One of the best ways to help a designer stay a float is organization. Making sure your work environment is clean and organized, is a big benefit to being productive each day. A lot of clutter on your desk can cause your mind to be distracted. Even more importantly, keep your computer clean. Be sure to use a folder file system with your contracts, client notes and invoices. Files should always be easy to find and organized. Cleaning your computer desktop is even more important. Use folders and organize new clients, old clients and potential clients.
Protect your self and your work
Protecting your self as a designer should be just as important to you as your work. Basically a contract is a documented agreement that is legally-binding, and both you and the client sign to finalize the deal. Important things to remember are exact details of what the project will require, exact payment details, time frame and revision options. Also keep in mind to discuss rights to your work or if you will be able to display it in portfolio once the project is finished. If you agree to hand over the ownership of the site to the client make sure to transfer ownership to the other party in writing. Another key thing to focus on in contracts is payment time frames and late fees. Clients have a lot of problems generally handling content and it usually arrives in parts and late. To make sure the client and you remain happy is to discuss this prior and state it all in writing. Late fees are standard so do not be afraid to put this in the contract, and when the time comes send a late fee notice to the client. They now have a lot of useful online applications to send invoices to clients, contracts and keep track of details. Here are some to check out.
Recycle your old code
It would never make sense to have to write the exact same code over and over. If it works as a solid base for most websites then save it. Saving old templates that you built, is a great way to save time. Keep folders with all your old templates and layouts, organized in folders with each type of lay out style. For example 2 column layouts, 3 column layouts, sticky footer etc… They also have now adobe air apps which save and organize snippets of your code. Snippely is the one I would recommend.
Communication is key working with web design. There are various ways to communicate like email, messenger services, online video chat and telephone are important in the industry at this point in time. The longer you take to contact a potential client or answer their questions could cost you the job. The competition is overwhelming working with web design. Staying in touch and being personable is a great factor when keeping clients and building client base. A lot more clients are willing to work remotely these days so take advantage. Make sure to take use your time talking or emailing clients wisely. Take notes with each client and also while you are reviewing their site for price quotes. Make sure you get the important questions out without having to re contact them over and over.