My customers are paying their bills late!


http://freelanceswitch.comGetting Paid by Freelance Clients

Freelancers have the most unusual type of obstacles when it comes to getting their clients to pay them. Beyond customers going M.I.A. or claiming they forgot, sometimes freelancers find clients refusing payment because they are unsatisfied with the work or not sure if it’s what they wanted. Yet, the work was done, so you deserve to be paid. End of story.

As a freelancer, you need to take proper and effective precautions to make sure you don’t find yourself in a position where a customer is paying you late or not even paying you at all.

1. Do Your Research

Get to know as much as you can about a client before you agree to do business with them. Get references from people who have worked with them and even pull a business credit report on a client if necessary. You must find a way to verify their financial behavior. You don’t want to bother wasting your time with someone who is notoriously a deadbeat.

2. It’s About the Contract

Never do any work on a freelance basis without having a well-structured, detailed contract. Although this takes time to prepare, it can end up saving you time (and huge amounts of money) in the end. Verbal agreements, handshakes, etc., these kind of agreements will never be enough. You need it ALL in writing.

You need to make the customer sign to the fact that, basically, they won’t be wishy-washy.

Be sure the contract specifies exactly what the payment terms are. Do they owe you money up front? When is the exact due date of the payment? And of what amount? Don’t leave any room for questions. Make sure a customer knows exactly when and how much they have to pay and signs to acknowledge this.

Include in the contract that “opinionated oppositions” will not be accepted. Specify that customers are paying for the service provided regardless of final reactions and that you are promising to deliver the service to the best of your ability in line with everything they ask.

Include in a note that if a customer decides that the original service was not what they had intended, or if they’ve changed their mind, that is to be considered a separate process and transaction. You need to make the customer sign to the fact that, basically, they won’t be wishy-washy. This video provided by the “Don’t Get Screwed Over”campaign highlights exactly what I mean by “wishy-washy”.

3. Utilize the Invoice

Continuar leyendo «My customers are paying their bills late!»

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Pros and Cons of Outsourcing

Running a design business, either as a freelancer or a small agency, is a big challenge. Getting the most efficiency out of your time is essential, but it’s also very difficult for those who wear many different hats, like freelancers. One of the most common ways of dealing with this challenge for efficiency is to outsource work to others. It could be anything from design work, front-end development, back-end development, marketing, to anything else that needs to be done.

There are some very strong reasons for outsourcing, and likewise the are some equally strong reasons against outsourcing. In this article we’ll look at those pros and cons, which will hopefully prove to be helpful to those who are trying to decide on whether or not to outsource.
Pros of Outsourcing
1. Leverage Your Efforts

Whether you are a part-time freelancer, full-time freelancer, or you run a design agency, the business aspect of your work is just as critical to your success as is your ability to design and/or code. One of the principles that is key to growing a business is that you need to be able to leverage your time and efforts. As a one-man operation you will only be able to earn money for the services that you can provide to clients yourself. But by expanding your business, in this case through outsourcing, you can leverage your efforts and make money based on the work of other people as well.

This makes an assumption that one of your priorities is to maximize income and profits, which may not be the case with all designers. Some designers prefer working on every aspect of client projects rather than outsourcing or hiring employees, even if it means reduced potential for business growth.


http://vandelaydesign.com

Running a design business, either as a freelancer or a small agency, is a big challenge. Getting the most efficiency out of your time is essential, but it’s also very difficult for those who wear many different hats, like freelancers. One of the most common ways of dealing with this challenge for efficiency is to outsource work to others. It could be anything from design work, front-end development, back-end development, marketing, to anything else that needs to be done.

There are some very strong reasons for outsourcing, and likewise the are some equally strong reasons against outsourcing. In this article we’ll look at those pros and cons, which will hopefully prove to be helpful to those who are trying to decide on whether or not to outsource.

