Like every other service based business we at Inspire Design Co have a process of working with each of our clients. Sometimes not knowing the process of working with someone will literally stop someone from inquiring further. So I’m here to pull back the curtain on what working with us looks like as well as answering commonly asked questions.
When we receive an inquiry about working with us, if it’s someone local, we will set up an appointment to meet and go over the project and all the specifics of the design required. We will discuss paper options and the different formats they have available for printing. We discuss the timeline and set a deadline for when the project needs to be wrapped up. At this point a booking fee is required to start a project for all new clients. This fee is nonrefundable if the project is canceled for any reason. If the project goes through to completion this fee will be credited on the final bill.
If the person is not local, we will typically correspond via email. This helps everyone stay organized and if we need information that was discussed but not included in the client notes, we can review the emails for that particular information. At some point, we like to hop on a call with the client to discuss the project and answer any questions they may have.
It’s not uncommon for clients request a quote and we will gladly provide that to them. We believe firmly that our clients should have a clear understanding of what they can expect on the final bill. Surprises in the form of bills larger than expected is a negative thing and we want to avoid that if at all possible.
We work hard to keep our clients up to speed with their project. Sometimes because of the size of a project and the current schedule a project takes a number of weeks or longer before the first proof is completed. During this period and all throughout the lifetime of a project, we send project updates to our clients weekly. These updates include time spent on the project so far, the projected date for the next proof, an encouraging quote and any notes that we may have on the project. This helps our clients know that the project isn’t sitting on a back shelf somewhere, forgotten. We want each of our clients to feel valued and good communication is just one of the ways that we are able to do that.
Once the project is in the proofing stage, we work closely with each of our clients to make changes. This includes a fair amount of communication and back and forth either emailing or mailing proofs. At this point most of our projects do not have a limit on the number of proofs. We want our clients to be happy with the finished product and will gladly work with them to achieve that. We work in this fashion until the project is approved and finalized.
Once the project is approved we take care of placing the print order. (If the project does not require printing, we will provide the necessary files, i.e. logo files, social media photos etc). Printing will take anywhere from just a couple of days to 2 weeks, depending on the size of the print job and a few other factors. Once the order has been printed, we pick it up from the print shop and either deliver it or mail it directly to our clients.
We do our billing on Friday of each week, so if the project has been wrapped up earlier in the week, a bill will arrive by the middle or end of the following week.
Often once the project has been wrapped up, our clients are moving on to the next project and we begin the process all over again. If there isn’t another project coming in the forseeable future, we will follow up with them in a couple of months to make sure that they are doing okay with what they have and to make sure they don’t have any projects waiting to get started.
Relationship is so very important to us and we work hard to keep communication open and free. In relating with clients, we are very open about our business practices. If something doesn’t feel quite right or is uncomfortable, we would rather discuss it than let it get swept under the rug and in this way build trust and confidence.
Do you work with people who are not local to you? Yes! Though we value face to face contact with our clients sometimes that is not possible. We have a number of clients who are out of state/country and have a great relationship with them.
Do you offer web design and management? At this time we do not offer this service, but hope to within the year.
How long does it typically take until I see a proof? We work hard to keep the wait time between beginning the project and first proof to under two weeks. Though there are times when we are booked 3 or 4 weeks out.