbal communication challenges when meeting a client.

I met with Daisy for the second and last time a few days ago. There is still work to do, but now I know exactly how to do it, and I expect the project to be finalised this week.

The meeting lasted almost two hours again, but otherwise went well. I explained what I have done and why, what can’t been done (one desired function is not an option in the shopping cart), and which solution I’ve made to achieve that function in a different way.

The agenda was to get feedback on all the web pages and the layout of the shopping cart, activate the shopping cart, and make a detailed list over desired adjustments to each web page so I can action them and finalise the job. I strove to time-manage the meeting professionally while also allowing the client to be human. Daisy is a good client: rational, reliable, to-the-point, and flexible. I felt professional, competent and in charge all the time and went from the meeting with good actionable notes and quick drawings so I know precisely what to do.

 
Post-meeting management

After the meeting, I rewrote my notes into a structured summary/to-do list for the final adjustments to-be-done, which I emailed to Daisy. It sums up what we discussed and agreed on, so that it is clear to Daisy what I think she wants me to do. That way she can correct me if I misunderstood anything.

The summary’s ‘Deliverables’ section with due dates serves as my to-do list for the adjustment work, and reminds Daisy about things she’ll need to action first. I think all that works well.

 
In the meanwhile, under the surface: non-verbal aspects of a meeting

This post is about the non-verbal aspects of communication in a business meeting. I will in a moment switch from the rational business track of the experience to the underlying non-verbal communications track to explain why I find it challenging.

Non-verbal aspects of communication include face expressions, eye contact, timing, silence, tone of voice, gestures, distance, posture, moves, clothing, and showing and demonstrating things, for example. Ambience* (space, smells, sounds, light… ‘vibe’) also impact and blend into communication; although it is not necessarily an actively controlled element of it.

Guides about non-verbal communication usually focus on how to ‘talk right’ with body language to please others. Continue reading

Play the pricing game

Project Daisy: Part III.

Quoting for a small freelance project.

Pricing a project is a task haunted by dilemmas.

Every single line on an invoice must make sense to the client, meaning: add obvious and direct value for the money. So the hourly rate needs to factor in time and expenses that won’t be charged directly. On the other hand, small home-based businesses are easy to scare off with fees.

This post continues from First client meeting and its time management dilemma, and addresses the pricing aspect of managing a meeting with a new client*.

 

Artified hat with flowers

 
Downscaled project brief

The preliminary quote I brought for the first client meeting I wrote about in my last post was soon rendered irrelevant, because the client (Daisy*) used my inputs as an opportunity to revisit her options and decide what to do.

She realised that it would cover her need to revamp the content of her existing website and add ecommerce functionality with PayPal Website Payment Standard buttons, rather than switch to an ecommerce platform.

The new down-scaled project brief requires the following tasks done:

Rewrite the website text, replace photos, make sure it all looks pretty, and add PayPal buttons for all the products so the clients can buy them online… with shipping cost to be added during check-out and so on.
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