Freelancing Projects – Breaking up the tasks in your project

Breaking up projects into simpler tasks will enable one to finish the tasks at hand efficiently. How do we go about breaking up the tasks? It is necessary to identify the specific goals, for the project first, to know how to go about breaking up the tasks. Some of the important tasks in your project will be as mentioned under.

Time schedules: Time schedules needs identification and compliance. Time bound activities are marked off and highlighted. Those subtasks will get priority over others. A project will have specific dates as time lines and a project sheet would clearly demarcate these time lines indicating when and how each tasks needs completion.

Management of the project is the next step. This has to have the predefined objectives mentioned clearly. In short, project management will include all those tasks or steps that we are discussing here. It includes planning and control techniques of the project aiming at efficient completion. There are various tools one can use to achieve their goals, depending on the ability to manage the complexity of the project in hand.

Budgeting is the most important step in a project that will take up most of the time, during the initial stages of a project. A freelancer has to pay careful attention to budgeting. All the tasks involved in the project need accurate measurement while budgeting. Unless the budgeting planned and controlled, the project cost may become too high and unaffordable. Then the project becomes ambitious in nature and may end up shelved.

Process oriented and project oriented reporting structure is worked out to enable the project to run like well oiled machine. All functions needs separation into manageable tasks and sub-tasks and reported on for a project cannot run effectively. The breakdown of tasks provides a structure to the project which builds into small definable goals to achieve end result. Only controlled reporting can give control and insight on how well a project is faring.

Execution of the processes identified for execution needs monitoring as per requirements. This will involve collaborating with every individual involved in the project. Deliverables are monitored to ensure that the project on time lines. This includes acquiring and distributing information required for the project. Direction is required while executing the project.

Monitoring the project is another aspect that needs ample time. This includes measuring an ongoing activity against the baseline that was determined for the project. Identifying error and putting the effort back into bringing the corrective measure also is involved. Where ever there is, a flaw, they need identification and change after approval. This again should not affect the basic goal of the project.

Risks involved in a project needs assessment as well. This is possible by monitoring each of the tasks and the reporting in details. Hence, it is important for a freelancer to have exposure to all these simultaneously.

It is common to come across gaps wile doing a particular project. How do we identify such gaps? Some of them may not be gaping and will require an expert to identify them. So while on a project it is advisable to have continuing updates on the progress from all quarter. This will enable a person to easily identify his flaws, which will in turn affect his work and the project at the end.

Once the project nears completion, many other aspects will determine the value of the work. One such is the effectiveness of the design. The deployment of the project for operations purposes of the business needs attention. The lesser the hiccups in this stage the better.

Closing of the project also involves a lot work. Training to people involved in operations is given. Any error that is noted is worked upon on a regular basis to ensure that the capability of the project is enhanced at every possible step.

How to prevent being cheated in freelancing jobs

Quite often, than not we hear about freelancers being duped out of their money or not being paid for the job that they did. It is not only a financial loss but also diminishes the moral of a freelancer. Freelancers especially newbie free levels often fall prey to the fact that have been duped It is easy to pre vent yourself from falling into such situations H you keep the follow­ing in mind:

There is no such thing as simple work and quick money:

Every now and then, you will see advertisements in the mail and newspapers proclaiming that where the job they are offering gives you a chance of earning quick money by waking on pastime basis or wake hg at your continence. This in the biggest trap to lure wannabe freelancers or cash strapped individuals. There is no such thing as part time jobs with lots of money. These are usually data entry jobs that will take up a lot of your time and pay only peanuts.

Avoid free samples:

I once applied for an article-writing job and the client asked for two free samples of the topics, which he gave. It was purely by chance that I learnt that he had asked for two samples each for eight different people. He hired none of us and got 16 articles for free You have to safeguard yourself against such scams the sure shot way to do this is to not agree to free samples of the client’s choice. You can give previous samples of your work. Ok it there is no way out of it than agree to do a small sample and not the full. The client will be able to figure out your work from the samples that you provide.

