A long, long time ago I had a phrase in my contracts:

“Unlimited rounds of revisions.”

Before you start yelling at me, don’t worry, I quickly changed my contract. However, my original intention was pure. I wanted to make my clients happy.

I thought that if I let them know that they could continue changing a project forever into the future I was doing them a big service. Quite the contrary, in reality.

Any time you put your business at risk, you are doing your clients a disservice. Think about it. If you end up going out of business because you were too much of a pushover or gave too much, then you are in fact hurting your customer in the worst way.

When it comes to revisions, you need to have concrete “rounds” that have a clear date, window for feedback, and a count–as in, “two revisions.”

Frustration; Drying of Well

My first reaction to having to continuously go back and update a project, well after it has been “approved,” is to get frustrated. Perhaps drop an F-bomb after getting off the phone. Or maybe talk about how I can’t stand certain clients.

Whatever it was, the frustration was the leading indicator that something bad was happening in my business.

The lagging indicator is what ends up putting your whole operation at risk. When you have to work extra time on a project, it delays your next project. It delays your payment; it delays your next project’s payment. My whole cash flow picture would shift forward.

And when I wasn’t careful, all of a sudden my whole business was at risk of redlining. My well of cash was getting eaten alive by, “just one more change.”

I stopped my “unlimited revisions” not because I was trying to be mean to my clients, but because I wanted to make sure I was here for them in a year when they needed me, and were ready to pay, for that next round.