Pros of Outsourcing

1. Leverage Your Efforts

Whether you are a part-time freelancer, full-time freelancer, or you run a design agency, the business aspect of your work is just as critical to your success as is your ability to design and/or code. One of the principles that is key to growing a business is that you need to be able to leverage your time and efforts. As a one-man operation you will only be able to earn money for the services that you can provide to clients yourself. But by expanding your business, in this case through outsourcing, you can leverage your efforts and make money based on the work of other people as well.

This makes an assumption that one of your priorities is to maximize income and profits, which may not be the case with all designers. Some designers prefer working on every aspect of client projects rather than outsourcing or hiring employees, even if it means reduced potential for business growth. Continuar leyendo «Pros and Cons of Outsourcing»

Why Collaborating with Other Freelancers Can be a Great Idea

Being a freelancer is a great way to work for a lot of designers and creatives. To be able to give your clients the best possible package though, you may have to look at doing things a bit differently. By considering to collaborate with other freelancers, you’ll have an even better chance to offer something great, along with getting more social in a job that often is quite lonely. Here are some of the reasons why working with others can be a great idea!

Being a freelancer means a lot of responsibility on your shoulders along with many “lonely” days at work. Being specialized in one field can definitely appeal to clients if you’re good at what you do, but today the ability to be versatile becomes more and more important. Clients know what they want and with all the designers and companies in the market, they can also afford to be a bit picky.
How to collaborate with others?

This can be done in different ways and you need to have a look at your options, who you know, who are available in your area and if they’re interested. A collaboration with other freelancers can mean to share office-space with them, have “unwritten” agreements on helping each other out with things you excel at and pointing clients in the direction of others when getting enquiries that involve projects that are a bit outside your comfort area.

Picture by Oliver Tam

The collaborations can be small or big depending on what you prefer. In many cases freelancers can take on bigger projects together, dividing parts of the work between them according to their different skills. As long as you’re able to find a way of billing and time-tracking that can be dealt with in a legal and correct way, you have many options.

Here are some reasons why you should consider working alongside other freelancers to get more clients by offering what they want!
Being able to compete better with bigger companies

Picture by Martin Boulanger

As companies with several designers also have more knowledge and a broader skill-range, collaborating can help you get up to that same level. This means that as you are more people doing the project, you can offer the skills and deadlines that usually are some of the benefits clients get when choosing to work with companies over freelancers.
Offering more

A bit of the same as the first point. If you are a web designer collaborating with a freelance writer, graphic artist or photographer, you will most likely be able to offer the client a more complete package. Clients love it when they don’t have to look around for many different people to work with. If you have a deal with others you can simply tell the client that you’re able to also take the pictures for the website, design the logo and so on.


By Hilde Torbjornsen | http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/freelance-collaboration/

Being a freelancer is a great way to work for a lot of designers and creatives. To be able to give your clients the best possible package though, you may have to look at doing things a bit differently. By considering to collaborate with other freelancers, you’ll have an even better chance to offer something great, along with getting more social in a job that often is quite lonely. Here are some of the reasons why working with others can be a great idea!

 

Being a freelancer means a lot of responsibility on your shoulders along with many “lonely” days at work. Being specialized in one field can definitely appeal to clients if you’re good at what you do, but today the ability to be versatile becomes more and more important. Clients know what they want and with all the designers and companies in the market, they can also afford to be a bit picky.

How to collaborate with others?

This can be done in different ways and you need to have a look at your options, who you know, who are available in your area and if they’re interested. A collaboration with other freelancers can mean to share office-space with them, have “unwritten” agreements on helping each other out with things you excel at and pointing clients in the direction of others when getting enquiries that involve projects that are a bit outside your comfort area.

Picture by Oliver Tam

The collaborations can be small or big depending on what you prefer. In many cases freelancers can take on bigger projects together, dividing parts of the work between them according to their different skills. As long as you’re able to find a way of billing and time-tracking that can be dealt with in a legal and correct way, you have many options.