Safeguard yourself against no payment:

As a freelancer, you do not have a steady source of income. Therefore in the event of non-payment you can face a financial crunch. The best way to avoid this in to take part payment before starting the job and keep taking payments in parts throughout the job. If the client is not ready to give advance then make sure that you have the verified details of the client. This should include phone number (working and checked) email ids and physical address. In case of non-payment, you can then follow up for payment. There will be clients who will delay making payments by giving excuses. Therefore retain the rights of your, walk till you receive full payments

Accept payments through verified means only:

A way to safeguard yourself against bogus payments is to receive payments through a verified medium such as your bank account or on the credit card, which can be traced easily. Keep a record of the payment that you receive for future purposes.

Read the fine print

Many clients and freelancers prefer to sign a contract before taking a job. These contracts are usually legally binding. When you are signing a contract, make sure that you read the fine print about the payment methods and dates. Terms like ‘payment will be made when work is done’ can be misleading if the amount of work is not described beforehand. Therefore, make sure that you know the work and payment proportion.

There is not harm in asking for payments when the work is done because it is your right. Many freelancers face a problem of asking for payment when the client keeps increasing the work. For example, the client hired you for one assignment and then gave you another without paying of the first one. In such situations, it is always good to come out in clear with the client and discuss things rationally.

What A Freelancer Really Is Wondering About All The Time

In our previous posts about how to be a freelancer we have discussed about in length about how you can be a freelancer in almost any field of work. Every freelancer whether he or she is a newbie or an established freelancer worries many times about some of the basic questions all the times. In this post we have attempted to answer all the basic questions in one place

How much should I charge?

The question comes up with every job. Of course it all depends on many factors such as the complexity of the job, the time required and the effort on your part. For example a simple article job without any complex technical mentions will earn you less than an article writing job, which requires understanding of complex technical mentions. The amount of money that you will charge will also depend on the client’s budget.

Many freelancers make the mistake of taking in less professional work to build up a portfolio but it only looks bad on the actual portfolio. Professional rates are to be maintained at all times.

Where to find a client?

The best way to fine a client is to stay in the visible at all times. If you go out of picture for a long time and have not been in touch with things around you because you are ‘too busy’ then you will end up losing clients then gaining them. Initially the best way to get work is to approach the clients. If you have some trouble in a direct approach then the best way is to ask somebody else to help you get some work.

How to deal with a client who is unhappy with my work?

Unhappy clients can be easily avoided if you are consistent with your work and make a special effort to understand everything that is required of a job. However the world is not perfect and you are bound to encounter an unhappy client sometime. The best way to deal with an unhappy client is to be polite at all time and present with the completed work at all times. If things you out of hand then you should retract quietly.

How many samples should my portfolio have?

Your portfolio should showcase your latest and best work. Keep the number of samples limited to maximum of 12. If you have done a variety of work the select the best piece out of each category and place it in your portfolio. Keep in mind that prospective clients are more interested in the quality of your work than the quantity of the work. If the client needs more samples of a particular kind then you can also send the samples in mail.

How to manage money and other accounts?

For this it is important to understand the countries freelancing laws. You need to keep track of all your transactions for filing and tax purposes. Financial management is a must for any freelancer. Money also does need to be set aside for rainy days. You can get some advice from an account professional to help you manage better.

What kind of online presence do I need?

In terms of online presence you must have a website and a blog, which will be a home page of all your work. It will also be a one stop information bank for the client who want to know your interests and want to contact you. Make sure that the blogs are all updated and you answer comments on them. Also make sure that your website has all your latest details. It will also serve as a base to give free rein to your thoughts.

When To Say No To A Client

For a freelancer the client in the most important person. The client usually has the final say in the working and completion of a project. However, it is not necessary that the client is always right or you cannot refuse to what a client wants. Many a times it happens that even when you have completed the work the client keeps asking for some ‘little’ changes or additions before making the payment. It is ok to over deliver a little but when the little accumulates to large amount of work it is the time to say no. Many freelancers keep on doing -the work from the fear that the payment will not be made or the client will not give a good reference after the job. This does happen in some cases but these situations can be easily avoided:

Use the ‘can we process the payment while I do this’ technique. Client wants some extra work? Sure, you can do it but can they process the payment first so that your invoicing can go through? This way both parties remain happy.

