I gave my two weeks notice at work yesterday. They are going in a direction that I don’t like and doesn’t line up with my career goals.
We make websites. I do the creative, custom ones. The rest are templated sites: you buy one of these, you get x of these pages, y of these, and z of that. That’s it. They’re cheap sites.
My projects always make a profit. The others, not so much. Clients who pay $1500 for a website are some of the most demanding, picky clients we have and regularly miss deadlines or go radio silent. The ones who pay $26,000 are easy going, send what they need to provide to us in a timely manner, and are nice to us.
We are no longer pursuing the kind of clients that want custom sites.
We had a company-wide strategy meeting two weeks ago in which we (just now) decided to do scopes of work for all our jobs. Just today, in a meeting, the boss wants to sell a $20k website to a client, but give them the template for one of our $3,000 standard sites. When I said that we needed to talk to the client more to find out what they need/want for the site in order to write a scope of work, he hedged on that, danced around it, then said we already know all we need to know about it and we can write the scope of work from that. I disagreed, saying I need to actually talk to the client a little more to figure out key areas, site architecture, etc. He said no, we just write the scope of work like we’re doing that template site.
So we’re charging a custom fee to a client for a site we normally sell for $3k.
There are many, many more issues. I won’t get into them.
On top of this, the owner/boss recently had to go out and raise capital because we’re not a profitable company. We’ve been in business for 7 years and have been losing money year over year. He says he needs the capital to give us breathing room and after that we’ll start making money again.
But I’m jumping ship. I am a creative person, but also believe in the value of scopes of work and contracts for service-based businesses. There’s clearly not a role here for me anymore, unless I want to crank out standard, boring sites for hardware retailers.
I have an option for other work, and I have other clients, and want to build up some of that. I have a variety of talents, and I’m sure I’ll find something. I also have an incredibly supportive boyfriend who also would like to go off on his own someday (we work together), so that’s on his mind as well.
I wasn’t really doubting my decision to leave, but today reminded me that I’m making the right choice. They’re bailing water into this ship, adding more marketing people to the staff (moving a relatively inexperienced 26 year old person who’s been here 5 months from a billable position to be the Director of Marketing).
But I’m the difficult one because I want to talk to clients about their needs and build a scope of work from that rather than just telling them what they need.