Every industry has a codex of basic mistakes to avoid. In the world of contracting and independent employment, there are a few extra ones that apply exclusively to the unique facets of being off on your own. Where other departments of a company have professionals to pick up the slack, you have to have all of your bases covered before you hit the ground running. Make sure you avoid some common mistakes that will cripple your efforts before you’re even on the go.
When you start out, there will be a huge temptation to promise huge things to new clients. It is understandable, you are trying to seal contracts and make a name for yourself. While it may be tempting initially, try to avoid this. When push comes to shove, you are only setting the bar unreasonably high for yourself.
When you set the expectations as ‘above and beyond’ then your extra efforts will be seen as par for the course. Make sure you keep your barrier for greatness set lower, not higher.
When you don’t have exact information on the precise scope of your project, you can’t accurately assess a budget. Yet so many people, eager to see those dollars in the bank, quickly jump on a budget. Soon the project expands before them as the client lays out their needs, and the consultant is left wondering how they ever got in to this mess without the proper payment. Well, friend, you agreed to a budget before you understood the scope. Will you ever do that again? I doubt it.
If you make a mistake or require more funds, let them know.
They will then wonder what kind of unprofessional person would hide something from a client. A graceful apology will do more good for your reputation than deceit.