It is ok to say no if you have other projects: Yes, if you have other projects at hand you can say no to the client for entre work citing the same reasons. If the client values your work then maybe you can work an arrangement both can benefit from.

Say no to the client if you have even a bit of suspicion: It is completely ok to say no to the client if you have even a bit of suspicion in terms of the amount of work or payment. Remember you want to work but the work should not go waste. A client who does not want to share contact information for is not giving the clear instructions for the job then you have the right to be suspicious.

Another time which you will have to say no to the client as when the client promises more work but keeps on delaying it. As a freelancer, long periods of no earnings can lead to a serious imbalance in your budget. Therefore, if the client has promised you more work but keeps on delaying the work and the payment then it is a good idea to pick up another work and ask your previous client for payment.

Say not if the client is offering you a profit: Many start-ups are based on profit sharing basis. If the client if offering you profit sharing in place of payment then you should say no because you don’t know if the business is going to make any profit or not. Granted it make seem very lucrative to be a part of the venture but think about how are you going to track the profits, are you going to be a partner, and how long the profit sharing will go on.

Say not o prospective clients if they are friends or family members: Working for friends and family members can be very stressful for both parties. For you, as a freelancer, there is an added pressure to perform extremely well and at a ‘reasonable price’. For the client it is to convey their review without hurting your feelings. You don’t have to say a direct no, instead use sentences like ‘I am too busy with other projects but I can refer you to xyz person who will be able to do it better’ or ‘I don’t like mixing business with family’ etc.

Say no if you are bulldozed in doing work for charity: Doing work for charity is a good thing if you have volunteered for it. If you are being bulldozed, (by making you feel guilty or appearing to your good nature) and the charity work is going to set you back then say no.

Working remote and benefits

Over 43 million people in this works have taken the advantage of working remotely from their homes or other locations. 21st century has seen a revolution in remote working which many people thought was impossible. Of course technological development has contributed in a great way to this revolution but mainly it has been because of the many advantages or benefits that it has.

What is working remotely?

You will be working remotely if you are working away from your employers business place. Even if you are in the next block it is still working remotely. Working remotely largely happens over computers and internet.

Working remotely should not be confused with freelancing though. You are freelancing when you are not working for a particular employer but choosing the projects you want to work on whereas in working remotely you can be working for a particular employer or freelancing.

There are many reasons on why working remote is fast gaining popularity. Let us take a look at the most popular benefits of working remotely:

More family time:  Around 51% of people who were working remotely have confirmed that they get more family time. The flexible working hours and the time saved in commuting gives them more time to concentrate on their children, spouses and relatives and be more involved in family activities. A better work and life balance is good for your own well being too.

Better productivity: Both the employers and the employees will confirm the fact that the ability to work remotely gives better productivity. This has also enables the employers to post a better retention. Also working remotely you can concentrate more on the job because there are no unnecessary distractions, not surprise meetings and no cooler talks. One more factor that contributes to increased productivity is the need of remote works to prove them because they are not present in office.

Less Stress: When you work remotely, you are subjected to less stress than the regular office environment. There are a number of factors that contribute to this; the first once is the reduction of commuting stress, secondly there is a reduction of stress from peers and thirdly there is a reduction of stress caused due to extra activities.

More earnings: This may sound a little strange to you but working remotely does save you a lot of money. You get to work in the environment that you are comfortable in and therefore you work more, which means more earnings. You save money on commuting and other small expenses that you may incur during traveling to and fro from office.

Remote working also benefits the employers because they do not have to invest in office space, heating costs, security, transports etc.

Better for the environment: Working remotely decreases the net CO2 emission. Telepresence, paper less working, less emissions from the building all contribute to reducing the CO2 emission in the environment. Therefore, by working in the remote office you are contributing to making the world a better place to live in.

Flexibility: The most popular benefit of working remotely is the amount of flexibility that you get when working. Most employers are not concerned with the timings you keep as long as you turn in your work in time and do it correctly. You can set up your own work timings. This also helps cuts down on absent employees in the organization. Flexible working hours also mean that leave planning becomes easier.

Working remotely is a win-win situation for both the parties and it definitely makes more sense than opening a new office in the world of today. All you need a laptop, the adequate skills and the willingness to try something new to make a success of it.