One thing I missed talking about in the series on stuck projects was how I determine if a project is stuck and how on earth do I bill for it?
A killer to your productivity, overall motivation and cash flow is the stuck project. When I billed per project (and not weekly which I’ll talk about a bit later in the post) I had a few stuck projects that were totally the client’s fault.
Truth is, I have one now that’s been sitting and sort of peaking it’s head up for 2 years.
So how did I determine if a project was ‘stuck’? My contract stated that if I didn’t hear from you in 2 weeks on stuff that you were supposed to do the project was ‘stuck’.
That entitled me to bill in full for the project. If the billing in full wasn’t paid then I didn’t have to continue the work even if they came back with the content.
Further if it was dead for 1 month (6 weeks total including the 2 weeks above) then the project was under a new contract and I didn’t have to do anything anymore.
And the client got nothing (no PSD files, no code no nothing at all) till it was paid in full. Then they can have it all.
Yes that’s right if a project sat for 6 weeks with no movement by the client I viewed it as totally new work which required a new contract and a new estimate.
Have I ever had to enforce it these clauses? As we hit 2 weeks did I certainly pointed them out to keep the project moving but no I never had to enforce it in full.
But what about that 2 year contract I just mentioned. Have you ever got involved in a project where you had some personal relationships involved? Yeah it’s one of those where I value the relationship enough that I’m just leaving it.
I probably should have said no to the project in the first place.
As I’ve said before since I bill weekly I really don’t have to deal with stalled projects and billing.
If I’m waiting on content for a project and we go past our weekly time then the client pays for another week. The extra week is only available if I don’t have another client booked in already.
If I have another client booked in already then I simply don’t have the time and say no to the work.
It’s all spelled out in my contract.