Here are some reasons why you should consider working alongside other freelancers to get more clients by offering what they want!

Being able to compete better with bigger companies

Picture by Martin Boulanger

As companies with several designers also have more knowledge and a broader skill-range, collaborating can help you get up to that same level. This means that as you are more people doing the project, you can offer the skills and deadlines that usually are some of the benefits clients get when choosing to work with companies over freelancers.

Offering more

A bit of the same as the first point. If you are a web designer collaborating with a freelance writer, graphic artist or photographer, you will most likely be able to offer the client a more complete package. Clients love it when they don’t have to look around for many different people to work with. If you have a deal with others you can simply tell the client that you’re able to also take the pictures for the website, design the logo and so on. Continuar leyendo «Why Collaborating with Other Freelancers Can be a Great Idea»

To Freelance or Not To Freelance, That’s The Question

Being a freelancer is serious business. This is why we’ve decided to make a collection of pro’s and con’s for you to help out a bit. Deciding if you’re going to keep that 9-5 job or dive into the world of freelancing can be quite tricky to figure out. There are many things speaking both for and against this. Many times, the positive aspects seem to be many, while the more «negative» or challenging sides can be more hidden to you until you’re actually facing them.

Here’s a list of 15 pro’s and 15 con’s of freelancing. We hope these tips can help you decide what to do, and also help you be better prepared for the future!
The Pro’s

Being positive human beings, we’re going to show you what we think are 15 of the biggest pro’s in choosing a freelance career.
Creative Freedom

Many freelancers best motivation to start up often is the chance to get full creative freedom. No boss to look over your shoulder and no co-workers that take all the best jobs. As a freelancer you will be able to choose what direction your work will take. It will be you and the client without anyone else. There have been studies to show that many people in creative jobs would actually accept a lower pay for the same amount of work given they get full creative freedom. This proves that it’s definitely important to many of us.


Copyright © 2009 – 2010 Onextrapixel.com. All Rights Reserved.
By: Hilde Torbjornsen

Being a freelancer is serious business. This is why we’ve decided to make a collection of pro’s and con’s for you to help out a bit. Deciding if you’re going to keep that 9-5 job or dive into the world of freelancing can be quite tricky to figure out. There are many things speaking both for and against this. Many times, the positive aspects seem to be many, while the more «negative» or challenging sides can be more hidden to you until you’re actually facing them.

Here’s a list of 15 pro’s and 15 con’s of freelancing. We hope these tips can help you decide what to do, and also help you be better prepared for the future!

The Pro’s

Being positive human beings, we’re going to show you what we think are 15 of the biggest pro’s in choosing a freelance career.

Creative Freedom

Many freelancers best motivation to start up often is the chance to get full creative freedom. No boss to look over your shoulder and no co-workers that take all the best jobs. As a freelancer you will be able to choose what direction your work will take. It will be you and the client without anyone else. There have been studies to show that many people in creative jobs would actually accept a lower pay for the same amount of work given they get full creative freedom. This proves that it’s definitely important to many of us.

Creative
Image credit: .lollo.

Setting Your Own Work Hours Continuar leyendo «To Freelance or Not To Freelance, That’s The Question»

10 Must Read Tips for Newbie Freelancers

# Start an Emergency Fund – New freelancers will soon learn that work comes and goes, and when it goes, it might be gone for a while. Prepare yourselves for those times when the fridge breaks, the car goes on the fritz or you have to travel to a funeral by stowing away some cash. Begin with a $1,000 emergency fund and build it up every year. When you use some of it, make it a priority to put it back as soon as possible.
# Build a Portfolio – Assemble some of your best work in an attractive format to distribute to potential clients. It’s hard to convince someone to hire you without showing them the kind of work you can do. Depending on what you have to show, figure on a couple hundred dollars or more to get this done right.

New freelancers often have set their sights on ambitious goals: how well your life goes now depends solely on you. Among your new challenges are project management, bookkeeping, time management and relationship building. So while freelancing can be perceived somewhat romantically, the reality is often quite far removed from the original dream.

