How to Delegate Contracts as a Freelancer?
<p>Pausing your freelance activities?</p> <p>Whether it is for a trip, parental holidays or a health problem, taking a break as a freelancer is always anxiety-provoking.</p> <blockquote><p>What will my clients do?</p> <p>Will they leave me?</p> <p>Will they start working with my arch-nemesis?</p></blockquote> <p>Here’s a solution to maintain your business relationships with clients:<strong>temporarily delegate your contracts to someone trustworthy</strong>.</p> <p>Your clients are human too (we hope they are), they’ll most probably understand your situation. Still, it might be a bit troublesome for them to find someone to replace you, and they’ll be very happy to know you thought about a seamless solution. It’s a statement of professionalism that shouldn’t be underestimated.</p> <h2><strong>How do you find someone to replace you?</strong></h2> <p>For some, freelancing means suffering from loneliness. If you don’t know anybody in your direct circle who has the skillset to be your successor, don’t despair. Start by contacting former colleagues and classmates (they should have a similar experience). <strong>It is much better</strong> if you already worked with them and know the quality of their output. You can also contact professional associations and ask for introductions to their best freelancers. Big freelancing hubs (elance, freelancer) often have public profiles. Contact those who seem to meet the requirements. The further you find them, the deeper you’ll have to look into their work to be sure they meet your client’s standards.</p> <h2><strong>Define the boundaries</strong></h2> <p>Someone is interested in handling your clients temporarily? It is essential to define the rules of the business relationship from the very start. A face-to-face meeting is the usual way-to-go, a teleconference is a good fallback. Make sure your expectations and your client’s expectations are clear (delay, pipeline, pricing, quality). Verify the quality and the style of the work and make sure it’s aligned with your usual output. Define when you’ll be returning and the communication scheme between you, the client and the successor.</p> <p>Also, is he or she open to giving you contracts when they take a pause? That might be the beginning of a mutually enriching relationship.</p> <h2><strong>Relationships with clients</strong></h2> <p>If possible (it all depends on what you actually do as a freelancer), introduce your temporary successor to your client in person. Next step, agree with him/her on the billing process. You should be the one sending invoices to your client to make the transition smooth. Your substitute should act as a contractor and send you an invoice.</p> <p>If you have to pause your activity for a long period and know about it in advance, start delegating small contracts to your successor before leaving, to make sure he or she can handle them properly. Giving your stamp of approval is a big commitment, it might ruin your name if you pass the torch too quickly.</p> <p>Do you have any experience with delegating contracts? Share them in the comments.</p> <p>Happy billing!</p>