I made my first sale! Now what?

by Volux
21 replies
So today I finally closed my first website sale with a local client!

I have the check in hand and website is being made.

I have some issues though..

1) Bank account - Right now this is my first priority. I need to get another bank account so clients make checks out to my business name, not my personal name. Note: I realize this isn't an issue, but put this out there because maybe other newbies would be interested in seeing what I am doing.

2) A real issue: receipts. My client asked for a receipt and said it's fine if I can get it to him within the next couple of weeks.

How do I do this? I will obviously need to make my own receipts, but does anyone have any great examples of such that I can do online and print that way? Anything on this subject is helpful and something I am in need of major help with.

3) Monthly fees. I charge $3.99 per month for hosting/domain/maintenance costs. My first client said once the website is up and running he will pay for the first full year in advance, which is perfectly fine.

What if businesses want to do this on a monthly basis? How am I able to charge them a recurring fee to their bank account? If this isn't possible or simple enough for me to complete, I may just charge them a yearly rate of $48 ($3.99x12).

That is all I am questioning right now. I may have some other problematic encounters soon enough. All help is appreciated! Thanks!
#made #sale
  • Profile picture of the author Velant
    Originally Posted by Volux View Post

    3)
    What if businesses want to do this on a monthly basis? How am I able to charge them a recurring fee to their bank account?
    For ongoing monthly payment you can use paypal subscriptions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Isaiah Coe
    Congrats and like Velant said Paypal is the best option.

    Unless you want to setup so billing agreement with your client. For that you'll to need a contract and a way to record payment being made (Microsoft Excel). After that he/she can send mail you those checks in every year.
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  • Profile picture of the author TakenAction
    Just curious. You don't have to share but how
    Much was the sale?
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew H
    3) Monthly fees. I charge $3.99 per month for hosting/domain/maintenance costs. My first client said once the website is up and running he will pay for the first full year in advance, which is perfectly fine.
    Up this to $15/month for future sales.
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt Kendo
      Originally Posted by Andrew H View Post

      Up this to $15/month for future sales.
      Yeah, I was just about to say, there should be some incentive to paying you for a full year, like $15/month or $100 for the year, something like that, or $10/month and $80 for the year?
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    There are many ways to get receipts:
    you go to a store an buy a receipt book
    if you have microsoft word, you open a new document, select receipts (or Google microsoft templates, choose receipts)
    or use software (quickbooks)
    or an online accounting site (I hear freshbooks is good; I hear, I did not use)
    or write one from scratch: all it's got to have is your info, the item name, quantity, price, amount charged, amount received, amount owed.

    What happens if something goes wrong with the site and you end up spending a few hours bringing it back up? $3.99/month is way too low.

    Payapl is good for recurring.
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  • Profile picture of the author Volux
    Some great information. Please keep it coming.

    Also, I need to document all of these sales and payments that will be made. Any software people usually use for this?

    EDIT:

    Not all of my customers use Paypal. How can I make this work if they have a credit card and I want to charge them monthly via Paypal?
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    • Profile picture of the author SashaLee
      Originally Posted by Volux View Post

      Some great information. Please keep it coming.

      Also, I need to document all of these sales and payments that will be made. Any software people usually use for this?

      EDIT:

      Not all of my customers use Paypal. How can I make this work if they have a credit card and I want to charge them monthly via Paypal?
      How do you know? You've only made one sale - according to the title of your post.

      For your one "all of these sales" and your one "all of my customers" you could use Excel to track this and future sales and payments.

      There are several merchant processors who are members of this forum. You could contact them to set up a merchant account that would allow for recurring billing and you could bypass Paypal altogether. See here:

      http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...-services.html

      http://www.warriorforum.com/building...processor.html

      All the best,

      Sasha
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      • Profile picture of the author Volux
        Originally Posted by SashaLee View Post

        How do you know? You've only made one sale - according to the title of your post.

        For your one "all of these sales" and your one "all of my customers" you could use Excel to track this and future sales and payments.

