business, Business Design, Freelancer, Own Business, Working from home

SAYING NO TO FREELANCE WORK

Having your own business and freelancing is a tricky job to manage. Sometimes it’s stressful because you don’t know where the next job is coming from, and sometimes it’s stressful because ALL the jobs seem to come at once!

If you’re lucky then you’ll have a constant stream of work that keeps you ticking over, but sometimes it goes mental, and sometimes you have to choose between money and self-wellbeing.

I AM RUBBISH AT THIS!! Or at least I used to be.

Until the last couple of weeks, I would accept every job going. Even if I knew I had too much to do already, I’d find time to fit it in, and then I’d totally burn out. I was living on about 4 hours sleep a night for a while and I realised things had to change.

And then I learnt that it’s ok to say no.

And it really is. Whether it be because you’re too busy or maybe you have real life things taking over, it’s ok to say no. It’s about finding the balance between what satisfies your personal finances and what satisfies you as a person.

So, why might you need to say no to a job…

1. YOU’RE FAR TOO BUSY

The work is piling up and you can’t possibly envisage fitting anything else in. Say no. If you don’t, not only will you burn yourself out, but you might end up doing a mediocre, crappy job – and that’s not the way to keep clients. Politely say no and explain that you don’t have capacity at the minute, and then make sure you let them know when you’re available again.

2. THERE ISN’T ENOUGH TIME

If a client comes to you last minute and expects something immediately, they probably expect that you won’t be able to fit them in. Don’t fall into the trap of doing everything for everyone at the drop of a hat – I’ve been there, it’s stressful and exhausting. And not only that, it sets up a precedence that they will always expect you can make time.

A lot of times I’m asked for something urgently, and when I explain that I’m not available until the following week, nine times out of ten they are fine with that – urgent means different things to different people.

From the start let people know your timelines. Let them know how long it takes to make any foreseeable alterations, and give yourself some leeway – add an extra day, and if you get it done sooner, then great! If someone really wants your product/work, they will wait.

3. YOU HAVE A PERSONAL LIFE

Sometimes life takes over. Maybe you are poorly, maybe your child is off school, maybe you’re moving house. Don’t feel guilty. You are allowed to be a person like everyone else out there. You don’t get normal holiday days when there’s someone else to take on your case load, it is you and only you. But it’s ok. You deserve to live your life. Don’t feel guilty.

If you know the client well and you think they’ll understand the reasoning, let them know. If you don’t know them, then just say you’re out of the office for the next week, or that you have a full case load right now, but can fit them in at a later date.

If you know in advance that you might be away (school holidays, operations, moving house etc), then let all your regular clients know in advance. Pop them over an email saying just to make you aware, I am out of the office on ‘x dates’, and will therefore be unavailable for work. Also put a header it on your website, on your contact page and on your email signature.

4. THE PAY ISN’T RIGHT

Know your worth. A tricky one. If you’re anything like me you’ll want to help everyone, and when that client comes to you with a small budget you think “oh, it’s only one job, I’ll do it a little cheaper”. Don’t! Not only are you not valuing yourself and your knowledge, but you’ll end up feeling resentment for the time that you are spending for half the price. Sometimes you’re just not a good fit with everyone and every business, and that’s ok.

5. THE JOB SUCKS!

We’ve all been there right? When you get asked to do a job that just fills you with dread. And I don’t mean the hard work dread where you question if you can do it – of course you can! I mean the dread that the job is actually not in your realm of working at all, or, let’s be honest, just seems completely boring.

You’re a freelancer, you have the right to say no (politely).

6. THE CLIENT SEEMS LIKE A NIGHTMARE

This isn’t too common a problem (hopefully), but it does happen. Maybe you’ve worked with them in the past and they messed you around. Maybe you just get a vibe and don’t feel comfortable working with them. Weigh up the pros and cons. Can you put your feelings aside for the job – is it a fun, exciting project? Is the money good? Or do you feel that it will just cause you too much stress and agro to proceed. If so, that’s ok. Just politely decline.

Do remember though that a lot of clients probably don’t understand the ins-and-outs of your business and the skills involved. If you find you’re having trouble with someone, start off by letting them know your process, your terms and conditions. Set out all the costs involved upfront. Sometimes it’s beneficial to just help someone understand.

HOW TO SAY NO, BUT KEEP A GOOD RELATIONSHIP

First of all, stop worrying so much. It’s your business and you are in control.

