You’re finally ready! Hyped up, psyched up and ready to take on the world! You have a fool proof business plan and excited to start building up a big long list of clientele. You know your abilities and you’re ready to show them off! But my question is this, ‘Do you accept work from every client that approaches you with an opportunity?’ I have heard strong opinions in the past from people that believe you should NEVER turn down an opportunity. If one comes your way, then you should grab it with both hands and run with it. After all, you’re trying to build a reputation for yourself as a hardworking, can-take-on-anything type of business person right? For the most part, I agree, however, in certain circumstances I believe that you should stop and think whether it would be advantageous for your business.
4 Reasons to perhaps stop and think before jumping in with a ‘YES’.
#1 – Perhaps you are approached by a potential client offering an opportunity for you to be a part of their project. They ask for your services at a cheaper rate than you usually charge, but not by much. This is where you have to think carefully. The experience may do you good and could even assist in getting your name out there. On the other hand, the chances are, you have bills to pay and perhaps even a family to support and feel that you could get better paid work elsewhere. Do you have any other potential leads? Perhaps the money being offered just isn’t enough for the complexity of the project being asked of you.
#2 – Stick up for your worth. You may find that you get the odd ridiculous offer. Using a new logo and business card as the example, it can take a good few hours to get the designs right. If somebody comes offering a small fee of just £5 for your services, then your time and ability is almost certainly worth more. If it took 3 hours to complete the designs then they are effectively only paying you £1.67 an hour…
#3 – Prioritise. You may already have an important project on the go, or perhaps you have a second or third opportunity lined up and feel that your calendar is just too chock-a-block to take on work at that specific moment in time.
Turning down work for this reason is frustrating. Chances are, in a month or so your calendar could have freed up, but unfortunately, for now, you are all booked up. From time to time, this can happen, but you never know, the client may respect your honesty and see that others obviously choose you for a reason. Maybe this will entice them back to you in the future. After all, if you are a freelancer, the chances are that you are a one man army. You may feel like a superhero that can take any work thrown your way, but try not to overwhelm yourself and ensure that you manage your time effectively.
#4 – Perhaps your skills just don’t lend themselves to the project asked of you. Perhaps they require you to use a different software package that you’ve never used. Perhaps the work combined with the additional software learning process would not be worth the time. Just be honest with the client. Let them know of your concerns, rather than struggling through the work and then offering them a half baked attempt. Chances are, they’ll respect you for it and if you’re lucky, they may even let you use the software you’re specialised in.