To avoid the pitfalls of the freelance life, apply these 8 must read tips to your business and start off in the right direction!


Photo credit: PureGrey

New freelancers often have set their sights on ambitious goals: how well your life goes now depends solely on you. Among your new challenges are project management, bookkeeping, time management and relationship building. So while freelancing can be perceived somewhat romantically, the reality is often quite far removed from the original dream.

To avoid the pitfalls of the freelance life, apply these 8 must read tips to your business and start off in the right direction! Continuar leyendo «10 Must Read Tips for Newbie Freelancers»

20 Reasons Freelance Developing Can Stink

Normally my posts on here are pretty gung-ho about how awesome freelance development is. Heck, I can wake up when I want, make as much money as I want and do the kind of work that I want. What’s not to love?

Unfortunately, like everything in this world, there’s some downsides. After working 16+ hour days for the past week and a half, I’ve gathered a few reasons freelance developing can stink: [Más…]

1. A big name client approaches you with a huge project that needs to be done NOW. You don’t want to turn them down because their name would look awesome in your portfolio. So you work all day, night and weekend to get the work finished, and thus have no life.
2. When one person needs a project done, 300 other people bombard you at the same time for their projects, as well as 200 emails.
3. When it’s calm, no one wants work and your inbox is empty and you’re bored.
4. You never get enough sleep, or you sleep in too late.
5. Exercise? What’s that?
6. When you’re having a coding problem, you can’t turn to your buddy next to you for help. Instead you’re stuck trying to explain a 100 line long PHP issue in 140 characters or less.
7. Your day is planned to the second – wake up, eat breakfast, pee, shower, pee, email, project 1, project 2, lunch, pee, project 3, dinner, project 4, blog, learn, pee and maybe, just maybe…breathe.
8. Everyone expects you to drop the client work you’ve had schedule for months just for them at the last minute.
9. When something goes bad, you get yelled at, not your boss.
10. Your secretary is a bichon frise and you talk to your cat.
11. Your inbox is NEVER empty…at least longer for 5 seconds.
12. Checking your email, twitter and facebook becomes an automatic reaction every time you sit down somewhere.
13. Sick or tired? Suck it up if you have 6 projects due this week.


10 (Gung~Ho album)
Image via Wikipedia

Normally my posts on here are pretty gung-ho about how awesome freelance development is. Heck, I can wake up when I want, make as much money as I want and do the kind of work that I want. What’s not to love?

Unfortunately, like everything in this world, there’s some downsides. After working 16+ hour days for the past week and a half, I’ve gathered a few reasons freelance developing can stink: Continuar leyendo «20 Reasons Freelance Developing Can Stink»

How to Get Quality Results on a Project You Needed Done Yesterday

There seems to be an age-old struggle between clients and freelancers: You need work in a pinch but don’t want to compromise on quality. Yes, I’m talking about rush jobs.

For many freelancers, this raises red flags. They’re concerned about being frazzled and not compensated for turning around top-notch work in a short span. You’re worried about meeting a deadline that just came up and saving your skin, too. If you can at all include more time for a project to be completed, do so. It’ll help you avoid rushing around—and probably save you a few bucks as well. But if that inevitable rush job comes into play, you’ll need to work with a freelancer that can swiftly get the job done.

Here are some tips on working with freelancers to complete rush projects…


There seems to be an age-old struggle between clients and freelancers: You need work in a pinch but don’t want to compromise on quality. Yes, I’m talking about rush jobs.

For many freelancers, this raises red flags. They’re concerned about being frazzled and not compensated for turning around top-notch work in a short span. You’re worried about meeting a deadline that just came up and saving your skin, too. If you can at all include more time for a project to be completed, do so. It’ll help you avoid rushing around—and probably save you a few bucks as well. But if that inevitable rush job comes into play, you’ll need to work with a freelancer that can swiftly get the job done.

