For over fifteen years, my blog and Unfinished Business podcast have been popular with website designers and developers.
A few weeks ago I was writing content for my speaking information for conference organisers page and I wondered about other speakers’ ‘terms of business’ and how much—if anything—they charged. To get a feeling for how people approach the business of speaking, I set up a quick survey.
Today Microsoft announced that end of support is coming for older versions of Internet Explorer. This is great news for designers and developers who suffer from having to support legacy versions of that browser and it prompted me to update the public version of my Contract Killer, the popular open-source contract for web designers and developers.
Regular Unfinished Business co-host Laura Kalbag’s started to work with her partner Aral Balkan on their Indie Phone project. She wanted to hear about Sue and mine experiences of working together for sixteen years, so she emailed her some questions. I hadn’t heard her answers until Laura read them on the show, but I think that made for interesting listening.
We didn’t get through all the questions and answers on the show, so here are her complete answers. I think they offer some insight into what it’s like working together at Stuff and Nonsense for as long as we have.
Although there seems to be plenty of choice, I haven’t found any CRM software that tickles my fancy yet. I need to get better at keeping on top of prospective business though, so the first step was to make a spreadsheet. If it’s useful to anyone, I’m happy to share it. There are Apple Numbers and Microsoft Excel versions in a ZIP file. I’m keen to hear your suggestions for improving it, as well as your recommendations for CRM software/services.
Keith Devon wants to find out how freelance designers and developers handle contracts. So do I, so go spend a minute filling in his survey.
As it stands at the moment, 45% use something like my ‘Contract Killer’ (or the contract itself) and another 9% wrote their own based on it. Although responder numbers are small so far, that’s brilliant. I’m prouder of ‘Contract Killer’ than anything else I’ve ever done.
Even within a business culture of openness and transparency, some things are meant to be kept secret. NDAs, non-disclosure agreements, are meant to help with this, but most NDAs are the opposite of open and transparent because they’re written in the same jargon-laden legalese that I avoided in Contract Killer. So I’ve written ‘Three Wise Monkeys’, a plain speaking, easy to read, open source NDA.
It’s coming up on four years since I published my original Contract Killer over on 24ways. The reaction to it was astonishing and over the last four years the feedback I’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive. I feel very, very happy that so many people have found Contract Killer useful.
I’m glad that people like my financial buffer business post the other day. I don’t think people write enough about the business side of what we do and from what I hear, not enough about it gets taught at universities either. I’m not a very good businessman, truth be told, but I have learned a few things over the years, so I thought I’d start sharing them.
A friend of mine works as an in-house designer. He emailed me the other day with a question that’s come up a few times recently. It’s a question I’m asked by people at various stages of their careers, from students to those, like my friend, who’ve worked for somebody else for a long time. The question? “What financial advice do I have for anyone who’s planning to go self-employed?” Rather than write that advice in an email, I thought it might be more useful if I wrote it as a short post.