5 Things You Need To Know Before Starting An Online Job

It cannot be denied that getting accepted for a job is very exciting, not to mention thrilling! But sometimes, in our eagerness to get started, we overlook certain things that can bite us in the derriere when we’re already in too deep to do anything about it.

  1. Deadline
  2. Scope or List of Tasks
  3. Rate
  4. Payment Schedule
  5. Fix-ups & Retakes

This is really important because it will determine whether or not you should actually accept a job. Sometimes, you will come across a deadline that is just plain impossible to achieve and you will end up looking unprofessional and not very reliable.

If the deadline set by the client is unrealistic, you can always negotiate, citing the reasons why it’s not doable. You are the person with skills a client is willing to pay for! So don’t let the possibility of losing a job or displeasing that client get in the way of what you know. You’re the expert in what you do, act like it!

Scope or List of Tasks Required for the Project
The client should be able to tell you what he wants done in great detail. NEVER rush into a job without knowing what needs to be done. For example, you are discussing a job with the client, you should get a pretty good idea of what you need to do. But, it’s REALLY IMPORTANT to lay it all out and let him know what you need to do to achieve the goal.

Asking for more time and money in the middle of a project is very unprofessional. Unless the client added something that was not part of the project, you have to stick with what was discussed.

Some would say that I should put this at no. 1. But in my experience, DEADLINE & SCOPE always determine the RATE you should charge. NEVER pull a number out of the air or give a ballpark figure. You might not give a quote that is fair to both you and the client. Base your rate on level of difficulty, time it takes to finish the task, and how much time you have to get it all done. It might mean sleepless nights so make sure that you’re well compensated.

Payment Schedule
A lot of newbies to online work get burned by not making sure that terms of payment are agreed on. In their enthusiasm to get the work done and get the $$$ coming to them, it never crosses their mind that they might not get what was agreed on, or worse, THEY MIGHT NOT GET PAID.

Think about it. Most of your clients are located elsewhere, usually abroad. They come to you because your rate is low. They promise you a lot of money to do a task. You finish and submit it. What’s to stop that person from suddenly becoming incommunicado?? You don’t know the guy personally so how will you press charges?

The best way to avoid getting hoodwinked is to ask for a percentage upfront upon accepting a project. If it’s a first time client, I normally charge 50% upfront, 25% when 75% has been done, 25% upon completion. That way, my actual cost has been covered even if they don’t give the last 25%. I know it sounds one-sided but you must insist on your terms before starting a project. Remember, they chose you to do the job, they must also show you some trust. For clients that I have been dealing with for years, I don’t use these terms simply because trust has already been established.

Fix-ups & Retakes
This is when something you had already finished doing sort of returns to you for re-doing. If it’s your fault, then fix it without charging anything. BUT, if the client was the one at fault or had had a change of mind and wants you to change, then you should definitely charge something for the extra work. AGAIN, make sure you let the client know this before you proceed.

Keeping these 5 things in mind when accepting a project will save you a lot of heartache and ensure repeat business from clients.

If there’s anything you’d like to clarify or if there’s anything you’d like to ask about today’s article, please post it below and I’ll be more than happy to respond.

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