Here are some tips on working with freelancers to complete rush projects… Continuar leyendo «How to Get Quality Results on a Project You Needed Done Yesterday»

Working with Other Freelancers: The Power of Outsourcing

The power comes from working with others, while still maintaining a one-man or one-woman operation. Working with other freelancers by outsourcing, or otherwise known as subcontracting can be a powerful source of business growth for any freelancer. In this post we’re going to discuss some of the benefits of working with others in the field, how to find others to work with, and how to successfully manage a freelancing business that may be actually run by multiple individuals.
The Benefits of Working With Others

All freelancers enjoy working on their own for one reason or another. For some, it’s to set their own hours. For others, it’s to work on the kind of things they want to work on. Then, for the introverts, a solo environment may just be more appealing. Whatever your reason, as freelancers we all take on the same challenges. Working with others in the field can combat these challenges – both the emotional and business related problems.
Combat Loneliness & Isolation…>>>


By: Kayla Knight

One person can only do so much, and therefore a business consisting of one person can only grow so much. Yet, many of us in this industry love to work alone; we love to call all of the shots and give ourselves full creative freedom. So how can a freelance business have the best of both worlds?

The Power of Outsourcing
Image credit: Office Now

The power comes from working with others, while still maintaining a one-man or one-woman operation. Working with other freelancers by outsourcing, or otherwise known as subcontracting can be a powerful source of business growth for any freelancer. In this post we’re going to discuss some of the benefits of working with others in the field, how to find others to work with, and how to successfully manage a freelancing business that may be actually run by multiple individuals.

The Benefits of Working With Others

All freelancers enjoy working on their own for one reason or another. For some, it’s to set their own hours. For others, it’s to work on the kind of things they want to work on. Then, for the introverts, a solo environment may just be more appealing. Whatever your reason, as freelancers we all take on the same challenges. Working with others in the field can combat these challenges – both the emotional and business related problems.

Combat Loneliness & Isolation…>>> Continuar leyendo «Working with Other Freelancers: The Power of Outsourcing»

The 5Cs of Choosing the Right Client


Previously on Onextrapixel, we’ve looked at the 5 Cs of Hiring a Freelance Designer. Today’s article will turn the tables around and explore the 5 Cs freelancers should look out for in a client.

The 5 Cs is not an unfamiliar subject to those of us living in a busy metropolitan regardless of which continent or country. Living in this modern and fast paced society, the need for the 5 Cs (Cash, Credit Cards, Condominium, Career and Country Club Memberships) is a confirmation of the high standard of living we have today.

5Cs of Choosing the Right Client
Image credit: Shutterite Co. /Kelly hofer

Although many have goals to attain all 5 Cs, this article explore 5 very different attributes that are also important especially for freelance web designers.

As freelancers, many times, the power is out of your hands. Clients are the ones with the upper hand because they have the option to choose from various candidates vying for their project. Although you have no control over whether clients will choose you over others, you can work on the things that you have control over to put your best foot forward and give it your best shot.

Clients have a right to choose. So do freelancers. You can choose to politely reject the job offer if they do not meet your own expectations. The idea is to meet each other half way and come to a mutual understanding and agreement. It’s time every one played by the rules; fair and acceptable rules.

The 5Cs of Choosing Clients

Before you go ahead and accept a job offer, these are some guidelines you can follow to determine if the client is worth working for. The following is a characteristic scan on five key areas you should take note of when you consider taking up a project from your clients.

Lack of Condescension

Respect is a key component in every good working relationship. Money isn’t everything; and money shouldn’t be used to make others feel small and inferior. If potential clients treat you with condescension and think that they are cut above the rest, working for them will be a rather unpleasant experience. They will not be open to equal and fair communication and discussion and this will greatly affect the process and the end product of the project itself.

Condescension Continuar leyendo «The 5Cs of Choosing the Right Client»

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