Beware The Difficult Client

Written by Angela Booth

Beware The Difficult Client

Copyright (c) 2002 by Angela Booth

Into each life a little rain must fall, and into each business life waltzesrepparttar occasional difficult client.

Luckily, most clients are a pleasure to work with. The pains inrepparttar 117383 derriere are also, when you have enough experience to recognizerepparttar 117384 type.

I've listed several "difficult" types below, so that you can arm yourself against them.

The major weapon in your armory is THE CONTRACT. Always have a contract, no exceptions. Be especially wary ofrepparttar 117385 prospective client who says: "A contract? This will take you what, an hour? Surely you don't expect a contract for an hour's work?" (See "The Spider" below.)

=> The Convivial

You can recognize her by her cry: "Let's have a meeting before I sign off on this!" The Convivial client:

* always has an office which is half a day's drive from you;

* rarely shows up for any meetings she's scheduled, and if she does, is always at least an hour late; and

* never has an agenda for any meeting, and therefore never remembers why she wanted to see you, indeed she'll convince herself that YOU asked forrepparttar 117386 meeting.

Your weapon: a signed contract with a paragraph which states that all meetings exceptrepparttar 117387 first are chargeable at your usual daily rate, which is $X.

Note: if you don't have a schedule of fees, develop one. Byrepparttar 117388 close of business today. It's vital. Contact your professional association or ring local practitioners to discover whatrepparttar 117389 standard rates are, and use these as a basis to calculate your own fee schedule.

=> The Extremely Cautious

Her cry is: "I need to get input from Sales and Marketing, and then Legal wants to look it over". The Extremely Cautious client:

* has trouble with decisions, so rarely sees a project through to completion; and

* micro-manages, so expect five phone calls a week while you work onrepparttar 117390 project.

Your weapon: a signed contract which specifies your billing cycle. This depends onrepparttar 117391 project, but always get at least a third up front, and invoice monthly. Make sure that your contract specifies that all revisions afterrepparttar 117392 final draft are chargeable. When you hear "Legal" think: "revision, revision, revision".

=> The Bargain Bazaar

Her cry: "It came up that we really need X and Y and Z to makerepparttar 117393 package complete. You won't mind including them, will you?"

The Bargain Bazaar client is always pleasant. She gets on your wavelength. She asks about your children, your hamster and your garden. She sends a box of mangos or a hand-tooled leather portfolio with your initials in gold whenrepparttar 117394 project is complete. Unfortunately, neitherrepparttar 117395 mangos norrepparttar 117396 portfolio coverrepparttar 117397 unpaid extra work you did.

Family Matters: Easing the Transition to a Home Business

Written by Angela Wu

Ask any would-be entrepeneur why he or she wants to start a home based business and you'll get a wide variety of replies. Regardless ofrepparttar reason, there's one thing for certain: starting a home business doesn't just affect you,repparttar 117382 entrepreneur; it also affects your family.

The change in lifestyle that comes with a home business requires adaptation fromrepparttar 117383 entrepreneur as well as his or her spouse and children. So before you jump intorepparttar 117384 world of home business, have a frank discussion with your family about issues such as:

__How Will You Separate Business and Family?

Home businesses are particularly difficult to manage because they're just steps away from family life. You need to be able to concentrate fully on your business, yet when you spend time withrepparttar 117385 family you shouldn't be distracted by business matters -- or worse, tempted to go do 'just a little work.' Some things you can do to help keep business and family separate include:

* Set 'office hours'. This isrepparttar 117386 time where you focus on your business without having to worry aboutrepparttar 117387 family.

* Take time out for yourself. No one can work allrepparttar 117388 time, and you'll burn out if you try. Set aside some 'personal time' to exercise, read, or do something else you love.

* Take a guilt-free day off withrepparttar 117389 family. Yes, an entire day away fromrepparttar 117390 business! You'll feel more refreshed and better able to concentrate onrepparttar 117391 business afterwards.

* Get organized and stay focused! The less time you have to spend searching for email, papers, etc.,repparttar 117392 more time you'll have to actually perform productive work. This will free up time so that you can do other things.

__Will Family Members Contribute torepparttar 117393 Business?

Come to a clear understanding about what your spouse will or will not do. For example, you may ask for help during unexpected busy periods but not on a regular basis. Or you might agree that it's okay for your spouse to send or read business mail, but that you arerepparttar 117394 only one who answersrepparttar 117395 phone.

It's best to set this straight fromrepparttar 117396 beginning. Don't assume that your spouse is willing to help out. Likewise, don't assume that you'll have complete independence because "it's YOUR business". Come to an agreement -- it will help to lessenrepparttar 117397 stress for everyone.

__How Will You Handlerepparttar 117398 Financing of Your Business?

Money is almost always a big issue with families. A home business, particularly inrepparttar 117399 startup phase, is going to require funding. Your family may have become accustomed to a certain level of 'comfort' when it comes to luxuries such as dining out, recreation, spending money, and so on. Will any of this need to change, and if so, what?

There are many ways to finance a home business, including:

* Use income earned from your 'day job'. Many people continue to work their regular jobs in order to fund their home businesses. It is only until their home businesses are producing a reasonable income that they haverepparttar 117400 option to quit their jobs.

* Finance your business with savings. If your savings were to be used for another purpose (for example, a family vacation or buying a home), how much of it are you willing to 'sacrifice' for your business, even if it's meant to be a 'temporary' loan?

* Help from family and friends. Considerrepparttar 117401 possible impact on your personal relationships. Borrowing money from loved ones can lead to significant stress... for example, what do you do if someone suddenly needs or wants their money back and you aren't inrepparttar 117402 position to provide it? What happens if your business fails and you are unable to pay back loans?

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