How do you handle a "this will just take a second" request?

Welcome to this week’s Business Breakdown. If you’re new to this series, check out our last post: is giving away free consultations a good idea?


This week, we’ll be breaking down how to handle ‘this will just take a second’ requests from previous clients. Birit shared with us the following business dilemma:


“I have been getting a ton of "this will just take a second" requests from previous clients. How do you deal with this? How do you charge them or even bring it up that the 15-30 minutes you spend will cost however much?”

Building relationships with clients is a critical business practice, and in this particular case, it’s equally as important to set boundaries.


The community weighed on their approach to these ‘just a minute’ requests, and how they successfully set boundaries in order to convert a previous client into a recurring client.


Lynn, of Ink & Key, sets expectations immediately by stating that she charges per project, not per hour.


“[The] time to email back and forth, time to create and send the invoice and then to get info from the client and then actually to take care of whatever issue it is - it adds up, and time is money. This kind of thing can be worth it at times if you are building a good client relationship and becoming known as a generous brand, but it can also suck time away from other projects which could benefit you and your brand even more.”

Marianne, of New Eve Creative Web Design & Photography, turns the request for a ‘quick’ opinion into an opportunity.


“This is also a great opportunity to sell a client 3 prepaid hours with a slight discount either as a maintenance package, editing package, or both.”

Jayne, of Blue Heron Support, offers maintenance packages as part of a project in order to prevent ‘in between’ requests.


“I offer ongoing support packages where they pay monthly for a certain amount of time per month. If they aren't on a support package, I offer my 2 hour minimum package, good for 6 months, so they can have time left over to use later.”

Lorraine, of Let's Start Design, automates the process to avoid any awkwardness.


“I've been using the [Wix Price] quote function in the dashboard for quick fixes. [If] someone comes back and says can you help me with x and z, I quote them for say an hour- they accept- [a Wix] invoice is [generated automatically], and when they pay I do the work. For small tweaks, it has been great and removes all the awkwardness and I don't get irritated because I'm doing "free" fixes.”

What’s your take on this business breakdown? How do you handle ‘this will just take a second’ requests? Comment below!


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