Star Mountain Design Policy Changes
Apr 24, 2023|
Giving it to you straight
As the owner of Star Mountain, I always believe in being honest about our process and the way our business works. In the past – on social media and in this blog – I have highlighted the lessons I have learned as as small business owner and have always been transparent about changes we make and why we make them.
One of the most challenging aspects of running a business is determining the kind of procedures and policies that work best for your company. It’s not an exact science, and, as one might expect, sometimes policy changes are born from learning experiences along the way.
In a business like ours, our planning is really specific, as Aisha and I are the only two team members who work full-time for Star Mountain – and like you, we have responsibilties and lives that go beyond work.
Since I launched Star Mountain 5 years ago, the biggest issue we have faced with our clients is that their content delivery deadlines are often missed, which means our work schedules are thrown into a flux and we spend a lot of time having to re-plan to keep everyone happy – and more importantly – to keep things running smoothly.
This also means we’re occasionally working nights or weekends for a client because their launch date cannot change but they missed important deadlines we set together. Sometimes when we change our scheduling because of one specific client, they miss another deadline, and everything becomes chaotic.
At the moment, we are managing 10 open projects, which is a lot for two people. 3 of these projects are ongoing contracts, which means we continue to work for the client post-build. 4 of these projects should have been completed months ago, but the holdup – as it always is – is the content delivery has been delayed on the client end. There’s a small amount of work we can do when we don’t have all the content, but we need content to plan structures, create appropriate experiences across different devices (such as resizing text, etc) with the content that will be used on the site.
Delays in content mean delays in contracts finishing, which mean income is also affected in terms of cashflow. Not only that, in the past we have turned away large projects that have quick deadlines due to our committments to other clients – only for those other clients to miss their content delivery deadlines – not just by days, but sometimes by weeks or months.
The time for policy changes has come.
After much discussion between Aisha and I, as well as an expert well-versed in these kinds of issues, we have slowly been implenting new policies at Star Mountain for our clients in terms of how we run projects and deadlines, and the time has come to announce them formally.
We realise that these new policies might not work for all clients, and we accept that risk. We have identified an issue with scheduling that is caused by an external factor, and we will now be attempting to minimise that in order to make the business we love run even more efficiently.
All new contracts will adhere to the following policies:
1) All projects will require a 50% non-refundable deposit prior to the start of the build or graphic mockup phase.
2) On Ultra and Standard Website Packages, a second non-refundable payment of 30% will be due 30 days after the signing of the contract.
On Landing Pages and Basic Website packages, a second non-refundable 40% payment will be due 15 days after the signing of the contract.
3) Upon completion, a final non-refundable payment of 20% + any additional items (which would be agreed in writing) is due for Ultra and Standard website packages.
Upon completion, a final non-refundable payment of 10% + any additional items (which would be agreed in writing) is due for Basic Website packages and Landing Page packages.
1) We will agree on a content delivery date together. We will ask you to choose this date realistically, even if you tell us that you want your website built as quickly as possible.
2) 1st missed content delivery deadline: we will reschedule the work on your project to resume 5-10 business days after the missed deadline.
3) 2nd missed content delivery deadline: we will reschedule the work on your project to resume 5-10 business days only after all content has been delivered, plus $50/£50 rescheduling fee
Please note: We understand that life happens, and sometimes things are beyond your control as well. We will always have discussions when there are extenuating circumstances.
Other things to note:
1) If the 2nd payment is not made on the agreed date, work on the project will stop and will only resume once the payment is made.
2) Contracts that are not ongoing must be completed within 6 months, unless otherwise specified and agreed upon.
3) All our of contracts will have a 6 month validity, unless otherwise specified and agreed upon. At the end of 6 months, if the website has not been completed due to content delivery delays, outstanding work will be then be charged at an hourly rate that uses Star Mountain’s non-build hourly rates. All the provisions of the original contract hold, and a new hourly contract will be issued.
4) All of our Basic, Standard and Ultra client websites will be built on Star Mountain’s servers. The websites will be moved to your chosen server and domain upon final payment.
Landing Pages will be built on the server of the hosting company and domain you choose.
But here’s an incentive:
For all Standard and Ultra Website Package contracts that are completed within 60 days of signing (meaning you delivered that content quickly so we could do what we needed to!) we will discount you £100 (or $100 if in the US) off your final payment!
And for all Basic Website Packages that are completed within 30 days of contract signing, we will discount you £50 (or $50) off of your final payment.
It’s our way of saying thank you for respecting the content delivery dates and deadlines we have set together.
We thank you for understanding.
We really do! We have the greatest respect for our clients and love getting to be part of their entrepreneurial journeys. Likewise, we hope that our clients and our future clients also understand why we’ve made these policy changes. There’s no one rulebook for starting your own business and no one has it all figured out on Day 1. We’re making adjustments as we go, and we are confident that these changes will improve our services across the board.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding the new policies!