6 Tips To Manage Clients And Scheduling In A Freelancing Business

by Nitin Aggarwal · 21 comments

This is a guest post by Nitin Aggarwal from OffshoreAlly telling us 6 tips for proper management of our freelancing business.

As a freelancer or owner of a freelancing business, you have the freedom and opportunity to set your own hours, rates, and schedule. Many people would say that you are truly living the dream!

However, there is a dark side to freelancing if you don’t handle your daily tasks and scheduling properly; leaving you with a crazy workload, angry clients, and unpaid invoices.

How do you prevent this nightmare from coming true?

As a freelancer online, you need to be just as organized and business savvy as you are creative and talented.

Whether you are working as a freelance writer, web designer, or even virtual assistant, you do need to have the strength and foresight to be your own boss. This makes it imperative for you to be proactive in managing your clients and scheduling to prevent any errors, missed deadlines, or mis-communications on a project.

Here are 6 Tips for Freelancing Business Management:

1. Start Out By Clearly Communicating The Parameters Of Every Project

Each client is entirely unique, so do not make the mistake of assuming that one client is just like a previous client. While a previous client may have given you a clear outline and expectations for a project, your new client may not have thought that far into the future.

This is why you must take the same methodical approach with every client by submitting them an outline of the project, asking their expectations, and setting clear deadlines and milestones in place. Any client will appreciate your attention to detail, and this communication will make sure that you do not hand in a project that they are not happy with.

2. Set Up A Brief Client Meeting

It is helpful set up a quick meeting over the phone or on Skype with every client so that you can discuss the expectations for the project. Your client will appreciate you taking the time to make yourself available to them, and you will be able to quickly get any questions out of the way right off the bat.

3. Use Project Management Programs Like ClockingIt

If you are working with several members of a team, or even if you are managing a freelance project, it is important to use programs specifically designed for this purpose.

A program like ClockingIt will allow you to create milestones and deadlines, share files, and even use a discussion forum to chat with other members of the project. This tool will consolidate all aspects of a freelance project so that each member of the team understands what he or she is responsible for and nothing slips through the cracks.

4. Always Be Available To Your Clients

One of the most important things that you can offer to your clients as a freelancer is to always be available to them. Now, this does not indicate that you should not have boundaries that separate your personal life from your work life, but since you work from home, it is impressive if you are able to answer a quick e-mail in the evening or even respond to an e-mail to tell them that you will take care of an issue first thing in the morning.

Clients will appreciate your availability and come back to you for further projects!

5. Have A Clear Schedule Set In Place

One of the worst mistakes that you can make as a freelancer is to overlap projects and shortchange yourself on time. Make sure that you have a schedule on hand at all times with all of your upcoming deadlines so that you can give an interested client an accurate quote of how long their project will take.

As a rule of thumb, it is always, always, always best to overestimate a time-frame instead of underestimate it. Being late on a deadline is entirely inexcusable, but being early on a deadline by even one day is impressive and memorable!

6. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

There may be times that a client’s expectations are unclear, and you will only be doing both of you a favor by asking questions about it. There is no reason to worry about feeling stupid with any question that you are asking, and even if it is an obvious question, your client will appreciate the fact that you consulted them about it.

Conclusion

Freelancing is a rewarding and lucrative job that can definitely turn into a full-time career if you practice the above techniques.

It is important to always communicate clearly and be honest with your client so that you can submit a successful project and have them coming back for more!


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About Nitin Aggarwal

Nitin is a full time blogger and founder of Offshore Ally – a virtual assistant company. You should read his blog for more outsourcing tips. You can also follow him on twitter @OffshoreAlly

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Shane@Philippines Outsourcing September 15, 2011 at 9:01 pm

As a worker, when you are serious in what you are doing,may it be in the form of freelancing, you’ll be able to manage it well. But, in cases where you abused your own self, manipulating work hours, work loads and even reports, it’s your own destruction as an effective worker. Time goes by, and noticeably, your productivity and even reputation is degrading.

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