Life Tips From Web Studio Owners: How To Increase Profitability And Reduce Risks. Part 1

    Each web studio has its own tricks and “chips” when working with the customer, which allow it to minimize risks when developing an Internet project and reduce costs at each stage of work. By the nature of my activity at Yumisoft, I often communicate with the owners of web studios, and now I have finally gotten my hands to share some interesting recipes heard in informal conversations. I hope they will be useful to you :)

    I must say right away that these techniques are not universal for everyone - some are suitable only for companies working with large customers, with high budgets and individual projects. Some techniques will be relevant only for companies whose website development is on the flow (or you want to achieve this). In any case, you decide whether this or that practice is feasible in your company and whether it will be useful to you.

    1. Customer search

    The experience of a regional partner who wishes to remain anonymous: is often perceived by web studios as a competitor that leads customers away. In a private conversation, I heard such a practical refutation of this opinion.
    The company created an account on, filled out its portfolio, asked customers to leave ratings and reviews, and began to periodically review published orders and respond to tenders.
    Result: +1 million rubles. to the annual turnover at a total cost of this activity of 50 thousand rubles. (time for maintaining an account and paying for a user profile on the site).
    Scope of application:This practice is suitable for those who work in the middle or lower than the average price segment (30-80 thousand rubles for the development of the site). At the same time, this gives the regional company the opportunity to reach the capital's customers and work on the portfolio.

    2. Conclusion of a contract

    It is possible to minimize risks for a company precisely at the stage of concluding a contract. In addition, some of the points provided for in the contract allow not only securing “if something happens”, but also optimizing the processes of working with the customer at the remaining stages, which means speeding up the deadlines and reducing costs.
    Practices from the Internet agency TRINET became the basis for this section.

    2.1. Difficulties in reconciling

    The delay on the part of the customer often occurs due to long internal approvals and the absence of responsible persons, the solution of which is the last resort. As a rule, the role of such a person may be the general director of the company. But often he does not participate in the process until everything is ready, and after that he begins to make his own adjustments. Obviously, this increases the time and scope of work. This can be avoided by contract.
    A separate annex to the contract of the form is drawn up:
    Appendix N to the contract NN
    List of persons responsible for the development of the project by the Customer
    1. Approval of designs for all sections of the project
    Surname I.O.
    contact phone: (ХХХ) ХХХ-ХХ-ХХ
    contact e-mail:
    2. Approval of the Terms of Reference
    Surname I.O.
    contact phone: (ХХХ) ХХХ-ХХ-ХХ
    contact e-mail:
    3. Acceptance of the full scope of work with the Contractor
    Surname I.O.
    contact phone: (ХХХ) ХХХ-ХХ-ХХ
    contact e-mail:

    If such an application is signed, this means that the developer is not obliged to accept any adjustments from other persons or after the work is accepted as responsible. In practice, most often the very existence of such an item in the contract significantly disciplines the customer, at least psychologically. But this does not exclude that the studio may make concessions - as long as it seems appropriate to her.

    2.2. Failure to provide the necessary materials

    The situation is quite typical for the customer. It again leads to a delay in the completion of the project. The following clauses of the contract allow minimizing costs in the event of such a situation: the

    Customer agrees to provide all the data necessary for the implementation of the stages specified in Appendix N no later than 5 (five) business days after the completion date of the work specified in Appendix N preceding the data transfer stage.
    Provided that the Customer fails to comply with the conditions of paragraph a. of this Agreement, the dates of commencement of the subsequent stages of work may be postponed by the Contractor, but not more than 20 working days after the provision of the necessary materials.

    How does it work in practice? The developer completes his work to the maximum possible completion without the customer’s materials, after which he “freezes” the project. At the same time, when the customer provides the necessary materials, the developer is not obliged to give up current projects and redistribute the workload of employees, or to keep free resources all this time. The developer describes in the contract the period during which he will be able to proceed to the next stage of work and avoid the emergency.
    These obligations in the contract in no case infringe on the interests of the customer. If the customer is interested in an Internet project, then he will provide everything on time without such obligations. If you are not interested and inclined to drag out the process, then this allows the studio to reduce its risk.

