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Dealing With Legal Issues As A Freelancer

  • September 30, 2021

The law can be a very challenging thing for businesses of all sizes. No matter how hard you work, there will always be the looming threat of legal issues for most companies. While this is something that you can overcome on your own, it always makes sense to get some help along the way, and this article is here to give you just that. By exploring some of the steps that can be taken to deal with legal issues as a freelancer, it will give you the chance to make your work secure and avoid the threats that other people face when they work for themselves.

Insurance

Insurance can be a very powerful tool for small businesses, giving you the chance to take away much of the risk that comes with your work. For example, if you provide poor service to one of your clients and they lose money as a result, you may need to have insurance to cover the claim they make against you. You can’t buy insurance retroactively, and this means that you need to have it in place before you face any legal issues. As time goes by, more and more insurance options are hitting the market that has been designed to help you with this.

Detailed Records

Having evidence is an important part of most legal disputes. This makes it worth keeping detailed records of all of the work you do, giving you the chance to access the evidence you need if you ever find yourself in court. There are loads of tools that make this work incredibly easy, giving you the chance to save your work online so that it can never be destroyed. Of course, though, you need to make sure that you handle this legally, as you may not be able to keep sensitive personal details on file, just the specifics of the work you have done.

Getting Help

Most people can’t deal with a legal issue without any sort of support. It takes a long time to study to be a legal expert, and this means that you need to get some help to make sure that you don’t miss anything important along the way. There are loads of experts available around the web that can help you out, with examples like Zarwin Baum being perfect for those who want an expert without having to pay a small fortune in the process. Of course, though, you may need to do some research to find the best legal expert for you.

As you can see, there are loads of tools around the web that can be used when you’re trying to make your freelance career free from legal issues. This process can take some time, but it will be well worth the effort that you put into it.

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3 Rules On Finding Worthy Business Suppliers

  • September 29, 2021

 

No matter whether you run a coffee shop or you are in charge of a consultancy firm, it is likely that you will work with third parties in some capacity. No matter whether you are looking for someone to supply your company with pens and paper or you need a company that can provide you with shipping services, you need to choose who you align with carefully. After all, the effectiveness of this company is going to have a massive impact on the overall success of your business. With that being said, continue reading to find out the different factors you need to consider when you are looking for a business supplier. 

Put together a checklist

The first thing you need to do is put together a checklist of all of the things you are looking for from a supplier. Understand what sort of products you will require, for example, for POS systems, read up on the likes of EMV vs NFC card readers for more information. There are some things that will be specific to your business and the niche service you are looking for. There are also going to be a number of general factors you should be interested in regardless of the company you need. This includes strong service, clear communication, value for money, flexibility, speed, reliability, and quality. 

Make sure you find out about the exact process they follow

Yes, they are going to provide you with a certain product or service, but how does it work? What is the procedure? How do they get to the end result? How do they deal with clients? You really need to know what you are signing up for and what is entailed. Let’s say you are looking for a company to provide you with uniforms. You will want to know how the orders are received, how printing is carried out, and so on and so forth, so you can truly grasp the entire procedure before you make a final decision. 

Take the time to read reviews that have been left by previous clients

Another vital step that you need to follow is to take the time to read reviews that have been left by previous clients. This will help you because you will get an honest depiction of the service provided, rather than a sales pitch that only highlights the good parts. Reading feedback can alert you to any red flags so that you focus your efforts elsewhere. When reading reviews, it is better to consider them as a whole, rather than allowing one review to cloud your judgment. Moreover, make sure you read comments on independent review websites, rather than directly on the company’s website.  

As you can see, there are a number of different factors you need to take into consideration when you are looking for a supplier for your business. If you follow the steps that have been presented above, you should have no trouble finding the right company to align with. Doing your research will pay off in the end. After all, the last thing you want is to choose a company that is unreliable and provides a poor quality service. Hopefully, this should not happen if you use the advice that has been presented above.

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Get Out Of The Working From Home Rut

  • September 21, 2021

Many people have experienced working from home for the first time because of the pandemic, while small business owners and freelancers will long be familiar with the homeworking routine. While there are many benefits to working from home, for some people, it’s good to have a change of scenery now and then.

If the pressures of working from home are beginning to mount up, then making some changes can help revive your motivation. It could even lead to some positive steps for your future!

If you’re ready to get out of the homeworking rut, here are some ideas to get you started.

Find an office space

If working from home isn’t something you’d like to make a permanent arrangement, then finding an office space could be in your best interests. With many offices remaining vacant following the pandemic, you could get a great deal on office space. Explore office space for lease to see if it could be a great move for you. Even if you’re not in the office every day, it could provide you with a valuable change of scenery.