        There are several merchant processors who are members of this forum. You could contact them to set up a merchant account that would allow for recurring billing and you could bypass Paypal altogether. See here:

        http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...-services.html

        http://www.warriorforum.com/building...processor.html

        All the best,

        Sasha
        I sell locally and most of these business owners have no idea what they're doing, that's why I'm selling to them in the first place, correct?

        For this instance, we can assume 95% of my clients won't have Paypal accounts. The fact that they MIGHT is out of the question, I don't want to do it through Paypal unless I can use it with their credit card and them not having a Paypal account.
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        • Profile picture of the author Danny Shaw
          Originally Posted by Volux View Post

          I sell locally and most of these business owners have no idea what they're doing, that's why I'm selling to them in the first place, correct?

          For this instance, we can assume 95% of my clients won't have Paypal accounts. The fact that they MIGHT is out of the question, I don't want to do it through Paypal unless I can use it with their credit card and them not having a Paypal account.
          You can still use paypal as your payment gateway for credit cards.But give clients the option to pay monthly through paypal/credit card or the full year. Up your monthly prices to say £10 per month and offer a discount for the whole year. Maybe £99.99
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          • Profile picture of the author Volux
            Originally Posted by Danny Shaw View Post

            You can still use paypal as your payment gateway for credit cards.But give clients the option to pay monthly through paypal/credit card or the full year. Up your monthly prices to say £10 per month and offer a discount for the whole year. Maybe £99.99
            I think I've decided that if they want to pay annually I will allow them to pay with checks, not only cards.

            If they pay monthly, they will need to pay with a card and will set that up automatically via Paypal.

            Changed my pricing structure to $10/month OR if they buy annually: $100/year.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Nguyen
    1. Your name or company name doesnt matter right now. The client had purchased because he likes you and your service. You can sort later when the site is finished.

    2. Receipt, in the uk we call it invoice. Just throw it up in word doc.
    Your name and address, clients name and address, date, your item sold ie the website and hosting cost 1st year.

    3. You need to be jacking the hosting fees up to $50 per month which gets them 1hr support per month. It's ok to mark your services ie hosting if your providing a good service. You can invoice monthly or get to pay in full, $50 is nothing to business owners. Know your worth.
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    • Profile picture of the author Volux
      Originally Posted by Michael Nguyen View Post

      1. Your name or company name doesnt matter right now. The client had purchased because he likes you and your service. You can sort later when the site is finished.

      2. Receipt, in the uk we call it invoice. Just throw it up in word doc.
      Your name and address, clients name and address, date, your item sold ie the website and hosting cost 1st year.

      3. You need to be jacking the hosting fees up to $50 per month which gets them 1hr support per month. It's ok to mark your services ie hosting if your providing a good service. You can invoice monthly or get to pay in full, $50 is nothing to business owners. Know your worth.
      Receipts/invoices. I need to see some sort of layout. I want a professional looking receipt, not something I just threw together on word.

      Seeing as that's a common response, I plan on bumping it up for future customers. I already agreed with this client on $3.99 and am not going back on my word.

      I will boost it up to somewhere between $9.99 and $19.99 per month.
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  • Profile picture of the author Entrecon
    Bank Account - You will not only need one in your business name, but you will most likely want to get a tax ID for your business. Check your local and state laws for requirements on doing business under a business name.

    Receipts - I have not used Freshbooks and you can give it a Try, but you might also want to look at Quickbooks. I have used Quickbooks for years and it will allow you to track income/expenses and also create invoices and receipts. I think it is the pro version that let's you do estimates, but I am not sure how helpful that is for web design, I have never used that feature.

    I agree with the others that your hosting fee is way t0o low. Re-label it as hosting and maintenance and implement an agreement that this covers x hours of maintenance per month and does not roll over from one month to the next. I also don't like going with a monthly hosting amount since it can start to take a lot of effort to collect each month. I spell out the monthly fee, but I charge it annually. If they want to go semi-annual, quarterly, or monthly then the per-month fee should go up.