    2.3. Risks of long-term contracts

    When concluding a contract for the provision of permanent or periodic services, for example, technical support of a site, the studio risks the fact that at the price established in the contract, it is obliged to provide the full amount of the described services during the term of the contract. If the contract is concluded for a year and the market conditions have changed, then it is not easy for the developer to change the terms of the contract, for example, to increase the price. This can be avoided by the following clause:

    The Agreement may be terminated unilaterally. In this case, the party that initiated the termination of the Agreement shall notify the other party at least 30 days before the termination of the Agreement.

    This means that if for some reason the contract ceases to be of interest to you in the form in which it is, then you can terminate it at any time. Moreover, no one bothers after the termination of this agreement to conclude a new one with new conditions (for example, with a new price) or additional. agreement to the current contract with a change in price.
    The customer usually very easily agrees with such a point, since it projects it primarily on himself. On the other hand, if the customer is not satisfied with the work, then the presence or absence of such an item will not be able to affect the improvement of the situation.

    2.4. Signing Acts

    This does not always happen quickly on the part of the customer. Sometimes for objective reasons, sometimes just because of organizational issues. In this case, the developer can protect himself by including the following clause in the contract:

    After completing each stage of work, the Contractor provides the Customer with an act of transfer and acceptance of work, which the Customer approves within 5 (five) business days from the date of its receipt or gives a reasoned refusal to accept works. If it is impossible to provide a reasoned refusal to accept the work, within 5 (five) business days from the date of the act of transfer of work by the Customer, the work is considered accepted.

    Formally, this means that the developer must send the certificate by registered letter to the customer and if within 5 days from the moment of receipt of the receipt he does not receive a registered letter with a reasoned refusal, then the work is considered accepted. I think it’s quite understandable - to organize such a process is all the more easy, the larger the company is the customer. Such actions will not lead to an improvement in relations in the event of a conflict, but are quite advisable if there is a risk of an undesirable trial.

    How to reduce the internal risks of unprofitability of a future project. Alexei Samoilov , director of Internet agency "Kinetics" :
    “The payment scheme for web studio employees, if we consider it from an economic point of view, is often not beneficial for the business owner. So, the sales manager sold the site. However, this cannot be seen as a sale. The sales act has not yet taken place, because the goods are not shipped.

    I draw an analogy: I came to the base and gave the money to the cashier for a bag of flour. The sellers have not sold it to me yet - after all, I go to the other end of the base to the warehouse, and only there the storekeeper ships the goods to me. If I liked her, I sign on the invoice, put the bag on my shoulders, and go home. Now the sale has taken place. But if suddenly I already doubted the quality of the flour in the warehouse, the storekeeper was rude to me, or I just realized along the way that I did not need flour (a typical situation on the Web, by the way), then I can quite safely go back to the cashier and collect the money.
    I’m going back to the cash desk to collect the money, but imagine that the base is very long and I have been walking on it for a very long time - for example, a month. The 1st day comes, and the cashier takes his percentage from the cash register for the flour sold to me. On the 2nd of day I get to the cash register and collect the money for the goods that I did not purchase. The cashier received his bonus, I returned my money. The business owner remained in the red.

    For web studios, this situation is extremely characteristic. Of course, in more complex and veiled versions (for example, they paid a bag of flour, and they took a bag of heroin). Avoiding this is not difficult if you do the same as in other areas of trade - the percentage of sales is always calculated after the shipment of the goods, i.e. in our case, after signing the certificate of work for each stage. Therefore, even having an “million” new sales account, we do not have to pay a percentage of sales until this money actually becomes ours.
    Ideally, all employees should work according to this scheme. In practice, this is difficult to implement and now, in fact, only the owners are at risk. But such a scheme, if not applicable to all employees, is then definitely applicable to managers. Of course, depending on the particular company, it must be modified. ”

    In the second part I will talk about recipes at the stages of development and approval of design, implementation of CMS and programming, as well as about the delivery of the project. In general, to be continued :).

    UPD: here is the second part

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