It can be so frustrating as a freelancer or online business owner to have unpredictable income.
You go from being fully booked to scrambling for work, and that is exactly why having recurring revenue every month is key to a sustainable business.
But when you’re a project based business, having client sticking around may not be as straightforward as you’d like. But don’t worry, there is a great way to offer ongoing services as a web developer.
But first, let’s understand what recurring revenue is and why you should think about this from the start.
Recurring revenue is exactly what it sounds like. It's income that comes in consistently.
Feast or Famine… you may have heard this term before, and when you go into business for yourself you don’t want to get into this situation.
It’s basically the cycle of business, you have months where clients just come flying in and you work non-stop. And other months where, well, crickets…
And trust me, you are not alone! This is why recurring revenue is so important. Even if your projects slow down, you have this consistent stream of income that’ll pay the bills and keep your business running.
Monthly maintenance plan.
If you're a web developer, you already know that websites require ongoing maintenance. Especially WordPress sites.
WordPress websites require plugin updates, theme updates, PHP updates and WordPress core updates.
Not only that, most websites, not just WordPress websites, require security scans, site optimization and content updates.
As you probably already know, you can't just build a website and then forget about it.
This is exactly where a monthly maintenance plan will come, swooping in to the rescue so you can have recurring revenue. For every single website that you build, you absolutely want to be offering that client monthly maintenance.
There's a very, very high probability that the person who outsourced their website build would also want to outsource the maintenance and management of that website.
And the best part about creating monthly maintenance plans is they're an easy sell. The best market to sell to is this one - the people who already know you and know your work.
You already have an existing client who's going to be super impressed with the website you've built for them. So they're a hot lead and they will more than likely say yes.
Now, I know that’s probably your next question. And it all depends on what you offer.
What you include in your monthly plan is totally up to you, but a standard one would usually include:
And you can also include hosting. I would actually highly recommend that you do so, as there are tons of hosting companies out there. If you leave it up to the client, there’s a high chance they’ll go with the cheapest one - and you get what you pay for, so that will NOT make your job any easier. Plus, getting familiar with different platforms will actually cost you more in time.
Which is why it’s not uncommon that developers and agencies charge more to maintain a site that is not in their hosting plan - you never know what you’ll find.
The hosting I use and highly recommend is Flywheel. If you want to learn more about how to choose the best hosting, check out this post.
And if you really want to take it to the next level, you could package it all together with some of the other services that you offer. For example:
You can totally add that in to your monthly maintenance plans. But be sure to charge accordingly!
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