Startups are fragile things. They need a lot of care, attention, and support. If you leave their side too long, they will start to implode (they can’t look after themselves).
If you micromanage, you will stifle all growth. It’s a delicate balance. Let’s look at overcoming some of the more common challenges associated with startups.
The clients who don’t pay…
Speak to any freelancer or startup owner and they will tell you fanciful stories about clients who tried to get away without paying. Everybody likes to get something for free, of course, but this is daylight robbery and you should not stand for it, no matter how small the fee that your client is attempting to dodge.
You need invoicing software (for example, check out online invoice templates from FreshBooks). With powerful invoicing software, you can message your clients on time with an itemised bill that gives a full and easy to understand breakdown of your rates. You can also include your payment details and preferred methods of payment, all in one place.
Some clients will, naturally, insist on being tedious to the last, and you may still have to chase the very occasional chancer for payment. But overall, access to quality invoicing software can be the difference in ensuring your company gets paid without any undue fuss.
The never-ending tasks…
The issue here is a lack of planning. Clients want to pay for 5 hours of time and see results that take 15 hours to produce. And they expect you to absorb that loss as a goodwill gesture for having been awarded the contract in the first place.
If you do that with every client, you will work a 30 hour week by Tuesday and you will have only been paid for 10 hours of your time. Beginning to see the issue? What you need is a plan.
Map out how long tasks take and be upfront with your clients before they start to dictate to you the kinds of results they want to see at the kind of prices they want to pay.
The empty contact list…
An empty contact list means no employment opportunities through your contacts. While you may be content to sit back and let the clients come to you, bigger contracts have to be won. And to get those bigger contracts, you have to be in it to win it. What do we mean? You have to network.
Only by networking can you hope to benefit from insider knowledge and industry news. Make contacts over social media or in person at relevant events. Start a conversation about the other person’s workload and suggest there may be room to work together on projects in the future – everybody likes to make a contact who thinks they may be able to make them rich!
Meeting the right contacts is an essential part of keeping one ear to the ground in your industry. Start networking now, and your startups will soon benefit in ways you cannot currently imagine.