FREELANCERS WHEN IS IT TIME TO WALK AWAY FROM A PROJECT – Part 1 – Hire Freelancer Contracts

FREELANCERS WHEN IS IT TIME TO WALK AWAY FROM A PROJECT – Part 1

By N. D. Brennan

Dec 29

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Kissimmee, Florida — Today we’re going to begin a special series directly for those freelancers or “gig-sters” out there who are desperately trying to figure out whether or not it’s time to walk away from that project you have been working. The risk is beginning to outweigh the reward because of one issue after another. Unfortunately, if you are currently experiencing this, believe it or not, you are not alone. While freelancing in your area of expertise can be quite lucrative and personally gratifying, it can also be a nightmare.

One of the biggest reasons for this is that employers are aware that you are not being backed by some big corporation. That’s part of the reason that they hired you in the first place. The immediate advantage to the employer is that freelancer rates tend to be much less. But there is also another side to that coin: Freelance projects can also quickly evolve into a headache.

Contracts For Freelancers

This series will help you avoid or eliminate some of those problem-sensitive freelancing areas. This first, in fact, will cover why your income should NEVER be solely based on government contracts. While they can be quite lucrative, government agencies are notoriously bad when it comes to paying contractors and small businesses on time. We’ll get more into that in just a moment. But other areas that this series will be covering include:

1. Key reasons why professional employment contracts generally go bad;

2. How to prevent or resolve issues regarding how and when you are paid;

3. What happens when that company does not have or can’t afford to purchase the tools that you require;

4. Introducing methods for walking away from a contract gracefully, and with minimum to little loss;

5. Damage control; and

6. Things that you can do to keep a good contract from going bad.

But for now, let’s begin with Government agency contracts.

Government agency contracts will make you feel as if you have just struck gold. Your initial thinking is that this is the government! So payment should be practically a non-issue. When it gets right down to it, the Government actually prints money. So why would you ever expect this to be an issue?

Over my years, I’ve personally seen and worked with individuals who relied almost exclusively on government contracts. This initially was their primary target market. They went out of their way, spending money that they did not have in the beginning, to become certified with various state and federal agencies because of all of the incredible stories that they have heard.

Once they were certified with this agency or that one, they would be placed on certain schedules. These are pre-approved lists of vendors that agencies are required to select from because the government screener has performed all of their proper due diligence and the contractor’s or company’s credentials have been verified. So you or your company is now as credible as the government agency that you are courting is supposed to be.

I’ve watched as companies acquired loans and advances on receivables that they were scheduled to begin receiving. You extend payment terms (i.e. Net 30, Net 90, or Net 180 for example) because collecting your money from the government should not be a problem. Financers will readily loan or advance money to you based on what you are scheduled to collect as defined by completed and signed purchase orders. Then I’ve seen it where financers weren’t even required and individuals have invested their own time and money, in advance, to cover the expenses in expectation of this great payday from the government. In your mind, you have already begun investing the receivables towards other areas of your business. I’ve even seen it where people have actually spent additional money in expectation of what they are supposed to be received within the next 90 days for example.

So What Have I Seen

Now, there are cases that I have seen this pay off for individuals. I’ve seen and experienced firsthand where companies or freelancers have been paid on time and as scheduled. But I’ve seen, more often than now, how government agency and its representatives treat contractors with little more than a “We’ll pay you whenever we get around to it” attitude, or so it begins to feel. While the government will press you for your taxes, student loans, or other money that may be owed to them, they tend not to apply that same sense of urgency when the tables are turned and it’s time for that agency to pay that freelancer.

I’ve seen freelancers and companies at the brink of bankruptcy waiting for that government agency to meet its financial commitments. I’ve seen lawsuits launched against government agencies who don’t appear to understand that you were actually depending on those funds for your family or business. In short, I’ve watched government agency contracts break many people as well.

My recommendation is not to avoid government contracts. It’s also not to take the time and money if you can afford it, to become certified in those areas or with those agencies to give yourself an edge. No. My recommendation is to the contrary. What I recommend freelancers and new entrepreneurs to do is to work to maintain a diverse group of clients. Your professional portfolio should consist of government agencies but also civilian corporations as well.

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Now, there are cases that I have seen this pay off for individuals. I’ve seen and experienced firsthand where companies or freelancers have been paid on time and as scheduled. But I’ve seen, more often than now, how government agency and its representatives treat contractors with little more than a “We’ll pay you whenever we get around to it” attitude, or so it begins to feel. While the government will press you for your taxes, student loans, or other money that may be owed to them, they tend not to apply that same sense of urgency when the tables are turned and it’s time for that agency to pay that freelancer.

I’ve seen freelancers and companies at the brink of bankruptcy waiting for that government agency to meet its financial commitments. I’ve seen lawsuits launched against government agencies who don’t appear to understand that you were actually depending on those funds for your family or business. In short, I’ve watched government agency contracts break many people as well.

My recommendation is not to avoid government contracts. It’s also not to take the time and money if you can afford it, to become certified in those areas or with those agencies to give yourself an edge. No. My recommendation is to the contrary. What I recommend freelancers and new entrepreneurs to do is to work to maintain a diverse group of clients. Your professional portfolio should consist of government agencies but also civilian corporations as well.

It is also wise to become intimately familiar with 2 people within that government agency. You want to make certain to establish a good rapport with the individual who is responsible for preparing your check and the person that is responsible for signing it. By establishing a relationship with these individuals, it instills an unspoken sense of obligation.

Stay Focus on Your Objective

Your objective should be one where if there is an issue, you should be able to pick up the phone and speak directly to that individual who can make things right. Many people stop at the person over the assignment or the team of contractors, which makes your voice less distinguishable when you finally attempt to reach that person of authority. But if you make a point to establish a rapport with these key people, it will lessen your need to deal with their subordinates. This is one way of eliminating that issue.

Additionally, do not get caught in a position where they are 3 to 4 checks behind in paying you. While the prestige of being able to claim that government agency as one of your clients is impressive, being homeless is much more impressionable. If you notice a trend of late payments, address it immediately.

As a freelancer or independent contractor, if it happens more than once or twice, it’s definitely time to begin reassessing your continued employment with that agency. There are very few contracts that will remain enforceable if that agency is not paying you. In most instances, that agency has breached the employment or contractual agreement by doing so. This provides you with a legal out.

Once again, you may know a number of people who have not experienced these issues, and hopefully, you will not have to face these challenges if you work with a government agency. But if you do, be cognizant of the signs. Be ready to step away if you find yourself in one of these positions, and get to know the people in the positions that really matter – those who cut your check and that individual who signs it. If you stick to these simple rules, your experience should resolve into a good one.

About the Author

N. D. Brennan is a contributor to The Jordan Effect, the creative mind behind The Social Media Millionaire book series, and the author of 51 Successful Business Tips For Millennials. He is also the author of the anti-American history tale, which draws an answer to an unprecedented answer to an unimaginable question: "What if white people were slaves?" 51 Successful Business Tips For Millennials is scheduled to be released this month. Reciprocal is available as an eBook at www.Amazon.com, and in paperback at Kindle Direct. To contact the writer directly, send your emails to ndbrennan4111@gmail.com.

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