After getting off the phone with a potential client today, I realized something: There are many dishonest and shady web designers and developers out there that are taking peoples money even when they don’t have the skills necessary to complete the project.
To me, this is unethical, and a horrible way to conduct business. However, if you are honest with them, and decline a project that is out of your league, you can gain wonderful future references, and even more work from that same person.
The particular client I was talking to had an ASP.NET shopping site that was 85% complete. If it were just some minor bugs, I could handle that, but after looking at it, it was way out of my league. I told her so in a forthright manner “I can not do this project. Here is why: ”
Her reaction was nothing but appreciative for my honesty. We discussed her site some more, on things she could do to help with search engine positioning/traffic generation, and how she would go about finding a skilled and reputable ASP programmer.
While I gained no immediate revenue from this, I believe that I was able to gain a strong degree in trust from her. Perhaps at a future date, she may require some design work, or some help with search engine optimization. I can’t help but think that I will be a consideration at that later date.