5 ways to manage multiple clients as a busy contractor or freelancer
Having lots of clients needing your expertise is a great position to be in, as it enables you to have more variety in your working week, increases your skillset, keeps you busy with work and ultimately means more income. So whilst all these points make having multiple clients sound like a positive thing, there are a few negatives you’ll need to keep an eye out for.
In this blog we explore the top 5 things you’ll need to consider to make having multiple clients work for you.
Making a plan that works for everyone
Going from having just one client to two, three, or even more at any one time can be quite a leap, so understanding how this is going to work for everyone involved is paramount to getting what each party needs. Firstly take a look at how many hours you’re able to dedicate to work each week, then how much time each client will need in order to have their contract completed on time. If you’re able to allocate enough time to each client in your week, then you’ll know whether having more than one client will work out for you.
To help you plan your projects and time management there are some fantastic online tools that do just that. asana, Clockify, Monday Project Management, are to name just a few that might work well for you.
Understand that it’s a new way of working
Ideally you’ll spend your time working on client A’s contract, then client B’s, and so on and so forth, but sadly life doesn’t always work out that way! You’ll also find that some clients may need work completing urgently, or need you to spend your time solely on their contract.
It’s worth noting that for some the ability to drop and pick up projects whenever needed can be a struggle. If you like order and find disruption to your working plans hard to deal with, then it’s important to know that this is part of having more than one client. It’s also worth mentioning here that if your client is doing this on a more regular basis that wasn’t previously discussed at the start of the contract, then you’re well within your rights to renegotiate your contract.
Pick and choose your contracts
As a freelancer or contractor you may have the niggling feeling that you should always accept any contract offered, as you never know when the next one will be coming. Whilst this is a hard habit to break, remember that accepting everything could make you overwhelmed, and leave you feeling like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.
When looking at a new contract understand its requirements, any time constraints, and if it’ll fit into your working plans for any contracts you may already be working on. Remember to be transparent with your potential new client that you do work on more than one contract at any given time, and therefore an agreed working pattern must be respected in order for everyone to get what they want.
Honesty is the best policy
Before starting work ensure to understand and agree upon your client’s and your expectations. Don’t over or under deliver your ability to complete the contract within the agreed timeframe, otherwise you’ll end up piling on extra stress to yourself, and upsetting the client in the process.
Agree upon a plan for completion, setting out the goals and when these need to be achieved. This will clear the way to allow you both to progress forward, knowing what to expect and when.
Ask for help when needed
If you’re finding the work a little challenging, or just need a little extra help to progress the contract, then it might be worth considering drafting in a colleague that you can trust.
Before you do, ensure your contract allows right of substitution, or consider working under a Statement of Work (SoW). This could also help you when it comes to working outside of IR35.
Taxevo’s final thoughts
Taking on more clients can be a sign that you’re progressing in your career, and that your success as a contractor or freelancer is blossoming. It can be easy to let the stress of handling multiple clients and contracts take over, but with this blog’s five tips on managing your working load, you’ll be a multi-contract success in no time! And remember that if you need help with your accounts, your Taxevo accountant is always on hand to offer expert advice and support at the touch of a button. Get in touch with your Taxevo team today.