I am trying to learn from my experience with my clients, as much as I can, but even so, surprises happen & will continue to happen!
If your client is the kind of mixing between his likes & business, ask him/her about his favorite colors, football team color or even his zodiac, to know what might make impact on him & get your proposal accepted in the first hand.
Ask if he/she can show you something similar to what he would like to have or what he/she thinks is nice.
Sometimes clients with partners, wife (husband) or even adult children can say something now, and after consulting other people, they change up their minds! That is happens!
But if you could know that before, you might ask to meet those people together with the client so you can avoid big influences in the future! (specially partners!)
3- Try to know all the needs & expectations from your work before you start! (contents & spacing)
Many clients want everything on the first meeting, then suddenly you discover that they don't have enough material or knowledge how to arrange contents for what they want!
That makes you ready to design a platform that will cope with any adds now & in the future!
Avoid much empty space that force you to fill it with senseless contents as well!
You should advise the client with is the cost of doing this & repeating that... Initial costs, during & by the end!
It happens that you have clients who wants a cow with a price of a chicken!
5- Clients like attention, so keep them posted with the updates & stages of work done, so they can see that it's going on track! Respecting the deadlines is a must!
With doing that you force your client to respect the words he/she gives you!
6-Take notes in front of the client in order to recall what was combined.
I might show these notes to my client if eventually he/she claim it's not what he said or wanted before... (Not to be a jerk but to stay on the safe side).
HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR WORK TO FACE THE CHANGES?
1- I try my best to make all my works in vectors: This is the easiest way to change the shapes, colors, adding, removing after any need to amend;
2- Don't worry about disk space or how many layers you have!
Whenever I find the need to "Rasterise" a layer or importing a "smart object" I save it as a separate image just in case the change will be in that object in the future!
JPG/Tiff/GIF images might be cropped in a shape that you want it different eventually!
4- Copy all the fonts you used for that project in a folder.
Sometimes it happens with designers that they need to recall a Font they used on a background or a work that is patched!
I have more than 1000 Fonts on my machine! I can't remember all of them!
Have a nice work everyone! Cheers ;)