During 2016 I found myself taking a bit of a back seat on social media, I made some strong decisions about networking, speaking gigs and article writing and I revisited the criteria below that I had set myself for working with others a few years before.
Why? because in 2015 I had once again found my expertise, knowledge and willingness to give back 20% of my time to charities and good causes being taken advantage of.
The criteria that will now always be obeyed:
If it doesn't bring me income,
If it doesn't bring me happiness or
If it doesn't bring me promotion to bring me income and happiness I am not doing it.
I will not work with organisations who do not have the interests of the end user at the heart of everything they do.
I will not work with organisations that take my years of knowledge and experience, nearly 30 running micro businesses to be precise, and use it as their own without crediting me either financially or otherwise.
I won't work with Tossers.
Make life easier for yourself
Running your own business is hard enough without the added pressure of clients that you do not like or who are making your life hard.
People who do not pay you on time.
People who want that extra pound of flesh and are not prepared to pay £ sterling for it (or any other currency you are charging them in).
People who move the goal posts just before the end and claim that is what was agreed.
The list of things that add pressure when you are working with an individual or organisation can be endless and you just do not need it, in fact if you are self employed or running your own micro or small business, trust me you do not have to take it.
A few golden rules to remember
Before you start work with any client set out what that work looks like, the hours you will work and what will be achieved by the end before you even start. Do not proceed on the basis of a verbal discussion because even the nicest of people can have selective memories.
Ensure you specify and agree payment terms. You may have set payment terms for your business but those you are working with may have different terms. Ensure you agree in writing when you will be paid and stick to it.
Do not be afraid to refer back to the original proposal, any terms and conditions and the payment terms if they are not being adhered to.
Finding customers can be hard enough but working with awkward ones can be draining both mentally and physically. If the work you are doing stimulates a negative frame of mind that then has a negative impact on your business.
Remember this is your business, you are building it and driving it forward and if you choose to make changes that is your prerogative if you know it is in the best interests of your business, your wellbeing or your personal life.
You own the business and decisions are down to you - choosing clients carefully is part of the business building process.
Tina Boden The Tiny Troubleshooter: A Leading Voice for Micro Business: Interim Director: Speaker: Writer