When you become self-employed, sometimes you get a burst of energy and with every success, you think you can take more projects and clients on.
While this drive and adrenaline rush can be great, it also may place you in a position where you end up with quantity over quality in your work and client list.
You always want to be your best because your brand is what you make of it and taking on too much work or too many clients may leave you only giving 50% to different clients when you should be giving 100% to each.
What can you do to eliminate this from occurring? Here are a few quick suggestions:
By no means do I mean drag your feet as a self-employed individual, but instead, work at a pace where you can actively see how much you are taking on and how it affects yourself (i.e., physically, mentally, emotionally) and then build from there. Saying "yes" too many times in a short period is not a good indicator of how much you can handle and you may end up with too much too quickly. Take some time to build your brand and business and then you will have a better gauge on when to say "yes" and when to say "not at the moment."
Evaluate your work and clients regularly
Are you constantly hunting down clients for money? Is this taking as much time as the work you have for them? If so, you may have quantity over quality with your clients. If you have seven clients and four do not hold up their end of the contract with payment and responses, then perhaps you need to evaluate who you are working with.
The clerical end of self-employment should not equal the amount of time needed to complete your tasks. If this occurs, you may want to figure out a way to work on focusing your efforts on quality clients.
Build safe and professional barriers before work begins
There is nothing worse than taking on a lot of work and then finding you are taking on more than you agreed upon. Contracts, hours listed prominently on your website and email signature, and other barriers up front can save you from a quantity vs. quality debate with your work. Clients cannot dispute your barriers set up, especially if they are in a contract the client signed. This can eliminate you from being overworked, keeps you in-check with how much you are taking on, and let's the client know you are a human who needs downtime to re-charge.
If you find yourself with a potential client who does not agree to the terms set, then you can easily move on without wondering if you missed a great opportunity.
These are just a few quick suggestions on how to ensure you receive quality clients and work and are not taking on too much too quickly. How do you balance out your workload and client list? Let us know.
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Socially Dedicated, a Philadelphia-based firm, provides marketing, content creation, public relations, business management consulting and social media management to small businesses. Check out our website or locate us on social media using the icons below.