How you should set boundaries with clients:
Things to do before starting out with the project:
1. Anything else you need to discuss in the contract? Loose ends?
You can do a contract amendment or send a confirming email or letter to the client.
2. Let the client know your communication practices: When and how often you will check and respond to messages, etc.
3. Let the client know your availability during weekends: Even if your are not available during weekends, say you will be happy to accommodate the client during emergencies.
4. Let the client know your availability during the workday: As a freelancer you are not bound by strict boss-timings. Let them know if and how they can leave a voice message and how soon will you get back.
5. Let the client know how will update them: For example, weekly progress reports via email.
6. Structure the feedback and approvals: Get details such as key decision maker/s, approval process, who is your team is responsible for what, who will give the feedback etc. And also, what are the times (days of week, and time of day) for sending materials/updates etc.
7. Know any specific any policies or procedures of the client beforehand: For example, some clients have a specific day of the week when all payments are made.
When you are working on-site
- Some projects involve freelancers working from the client's offices. In this case, most of the time behave as a regular employee does:
- Know where you have to work, who you will report to, what the tasks are, who will you be working along with, what things you will need, the office culture etc.
- Check if you are being misclassified without your knowledge.
Misclassification is when employers use contract workers to do the job of a full-time regular employee (right from reporting on time daily), but without giving them the benefits (healthcare, insurance etc) enjoyed by full-time employees, in order to save on costs and overheads. If this isn't what you wanted, you can get the help of your industry's union or the government (IRS, United States) who take misclassification very seriously.
Thank you for reading.
If you found this guide useful, please share this with your friends and family.
There are 200+ guides to succeeding in business, career and personal life in The Success Manual. Get the pdf ebook for $12 only.