Establish a productive routine

Have you fallen into an unhealthy work-from-home routine? Perhaps you need to reassess and change things up. 

You can start by setting yourself some clear for work, as well as factor in breaks throughout the day. You should also plan slots for exercise or walking to help you get moving and keep your brain energized. 

Improving your work-from-home experience can help you feel much more productive, helping you make the most of your working hours so that you can enjoy your time outside of work.

Give coworking a try

Coworking spaces are another great alternative to working from home, especially if you miss the hustle and bustle of office life. A lot of people thrive in coworking spaces, and it could be what you need to feel more connected through your work - something that doesn’t come easy if you work as a freelancer. Coworking spaces usually come as a subscription, allowing you to use your space as often as you need.

Develop some healthier habits

Developing some healthier habits can help you feel more at ease with working from home. From cutting down on snacking to making sure you have a healthy lunch each day, small changes can affect your mood and make you feel more productive, making you feel less stressed or uncomfortable when working from home.

Working from home has its challenges, but there are a lot of great things about working from home too. By finding what works for you, you can get into a routine that suits you and helps you do your best work. Whether you need to change up your environment a couple of times a week or change your approach to working from home, you’ll soon rediscover your spark that will help you shine at work.

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Time Traps in Your Business

  • September 14, 2021

Your business needs to run like a well-oiled machine. Anything that takes too much time, is repeated or could be outsourced should be considered a time trap. 

Time traps, by nature, aren’t often noticed - and we spend much of our day assuming that we (and our business) are as productive as possible. 

In the end, most of us want to do more, faster and to a higher standard. Yet, without noticing, the time traps can sweep hours and hours from us at the end of the month, which may even add up to days. 

Here are some time traps and some things you can be doing to avoid them. 

Personal Time Management

Real-time management is a skill, and while many of us say we have it - we don’t. True time management takes strict organization, dedication, and focus. 

So if you are often either just on time or late, your deadlines seem to arrive upon you without warning, and you feel like you’re chasing your tail, then it’s probably time you took a look at your time management. 

  • Map out a realistic view of where you spend time (be honest); The Futur has some great videos on time budgeting and time management. Call it research. 
  • Cut the to-do list in half, and then maybe half again. Most people have too many items on their to-do list; then they can’t get everything done—that feeling of not accomplishing stacks up. Cut the to-do, achieve what you need to. 
  • Routines are the backbone of spending your time well. You can get a firm understanding of the points in the day that you need to take a break, where your productive times are - and when you really should close the laptop lid. 
  • Know what your priorities are - do you spend a lot of time helping others or checking to see what others are up to? Ditch it, and focus on what you need to do. Once it is done, go chat.
  • Under schedule yourself, instead of filling up all of the time, leave space that can be used for something else. 
  • Eat frogs - every day, get the worst or the most inconvenient tasks out the way - the rest of the day will feel like smooth sailing. 

Multitasking 

Multitasking is one of the biggest time traps and has proven to lose time. 

On average, when you multitask, you lose up to 23 per switch. So say you are in the middle of a big task that requires focus, and in the corner of your screen, you notice an email. 

Your attention is pulled away, and you head off to reply to the email. You see another email, and since you’re there, you respond to that too. A response to the first one comes back. 

You switch back to the tasks you were doing, and not only have you lost the time to send emails, but you need to get back into the flow of what you were doing again. 

It adds up quickly, and often we don’t even notice. 

If you manage multiple projects, you’ll need to develop an effective system to block the time for each thing - and avoid multitasking. 

  • Turn notifications off - and mark your calendar as X project focus period. This will stop people from messaging you for unnecessary reasons. 
  • If you find your mind drifting, write down the thoughts and continue with your focused period. 
  • Notice when you are most likely to switch between tasks. Should you instead take a five-minute walk? 

Business Admin

Business administration is an endless stream of repetitive tasks that could usually be outsourced - or automated. 

Business admin covers:

  • Emails
  • Customer responses
  • Bookkeeping
  • Invoicing

Anything that can be considered non-core but essential. These tasks don’t make you money directly, but they do need to be done. 

Take a look at how much time you or your team are spending on these items, and look for alternative ways to manage them. 

Ensuring your customer service is of the highest standard isn’t a job that you can tackle lightly, and most often, it will involve some outside support. 

Click4assistance.co.uk is the perfect place to build a live chatbot that offers things like customization and branding. 

Emails can likely be limited to one check and respond period per day, and building templates that cover all of the most asked questions, give information, payment requests, and anything else that repeats. 

Read more: How To Meet Your Customer Needs on Time.

Afternoon dips

We aren’t all morning people, and we aren’t all night owls. Finding out when the best time is to tackle tasks can help you be a lot more proactive. 

