Please vote for us kiddos, it would take you 30 secs, the same time that you spare watching a TV ad, but it will make us more happy happy
A late comic, but still a comic. Sorry for the missing one this week, but the cold/sore throat or whatever you want to call it really did hit me. About today's comic, it did happen. Dont ask names but I can tell you, I was not going to the loo in this story ;)
I did found this article
by Joaquin Bernal in spanish, i did a free translation of the article and its posted here for you.
How to work as a freelance for fun and profit.
- Never leave your current job until you have a money backup. In your savings account you should have enough money to survive for 6 months without any client.
- As clients come by, restore the money backup. Always recover for the 6 months time, there's no maximum, itís up to your savings habits.
- Open an account for your professional work and bill on it the projects that you work in. Every month, make a transfer to your personal account for the amount of money that you decide that will be your salary. The professional account is that: professional. Destroy the plastic card of this account. From that account you will get money for material, supply's payments, your salary, etc. The accounting will be lots easier and you will keep away the temptation of buying that flat screen TV that looks cool when you receive money from a customer's payment.
- If you can, use a room in your house for work. That's your office and as it, it has a open and close time. When the time has come, leave the room and close the door until the next day. If you want to do things for fun in the computer, use another machine, in a different place of the house. If this is not possible, replace the physical barriers for mental barriers: discipline for a human schedule, not for a robot schedule.
- Donít use credit cards. When you are a freelance, itís easy to think that you can use the cards and pay the debts when that "in the pocket" project. The projects fall, the clients fail, the promised dates are moved. The bank doesnít.
- For every project that you take, make a proposal. Everything by writing, with every activity related to the project detailed with the ETA and the budget for such. When the client accepts the proposal, you must sign it and him or her as well. This document will be the bible of the project. When a "Now that you have that feature, could you do something like..?" happens, you must reply with tranquility: "Nice idea, tomorrow I will email/send you the budget estimation for that additional feature".
- Don't get angry if the client tries to change the specs in the middle of the project. Use the previous point. Regarding this, take as part of your job explain to the customer what he or she really needs. The rest of the job its to provide it. Sometimes it takes most effort the first part that the second.
- Decide a price per hour and budget based on it. Be honest. Sometimes the intuition tells you that a customer is willing to pay a extra bit. It's ok. Raise that extra bit your budget, but keep in mind that you have to explain in the project bible why you ask for such amount.
- A client do not makes you a favor for give you the project. A client do not makes you a favor for give you the project. A client do not makes you a favor for give you the project. Repeat until this turn into a mantra. You are not doing any favor to him or her either. It's a commercial transaction, and that's it.
- The conditions for a project are by writing. The verbal deals are really good and very valid until they stop being it.
- Search for a good accounting department that helps you with the taxes. That will save you lots of headaches.
- Never turn down your rates in an attempt to obtain customers, even if the market is slow. You will end in a project that you donít want to do, that gives you no money and will give you a headache. For those slow times, is the reason of the money backup (crashing with your parents, thatís an option too).
- Get an advance for every project before start it. From a 30% to 40%, the rest at delivery time, after the customer checks and validates that everything is in order. In that way you will prevent the situation "You work on it, and we will see it".
- Be careful when you work for friends. Keep very, very clear that from the start that the personal relationship itís something and the professional relationship is other. Keep them separated and donít mix conversations, if you call him or her by phone to discuss a deadline, donít count that drunk call in Saturday. Call him or her by night when the office is closed and then you will laugh.
- Keep your life as healthy as possible. Walk in the street, take some sun, eat fruits and vegetables, do some exercise, talk with people. I repeat, talk to people. Its very easy to end clustered in your cave and survive on noodles, with big eye bags, pale face and carry on a conversation that doesn't include the acronyms CSS or XHTML. You will end talking to winamp and missing the emoticons from messenger in the face-to-face conversations.
- Dont let the buzzwords grab you: If a customer tell you he or she wants ďcokeĒ, you reply that you work better with ďpepsiĒ.
Hope this get as useful for you as it was for me.Peace in the world
Meh | Posted on 04/08/2005 20:53