This page ‘Policies & Procedures’ is for the information of current, new and potential clients and outlines my practices.
I am generally available for work, email contact, messaging and telephone/Skype calls during standard business hours, Monday to Friday from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m UTC±01.00.
Any agreed service, including scheduled telephone/Skype calls, falls under chargeable hours. However, any written communication with the client, such as email and text messages, will not be billed.
Email is preferred, but texting and messaging through WhatsApp, Telegram, SMS or Skype is acceptable. Telephone/Skype calls are always planned in advance to avoid any possible interferences. I respond to non-urgent emails within a day or on the first working day and to urgent emails as soon as I can.
On a regular basis, I work with Trello (project management), Dropbox (cloud storage), Google Docs & Drive (word processing & cloud storage), Evernote (notes & lists), Toggl (time-tracking) and LastPass (password management). Most of these programs are suitable for sharing and collaborating and clients will never be charged for my use of any of the programs I choose to work with. Using a program of the client’s choice is always possible, provided that the client will cover any fees.
Time will be tracked in increments of one minute, rounded to the closest minute. I use specialised software from Toggl for accurate time-tracking.
Monthly Retainer Package
Hours that are not used by the end of the month will generally not be carried over to the next month. In the case of exceptional circumstances, however, unused hours can be used at a later time or they may be deducted altogether. It’s possible to request extra hours for a monthly package at the standard rate of £34/$45/€38.50 per hour (exclusive of VAT). Of course, extra hours are used only when requested, so there’s no need to worry about unexpected invoices. If a change in the number of hours in a monthly retainer package is desired, I kindly request you, client, to provide a notice at least 30 days before the start of the next month.
With a digital relationship, it’s important to check in on each other on a regular basis. This does not happen automatically when two parties each work from a different location – it requires conscious planning. For that reason, each client with a monthly retainer package will receive a weekly update email about the status of projects, including a timesheet with the number of hours used in that week. Weekly update emails are sent out on every Friday when new project updates are available. The monthly retainer package also includes an optional monthly Skype call in which the client’s priorities, objectives and potential ideas for the future are discussed. Update emails and Skype calls are also available for hourly rate clients and will largely depend on the scope of their projects.
Invoicing & Payment
Clients will receive an invoice with a 30-day payment period at the beginning of the month. With a monthly retainer package, the invoice is always a month in advance of the hours. Hourly rate clients will also receive an invoice at the beginning of the month, based on the number of hours worked in the month before. Please note that, if the payment is not received before or on the due date, I am entitled to charge an additional late payment fee of 10% of the initial invoice. In the case of continued delay (14+ days overdue), services may be suspended until the payment is received.
Payments can be made via PayPal (preferred) or bank transfer. If you wish to pay in a different way, please let me know about your preferred option.
Clients who refer a new client to me will be rewarded with a discount of 20% on one invoice. This discount will be applied after the new client’s first payment.
Although virtual meetings are preferred, I am open to meetings on location for special occasions. Appointments are charged for meeting time (based on either the monthly retainer package rate or the hourly rate), travel time (based on 50% of either the monthly retainer package rate or the hourly rate) and travel expenses.
Holidays & Absence
I am not available for work on the following days:
- Good Friday
- Easter and Easter Monday
- Ascension Day
- Whitsun and Whit Monday
- Christmas Day to New Year’s Day
If I will be absent due to holidays or travelling (e.g. in summer), clients will receive a notice at least 30 days in advance, but always as early as possible. Of course, it’s also possible that you, client, will be absent for a(n) (in)definite period of time. I kindly request you to inform me about your absence at least 14 days in advance. In exceptional and/or acute circumstances (such as illness or death in the family), however, I understand that it’s clearly not possible to communicate this well in advance.
In the case of absence, there are several options:
- If you are a client with a monthly retainer package, extra work may be taken on before the planned period of absence. Work can also be halted temporarily, in which case any unused hours can rollover to a future month. Otherwise, I will apply a discount to deduct any unused hours from the monthly sum.
- Both clients with a monthly retainer package and hourly rate clients can, in the case of my absence, also request a temporary VA until I return.
Privacy & Confidentiality
I attach great importance to your privacy. Information will never be disclosed, loaned, leased, rented or sold to third parties, or made public without your permission, unless I am legally obliged to do so. Personal data and information that I receive, e.g. contact form messages via the websites, newsletter subscriptions and any information from and about clients, is kept confidential. I strive to help my clients and anyone interested in my services as effectively and efficiently as possible. The data and information I receive will therefore only be used to optimise and/or improve the services that I offer. Some non-personal data about my website visitors is collected automatically; e.g. name of the Internet service provider and web browser, which pages are visited and length of time spent on each page. The identity of visitors remains anonymous, unless they manually submit information on the website. All passwords are encrypted and I work with Internet security and virus protection.
Policy & Price Changes
I reserve the right to change this policy and the prices of my services. I may occasionally update this policy and will timely notify my clients if there are significant changes. In the case of a change in price, clients will receive a notice 30 days before any changes become effective.
To make a positive contribution to the environment, I keep paper use at a minimum. For instance, invoices are sent by email and not printed and any paper as well as supplies are reused and/or recycled whenever possible.
Agreement & Termination
I do not work with a contract, but I do ask all clients to sign an agreement to protect our work relationship. Work will commence after the agreement has been read, understood and signed. The agreement is non-binding and does not oblige us to commit to a long-term partnership; either of us is free to terminate the work relationship. I kindly request all clients with a monthly retainer package to send a notice of termination at least 30 days in advance if they do wish to terminate the partnership. Please note that there will be no refunds without a 30-day advanced termination notice.
NB This page contains some affiliate links for programs/software that I use in my work. Affiliate links allow me to earn a small commission on purchases, but will never add any extra costs for you.
NB Due to the constantly evolving nature of the internet, some links may become unavailable over time. If you happen to come across an old link, feel free to send me an email via the page ‘Contact‘ and I will look into it.