Your Questions Answered

Last Updated: 7th November 2022

Before embarking on our work together, you may well have a few questions. I've rounded up the most frequently asked below, which I hope you'll find helpful. It covers everything from the services I offer to pricing and billing. Need more? Please get in touch.

Working Together

Q: What type of clients do you work with?

I specialise in working with solo founders of creative businesses — with a particular focus on Shopify-focused agencies. The last decade-plus of my working life has focused on Shopify (7 years at the company itself and four years as an independent coach and consultant). I know the ecosystem, the companies, the people, and the challenges. I'm one of a handful of consultants specialising in helping Shopify-focused businesses.

Q: What if I'm a solo founder but don't work in the Shopify ecosystem?

Not a problem. Whilst my background lends itself well to working with Shopify-focused businesses, I also count founders in the SEO, digital, creative and Sass sectors amongst my clients. Fundamentally, if you're a solo founder in need of support — let's talk.

Q: How do I know if I'm a good fit for your services?

To help us work this out, I'll ask you to complete a short survey before your free initial consultation. This will help me understand more about you, your business, and your challenges. Being as open and honest as possible in your replies will help me determine if I can help you move forward.

After our initial conversation and assuming a good fit, I'll send you my simple work agreement, and we can get started.

Q: What's the time commitment?

I offer two options — 3 x 1 hour sessions per month or 2 x 90 minute sessions per month. Both cadences allow for deep work and space to breathe. You'll also need time to think, review, and implement the ideas and changes we discuss.

Q: Will you give me homework?

Not as such! However, it's very likely that our engagement will create work for you. This could be in the form of deeply thinking through a problem, implementing a change in your business, or an exercise that we will review together.

Q: How do I know if coaching is helping?

At the beginning of our engagement, we'll take time to work out a handful of longtail goals. I like to think of these as a "tracejtory" as opposed to a definitive outcome. For example, one might be to "develop more confidence in giving feedback", or "saying no to projects that aren't a good fit". We'll use these to measure progress.

Q: Can you help us implement the strategies and tactics you recommend?

My current service offerings do not involve strategic implementation or tactical execution. However, I am fortunate to know a lot of talented practitioners who I will happily introduce to you.

Q: Do you offer introductions to your network as part of your service?

No, sorry!

Q: May I speak with a couple of references about working with you?

Of course, please get in touch, and I'll join the dots.

Q: Your service sounds ideal; when can I start?

Fantastic! Step one is to complete my survey. From there, we can arrange an initial complimentary consultation, work out if we are a good fit for each other, and then hammer out dates and times.

Admin & Logistics

Q: Where are you based?

I live and work from the city of Bath in the South West of the UK (GMT+1).

Q: I'm based outside of the UK. Can we still work together?

Absolutely. I currently work with clients in Europe, the USA (EST & PST), Canada and beyond. Some early starts and late finishes on either side may be required, but we usually make it work!

Q: Can we add you to our Slack workspace and/or email you for advice between calls?

Yes! I'm happy to be added to one or two dedicated channels in your Slack workspace (preferabbly via Slack Connect) and make myself available via email in-between sessions. I can't promise to reply within 2 minutes or even 2 hours, but I will get back to you within 24 hours (often much sooner).

Q: Can my co‐founder and/or team members join our working sessions?

The majority of my work is done 1-1. However, if the need arises for a colleague to join a session then I politely ask that you share who will be on the call and their role in the business in advance. Depending on the circumstances it might be more beneficial for me to meet with your colleague outside of our sessions. As with most things, we can work out the best way forward together.

Q: Will you sign an NDA agreement?

My reputation rests on the fact that I keep our conversations private. However, if you would like me to sign an NDA/confidentiality agreement, please let me know in my initial survey and we can work it out together.

Pricing & Billing

Q: How much will this cost me?

My 1-1 coaching service is £2,250 + VAT (if applicable) per month. This is a set fee based on access and not hours.

By working together I agree to invest time and headspace directly in you and your business. You may only meet me 1-1 every other week, or contact me in Slack now and again but, you know I'll be there ready to help.

Q: What if I would like to pay for three months up-front?

You would? In that case I am happy to offer you a 5% discount!

Q: Is there a minimum term?

Yes. I politely ask that we agree to a three-month initial engagement — here's why.

The first few sessions together can feel a bit messy and unstructured. It takes time to get to know each other and dig into the issue(s). Experience has shown me that the really good work starts 4-6 weeks in. Neither of us wins if we quit early — great work takes time. A three-month initial engagement ensures we are invested in the project's success.

During our third month of working together we'll meet to discuss the current situation and work out the best way to proceed together.

Q: Can we pause or downgrade our ongoing engagement during holiday periods?

Politely, no. Our agreement will cover a fixed period and will account for the eventuality of you, and occasionally me, taking time away from our businesses. I'll ensure we recognise this at the outset, so neither of us feels hard done by!

However, you can press pause on our agreement in the event of a family emergency or something of similar seriousness.

Q: If I miss a session can I bank it for another time?

My service offering is based on access and not hours/sessions. Whilst we agree to meet on a regular cadence 1-1 you will also have direct access via Slack or email for when you need it. Of course, if you are unable to make an agreed session I'd be happy to rearrange calendar permitting.

Q: Do you offer refunds?

If you're not happy with our first paid session for any reason, you can ask for your money back. After that, I do not offer refunds under any circumstances. If you choose to end our agreement early I will issue an invoice for the remaining amount due.

Q: Do you have your own consulting agreement, or do we need to provide one?

I have a short and easy to understand agreement that I provide for us to both sign. Put simply, it covers how we work together, IP and confidentiality, and that I am responsible for paying my own taxes!

Q: What are your invoicing terms?

I issue all invoices on the first of the month in advance on seven day payment terms. If we start work half way through a month I will issue a pro-rata invoice accordingly.

Q: Can I pay by credit/debit card?

Whilst direct wire transfer is preferred I am happy to accept payment by credit/debit card. Feel free to mention this in our initial conversation.

Q: Do you always invoice in £GBP?

I do. My invoice will include full details for international bank transfer. If this is a concern, let's talk about it.

Q: Are you a sole trader or a limited company?

I own and run a registered UK limited company which was incorporated in 2004. It's listed as Metro 55 Limited #05243642, and I trade as "Keir Whitaker" for simplicity.

Q: Are you registered for VAT in the UK?

Yes, my UK VAT registration number is #177672955. If applicable, VAT will be charged at 20% and clearly stated on the invoice.

Q: Do you charge for travel expenses?

I love to travel and am happy to get on a train or plane to meet you in person. All reasonable travel expenses will be agreed in advance and I will pass on copies of all receipts with my invoice.

UK meetings outside of the South–West generally require train fare and a single nights accommodation. For longer trips, I respectfully request flights and a minimum of two nights accommodation (i.e. the night before the meeting and the night of our meeting. This means we can get the most from our time together).

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