    Last and definitely NOT least, do you have a signed agreement on what exactly is to be delivered and when? Does it outline what the business needs to provide you for you to make your deadlines? One of the biggest pitfalls I see is that if it isn't in writing the business may expect more from you then you deliver or may be mad when you don't deliver on time, even if it is because they didn't get logos, copy, pictures, information to you soon enough.
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    • Profile picture of the author Volux
      Originally Posted by Entrecon View Post

      Bank Account - You will not only need one in your business name, but you will most likely want to get a tax ID for your business. Check your local and state laws for requirements on doing business under a business name.

      Receipts - I have not used Freshbooks and you can give it a Try, but you might also want to look at Quickbooks. I have used Quickbooks for years and it will allow you to track income/expenses and also create invoices and receipts. I think it is the pro version that let's you do estimates, but I am not sure how helpful that is for web design, I have never used that feature.

      I agree with the others that your hosting fee is way t0o low. Re-label it as hosting and maintenance and implement an agreement that this covers x hours of maintenance per month and does not roll over from one month to the next. I also don't like going with a monthly hosting amount since it can start to take a lot of effort to collect each month. I spell out the monthly fee, but I charge it annually. If they want to go semi-annual, quarterly, or monthly then the per-month fee should go up.

      Last and definitely NOT least, do you have a signed agreement on what exactly is to be delivered and when? Does it outline what the business needs to provide you for you to make your deadlines? One of the biggest pitfalls I see is that if it isn't in writing the business may expect more from you then you deliver or may be mad when you don't deliver on time, even if it is because they didn't get logos, copy, pictures, information to you soon enough.
      Once I get a few more customers I will get to the taxing stuff. I want to make sure this will go somewhere and not be a one-time thing.

      Yes, I will be boosting us the hosting/maintenance fees. Great idea to charge it annually and if they want it semi-annually or monthly to bump the cost up. However, how do you keep track of all of these payments? Do you just keep an excel document that has the customer's name and says "2013 Payments", "2014 Payments", etc., and then have a "PAID" under it?

      I do not have an outlined agreement. My first client knows my parents very well, so he can rely on my to deliver. We actually discussed in person exactly what was to be delivered and when. I realize this won't be the same for every client and making a simple agreement is necessary.
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  • Profile picture of the author annalan
    Congrats Volux

    I would second using paypal subscriptions to charge monthly. Its the easiest way out there, i guess.
    From my experience, started my business a year ago and still using my personal account for payments. No one complained so far.
    For receipts/invoices, just create some nice looking template in word, with your logo, address, invoice number, banking details, disclaimer etc. and reuse it again and again.

    Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author elCapitan
    Been using FreshBooks for some time now, and it works great.
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  • Profile picture of the author statusengage
    I would say go with Freshbooks. You'll be able to bill monthly, send out professional invoices by email (or print as a PDF). Your clients can pay online. Way simpler. It will give them a paid invoice once it's all done. It will also double as your accounting software, too. It's not as robust as QuickBooks, but I actually prefer it. Since you are just starting, you can go with the free edition (up to 3 clients) and afterwords it's $25/mo for unlimited.
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  • Profile picture of the author Volux
    Just signed up for Freshbooks and will give it a try!

    Right now the CSS isn't loading for my personal homepage, so I'll have to wait until later to check it out.

    Hopefully, once I get to check it out, this will cover my annual/monthly costs for clients which will be a big weight off of my shoulders!
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    • Profile picture of the author 9999
      Freshbooks is a great option. Check out Wave Accounting for free invoice, estimates, book keeping duties. I use and and like it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Volux
    I think I'm going to use Freshbooks, it seems very nice.

    It's a little confusing, though. I think this is how it works, and if I am wrong, please correct me.

    If a client wants to pay online, they can; I just add them as a client and send them an invoice which goes to their email. From there they can pay through Paypal in the link in their email. After this, they will receive their receipt via email from their Paypal payment.

    If they want to pay via check, I can use Snail Mail (provided through FreshBooks). I create their invoice which is sent to them via mail. From there they can pay online by going to the link in the mail sent to them, OR they can send the check through to return envelope Snail Mail sends them.

    Is this correct?
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