Be straightforward about money and how you charge for your services. Make sure that all the financial aspects of the project are clear in your contracts, then make sure your invoices match your Designer-Client Agreements, and any change orders you provide.


Financial consistency will facilitate, smooth sailing, and prompt payment from the client. Make sure to communicate financial information verbally, as well as in writing your agreement. There are two categories of money that you need to cover. Fees, which are the designer's compensation for their labor and expertise. Design fees are typically fixed and are only revised with the change order due to additional scope of work; and estimated expenses. These are the out-of-pocket cost for things purchased specifically for the project. All expenses are subject to the industry-standard markup of 15 to 25%.

Don't be afraid to ask for what you need. If you have issues talking about money, practice with a friend; describe the project, state your fee and then stop talking. Don't feel the need to fill the void with words, have confidence.

Here, some tips for dealing with clients regarding money.

State exactly what the price includes, define your payment terms by telling the client when you expect to be paid. For example, you might say net 30 days, meaning you require payment one month from the invoice date. Also, will you be invoicing half upfront and the balance upon completion, or will you bill progress payments at the completion of each phase. Make sure to also state the number of revisions included and then stick to that.


Another money related tip is to keep good records. You need to keep project related expense receipts in order to pass those costs on to clients. In addition, make sure to integrate the project schedule with regular cost reviews. If you review these frequently, you can communicate any problems or issues to the team and the client. Make sure you capture all time, for example, telephone conversation, travel time, admin, etcetera, get all required client paperwork and financial information in order upfront.

If it's required by the client, get a purchase order number and/or a vendor ID number, then put these numbers on all your invoices. Also, introduce yourself to the client contact person in Accounts Payable. Make sure to have anything related to money signed by the client. For legal reasons and also to prompt a detailed conversation about money before the work gets underway, then stay in communication throughout the process. 

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