If you’re starting a freelance business, one of the problems you’ll run into is clients that expect services outside the scope of your work agreement. Because freelancing is a much more personal form of business people tend to think that they have more of a claim to your time. They may tie up your time with frequent phone calls to “pick your brain” or demand extra services or expect you to accommodate last-minute changes. It is up to you to establish professional limits for client relationships.

Here are more business tips on handling client demands:

  • Never do business on a handshake. Responsibilities (yours and your client’s), deadlines, finished work product and fees should be clearly spelled out in a written agreement or contract to prevent misunderstandings. A written agreement protects you and your client and gives you a legal leg to stand on should a problem arise.
  • You don’t have to agree with a client’s message to work for him, but don’t hesitate to walk a client whose project conflicts with your moral or ethical beliefs. You do not have to accept a job just because it’s offered. For example, if you are opposed to smoking; you might find it difficult to embrace a project promoting the tobacco industry. Do yourself and your client a favor and refuse the job.
  • Refuse client pressure to do something illegal or unethical. To cut time and save money, some clients may encourage you to copy and paste copyrighted photos or content. If you acquiesce, you join your client in plagiarism or copyright infringement, risking serious damage to your reputation and possible legal repercussions.
  • Get at least half of your money up front. Most clients pay their bills promptly; but if they don’t, collection can be time-consuming and expensive. As a small business person, you can’t afford to wait 60 to 90 days to get paid or run the risk that a client will stiff you. You can solve this problem by doing business on Zoondy. Zoondy protects you by collecting fees up front and holding them until project completion. Click the link to find out how Zoondy works.