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potential new client..your thoughts please(21 Posts)
I've just been contacted from a potential new client. Meeting them early Sep. If I contract with them, I'll need to up my childcare (childminder) & be prepared to work most evenings/some weekends. Good money though. Already have another regular client which I'm happy with. Should I just go for it - even though I find fitting in work with such little childcare so so difficult and tiring? Is this the best thing to do - forward thinking to when they are at school and I've built up a little client base? Just wanting comments/opinions from other freelancers really - sometimes it feels like I'm all alone on this journey. I find it really tough sometimes with pre-schoolers & building my business but keep telling myself it will get easier once they are at school?!
How long is the contract for or is it ongoing? Would it be easy to stop if you did find it too much?
Hi freelance <waves>
Great it is going well!
My general approach is to take the work when it is going assuming I can deliver whatever it is.
Why will you need to work evenings/weekends? Is that to avoid paying for childcare/using childcare? It sounds like you will be giving up any spare time, which maybe is the way it has to be, but it does sound a bit full on...just my view.
I personally wouldn't worry about the long term potential of this client. You can be dropped v quickly by clients or indeed asked to do more if their circumstances change. So I'd view this opp as something for now and make the decision based on that. It could all work out for the long term but I'd think about what suits now.
I always say yes and worry about how to do it later! When you first start a contract things always take ages, would it be possible to pull in some favours first to see how things go? You may not need the childcare longer term. Also companies can be a bit ... Over promising about the real volume of work they're offering.
Part of the life is the working at nights and weekends, however I usually try to keep that to a short-term thing. It's not how I generally want to work - but my DS is at school so I suppose I only have to do that in hols or at real peak times.
So I guess what I'm saying is say yes but suck it and see before making any big decisions wrt childcare.
Thanks for replies - great advice. Think I'll go and meet them next month and go for it if I get offered the contract. I'll just make it work and consider more childcare options if/when required. Think I need to think more 'here & now' rather than always thinking forward. The money side is motivating me actually - I'd like to contribute a bit more financially at home - and I'd like to join a gym..!!!!
Yes Yes to Wilson words re clients over promising & things taking a while to get going. Unfortunately often you have to move at their pace...
Thinking forward is a good trait but I think you need to see how it goes esp when starting out. I am not sure if you can be that strategic about how you'll work until you have tested the market a bit more etc. Or at least that is what I found.
Good luck, sounds great.
Also in terms of pace, what takes you three days the first time you do it will be done in one day the fifth time you do it. Which is a) why you should charge by job rather than by hour and b) why you should see how things shake down.
<waves to Margo - has the baby arrived yet?>
Hi Wilson yes she did, 7 weeks now - thanks for asking.
Enjoying her but itching to work too! Hope you are finding the hols ok re balance and your DC.
Sorry for hijack OP!
How long term is your existing client - can you juggle them down a bit, at least in the beginning?
Is it going to be worth more to you than just good pay? (i.e. will they be a valuable reference or be able to refer more jobs to you in the future?) If not, it just depends on if you need/want the money really...
Hi, thanks for the further posts - all really useful. Yes, think it will be worth more than just good money - have undertaken due diligence & they're an excellent leading company - excellent for future references/little video in my website etc - will be great profile for my business. Also, totally agree re. clients overpromising work - have already experienced that. Am learning a lot fast about the world of freelance - glad to be in it though. Margot (i think?) - congrats on your baby girl
Me again! Following on from my previous post - updated position - advice sought please. The potential new client booked in to meet me early Sep - as I'd previously mentioned. I agreed (organised childcare & rearranged my work diary behind the scenes). Then, client changed date due to an 'important matter'. Again, I agreed to new date, no fussing etc. (yet again made all sorts of rearrangements behind scenes to attend meeting/interview.) They've just been in contact again to inform me that another important meeting has been scheduled so they have to rearrange my date again. Arghhhh! I feel cross. They're interested in using my company to provide them with professional services in my expert area - it was an advertised role. I feel a bit cross that they keep cancelling me for other important matters. It makes me feel that they are not really going to value me, my conpany or my services & I also feel that I'm likely to get frustrated working for them if they're just going to mess me around. My questions: Am I being too sensitive? Should I just accept that the MD (of a major uk company) is obviously just very busy & in the scheme of things, I rank low on the priority list? If I walk away from this opportunity now, will I regret it? What would you do?
Oh no, how v annoying!
I have lots of empathy. I am without childcare as on mat leave. Was going to use a KIT day for each of two clients. Like you went to great pains to sort childcare and one had cancelled twice and the other once - so far.
I think the trouble is that it takes a lot to arrange childcare to be able to attend however that really is no concern of the client/potential client.
I would - as the potential sounds good and as the meeting is with the MD so plausibly could need to be moved - go for rearranging.
However I might add in something like "Is there a better time for MD to meet? It is just I know he has had to reschedule a couple of times, so wanted to see if there was anything I could do to make it easiet for him/her".
Or something that highlights this is has happened a couple of times.
I do think that it is worth trying to keep a balance of 'power' as you mention. If you come across as too desperate etc.
Feel for you, know this is an exciting opp for you. Hope it works out.
Hi, thanks. That's annoying about your Kit days too - hope you manage to sort. I think it's the frustration of having to rearrange all the time ( & all done without client knowledge, like you mentioned, as obviously I don't want to draw attention to childcare issues). I just get diary/childminder/husband sorted & then it changes again! I appreciate your points, thanks. I think I will see if there's a better time to meet. It's about an hour&half drive from me - maybe I suggest meeting very early breakfast meeting or after work coffee - that might suit him better. Also, a tiny part if me wonders if this is a test - am I flexible enough? I'm still finding my feet in the world of freelancing but crikey, throw pre-schoolers/babies into the mix & it all gets very tricky! It's a journey..
Well, I would be tempted to not be available for the next suggested reschedule - it does no harm to remind people you have a busy diary too. Although of course I wouldnt say this was due to childcare, I'd just say I was booked on another job. Probably not a very mature response, but, ye know...
Could you suggest a Skype/FaceTime/even a telephone call? I don't tend to meet my clients face to face tbh.
me again. So I went to the re-arranged scheduled meeting yesterday - to meet the MD of the potential new client. Drove for 2.5 hours in rain on motorway - waited an hour to meet the MD who was running late. He then rang to say he just couldn't make it at all because of the weather on the motorway - such bad traffic. So I drove all the way home again, furious. I had convinced myself last night that I just don't want to take it any further with this potential new client when...the MD rings me this morning, apologising profusely and offered to meet me where I live for the meeting/interview. So we are now meeting next week just round the corner from my home office. Would you have agreed to this or just written them off as a complete waste of time client? Arghhh, the frustrations of clients.....
I would go with the meeting if he's making the effort to meet you - he sounds very disorganised!
If he cancels again (for any reason at all), I'd tell him to bog off though. I think this has to be last chance saloon! So frustrating sorting out childcare and then finding you don't need it - you have my sympathies!
Thanks Kiri. I agree - this is the last chance!
You deserve a medal for tenacity freelance!
I agree last chance. Hopefully you'll be rewarded with some work!
Did you get your meeting OP? How did it go? Hope all went well. I've found when people have contracted me, and done this, it's a reflection on their actually needing help, and that's why they are looking for us to work for them. Hope all went well
Hi - thanks for asking. He had man flu, asked if he could confirm his attendance the day prior to meeting. I said no, not going ahead. Felt like I'd been messed around enough. So we won't be meeting! I've re-focused & decided I really need to continue providing the best service to my existing client who is an excellent client in every way.
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