When you become a contractor, you will probably take on a number of short-term and temporary assignments. As the number of clients you work with increases, you must do your utmost to ensure you always have a positive relationship with them and you finish your project on time and to the standard expected. Our latest article will provide you with advice to ensure you leave your future roles on good terms with your client.
Make sure your contract is transparent
For each assignment you carry out, you will only be able to negotiate the terms once. Therefore, you must ensure everything is to your satisfaction and that the terms are written clearly without complication. Make sure you and your client are fully aware of the following elements before you both sign on the dotted line:
- How long is the contract length is what date the project is to be completed?
- What are the working hours per week and are they flexible?
- How is holiday booked?
- How much is the daily rate?
- Where will the work be undertaken?
- What expenses can you claim?
- What is your IR35 status? (You may need to have a professional body review your contract before you sign it to ensure you are outside IR35, if required).
- Is there an opportunity for the contract to extend or is there an option to go permanent?
Ensure communication with your client is always efficient
Your client will be paying you to complete a job to a high standard. Therefore, it is understandable that they may want to get in contact with you throughout the assignment and discuss how it is going. Make sure you are always personable and happy to discuss your work. If they think you are untrustworthy or have something to hide, the chances of your contract being extended or re-issued in the future will be slim.
In order to remain easy to get hold of, make sure you have a reliable business mobile phone and an email account that you check and respond regularly.
Remember who you are working for
Whilst your client may not technically be your boss (most likely the case if you are outside IR35), they have given you the role and expect you to complete it to the agreed standard. Therefore, always treat them with respect and keep them up-to-date with your progress. Never be difficult to get hold of and always be truthful with them (see tip number 5).
One of the best ways of making sure you always have contract opportunities is to successfully network. Therefore, treat each of your clients as a friend and do your best to engage with them wherever possible – it doesn’t always have to be in your place of work!
Prove your value
It is unlikely that you were the only candidate going for the role. Therefore, you should be proud to have landed the job and feel obliged to repay the faith shown in you. Going the extra mile could be the difference between your client choosing you again in the future, or looking elsewhere. Completing your assignment to a standard that will make you stand out from your competitors will definitely impress your client and they are they will almost certainly use you again.
Always be honest
If you make a mistake, however big or small, covering it up could come back to haunt you. If you find yourself in a situation where an error may cause you to miss your deadline or cause you issues going forward, be honest and approach your client immediately and apologetically. In many cases, your honesty will showcase that you can be trusted and your client will not think any less of you.
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