I can’t stress enough the freedom that comes with being your own boss, but with that also comes the imperativeness of making your own business decisions and being responsible for them and their consequences.
More people are tending to work on a freelance basis nowadays. This is the era of freelancing because the latter has so many advantages, including working on your own terms. However, a few bumps on the freelancing road are what comes with the territory.
Below are, in my opinion, the toughest decisions that a freelancer has to make throughout their career.
Mixing Friendship with Business
It is a really tricky situation. I’ve had a list of clients whom I thought were friends. With time, we would develop a certain connection, a strong relationship. At a certain point, when our interests clashed, some of them showed their true colors driven by their priorities because, let’s face it: people don’t change; their priorities do. So one of the toughest decisions that I had to make is not to mix business with friendship. It’s either I do them a favor or I simply back away and not consider them as friends, offering them my services and dealing with them in a purely business-oriented approach.
Choosing to no Longer accept Jobs from that Certain Client who can’t seem to pay their Dues
It’s really tough: they keep sending you work. This is your source of income and you need the job, you need the money, but you get to a point where the unpaid invoices are mounting up and the client still has work to be done. I’ve been in this situation way too many times (Hello, this is Lebanon) and to me this is the toughest decision that I ever had to make. At one point with a few clients, they made the entire payment on the same day that I told them that I won’t be accepting any further jobs, and they stressed on the importance of us keeping a business relationship, but I only wish it were this easy with all the clients!
Informing your Existing Clients of Raising your Rates
Your clients are used to a certain rate that you offer them, and it’s really tough to tell them that you will be raising your rates because not all of them would accept to pay for your services more than they were used to before. But of course, there is a certain way to do this. You could start step by step and not tell all your clients at the same time but rather choose a couple to start with and see where it goes. However, it’s important to assess the market first.
Lowering your Rates to gain a Certain Client / Job
I am usually against this policy and I almost never lower my rates for any reason whatsoever. This has seen a few exceptions which were really difficult for me to decide on. I would find myself at a crossroads to either refuse a certain job or accept to lower my rates since the work load is rather huge.
Accepting a Huge Job without any Down Payment from a new Client
I would love to think that we all live in La La Land where we all trust each other and just go about our business without having any doubts towards other parties, but the reality is that our business is tough in Lebanon. I have had my fair share of business downfalls and disappointments, and I have come to a point in my career where I would rather say no to the job if the new client refuses to place a down payment. Trust is earned. It’s as simple as that.
With all of the above, I still love my job and wouldn’t have it any other way!