  1. Say thank you and decline respectfully. Tell the client that you like the sound of the project and thank them for the opportunity.
  2. Let them know why, but don’t give them your life story. Just tell them you are at full capacity but you would love to work with them in the future.
  3. Make sure that you let them know when you are next free.

Remember, you are only human, and there are only so many hours in the day.

business, Business Design, mental health, Own Business, Working from home

TIPS TO BELIEVING IN YOURSELF AND YOUR WORK (…OK!!!)

I thought I’d start sharing some more stuff on here, because I’m normally pretty rubbish. I never know what to post, so I’m going to start sharing some hints and tips – about work, about life, about freelancing, whatever comes to mind.

So, let’s start with Believing in Yourself.

Continue reading “TIPS TO BELIEVING IN YOURSELF AND YOUR WORK (…OK!!!)”
Business Design, logo design, mental health, new business, Own Business, Weddings, Working from home, Working Mum

BUSINESS (NOT QUITE) AS USUAL

BUSINESS AS USUAL (ISH)

These are testing times for everyone, and everyone is trying to find the best way to get through this so that they can emerge succesfully and healthy on the other side.

Mrs K Designs will remain open, but with a few slight alterations.

Continue reading “BUSINESS (NOT QUITE) AS USUAL”

Business Design, Christmas, mental health, Own Business, Uncategorized, Working from home, Working Mum

THE INVISIBILITY OF WORKING FROM HOME

A very Merry New Year to you all. I hope you enjoyed the festivities.

Right, now down to business, be warned, this is going to be a rant! If you don’t enjoy a good rant then read no further!…

Continue reading “THE INVISIBILITY OF WORKING FROM HOME”

Business Design, Christmas, Santa Letters, Uncategorized, Working from home, Working Mum

FREE Letters to and from Santa

It’s time for those free Letters to and from Santa again this year!

They were such a hit last year that I’m doing them again, but with a few little changes.

Add a little bit of magic during the run up to Christmas. The letter to Santa has space for your child(ren) to fill in their details and the return letter from Santa has space for you to write your child’s name.

Available to download now, just click here to take you to my website.

Once you have downloaded you will have a PDF that you can save and print as many times as you need.

Merry Christmas all x

Business Design, Uncategorized, Working from home, Working Mum

When Business is Quiet (Part 2)

Cast your mind back to August 2018 when I wrote the post ‘When Business is Quiet’.

I wrote about how when business is quiet we go into a crazy panic that business is failing and that the…

“reality is shortly it will be chaos again and I’ll be mega busy and I’ll wonder why I didn’t stop and take a break whilst I had the chance”.

Well, I wish I’d bloomin’ listened to myself. What a few months it’s been! If you have your own business, are trying to juggle kids and fit in an actual social life, you’ll completely understand where I am right now.

I had my quiet period, I did not relax. I had my panic that the business was doomed. I worried. And then boom!! It got crazy again.

It’s nearly Christmas though, so it’s time to relax. But business is getting a little quiet, what if it’s doomed…..

And the cycle carries on, ha ha! x

Business Design, mental health, Uncategorized, Working from home, Working Mum

Juggling Work and School

IMG_20180907_105513So, this happened this week. First week at school (wow!). And whilst I’m over the moon for my little one, and so proud to see her wandering in on her own all confident and excited, my goodness is it a shocker to the system!!

Suddenly my life has been shaken about and everything has changed. I now have to fit my working day into 5 hours, and it’s short, so short! I get back from the school run, kettle on and then sit at my desk. Before I know it, boom, it’s time to head back to school.

I have always been a fan of routine, and now, suddenly, I have it. But after over 4 years of chaos and a (slight) lack of organisation, it’s a real shock to the system. With a five hour work day, I actually have less time to fit everything in than I used to, but now I have 5 days a week. 5 days a week when I know I’ll get to work. No more having to postpone jobs for days (or more often than not working in the evenings to get them done in time).

It’s a lifestyle change, it’s a new chapter and fingers and toes crossed it will mean more stability and less panic (plus the added bonus of topping my 10,000 steps every day with the walk there and back – bonus!).

Change can be tiring, change can be hard work, but we must embrace it and enjoy it. Without change I suppose life would be pretty boring. I need to get ready now for the homework, the school meetings, the endless parties and everything else that comes with this fantastic new adventure. A huge well done to all those working parents out there!!