One of the first places to look is what your chronotype is? Are you a wolf? Perhaps a dolphin? Well, each of these animals has different peak productive hours and different sleep schedules. 

But not everyone can work in the office at 5 am, or 10 pm. So how do you make that fit? 

There will be portions of the day you are highly productive, and here is where you should block focus time for deep work. When you usually feel a slump or a little tired, you should place lighter tasks. 

If you have complete autonomy of your working time, then spend time studying these and where you can improve. 

Use your chronotype and your circadian rhythm to narrow down when you work best, and leverage it. 

Being slow to start

When you are hesitating, you are effectively doing nothing. Until you make a decision, nothing is going to happen.

Being slow to start is a huge time trap, and one that many of us would say is fine - because it’s a creative time and is giving us time to think. 

But you can think and do - at the same time. 

And something to be highly aware of is that you can hit the point where you are overthinking and procrastinating. 

If you are thinking about complex business problems, new products, new tools, or creating a new process, some time should be given for these. 

And thinking under duress and with a deadline can become difficult. Yet, pressure creates diamonds - so add a little pressure to your creativity. 

So how can you think and start more productivity? Use this checklist to think and work at speed.

  • What is the need?
  • Is there another solution in production - how could it be improved?
  • Work the problem backward - what is the solution - does it meet the need? 
  • Look for supporting theories and papers on it (if there is any)
  • Are there any ‘side quests’, alternatives, or other options
  • What would be the MVP?

Thinking up new products and services can leave us feeling stuck, which is a typical response to thinking. But you’re not ’stuck’; your brain simply needs time to make all of the connections. You’ll get your eureka moment - most often in the shower or on a walk because your brain has some space to work.

Communications

Are you taking video calls when an email would do? Are you in an email chain when a call should’ve been the right way to tackle it? 

If you have any sway over the conversations and how they happen, take a look at what really should be happening. 

Video calls can be exhausting, and unless you have a great facilitator, they can drag on, go off-topic and often feel like there was nothing productive at the end. 

Set a rule that there is a timed list for every video call and encourage people to stay time conscious and reach the points faster. 

Next time you see an email chain getting out of control, ask - should this be a call? 

Deadlines

Deadlines are a blessing and a curse. Humans usually work well when they are presented with deadlines. 

We feel a sense of achievement when we set out to get something done in the shortest amount of time. 

However, if you set a deadline six months from now, you might not feel the urge to get the work done until month 5. 

You can put a stop to this by setting yourself different deadlines as the project goes on. Set a deadline for each portion of the project and give yourself a limited amount of time to complete it. 

How to use deadlines to your advantage:

  • Give yourself days or weeks ahead of the actual deadline - this is your buffer for edits
  • Reduce your unrealistic deadlines and workloads - i.e., don’t agree to deliver six months of work in 2 days.
  • Use the Pomodoro technique in your work; these set focus periods will speed you up
  • Write down each step of the project up to the deadline - in detail, use that as your to-do
  • Tackle the most challenging parts first; this makes the rest feel easy

Study time

If you spend time within your working day learning how to do something, then it is time to ask for or create time dedicated to this learning. While learning as you do is an incredibly valuable ability, it eats into time that you should/could be using elsewhere. 

If you have to schedule your study time, set the exact time block aside each week for it. You can highlight times where you are less productive (chronotype) and use those times to read, listen and watch. 

Avoid time traps in your business by taking the time to spot them and build systems to avoid them or minimize them. 

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How To Meet Your Customer Needs on Time

  • September 13, 2021

 

You want to meet your customer's needs on time, but sometimes it feels like you are always behind. This can be frustrating when you know your customers need what you have. Sometimes you may not change the timeline for a project, but there are a few things that will help make sure your business runs more smoothly so that when your customer wants it done by then, you're already halfway.

Develop and Test Your Prototypes

You need to make sure your customers are getting the right product. You can't just assume that because you think it's perfect, people will too. Instead, make a prototype like the  MIS Electronics PCB assembly service or test your ideas on some of your existing clients before releasing the final version. This way, you'll be able to see what works and what doesn't work for your customers. Make adjustments to your product or service based on customers' reactions, and then test it out again before releasing the final version. This way, you will get your customers what they need, which means more sales for you in the long run.

Research the Best Delivery Technique

Delivering a product on time is essential to meeting your customer needs.  However, many factors affect the delivery of a product, and it's important to research which technique will work best for you while ensuring your brand is relevant before beginning production.

You can build trust with your customers by ensuring that their needs are met on time. If you overprice yourself or the product you're selling, chances are there's a competitor who will be able to offer it at a lower cost. So, instead, please choose an appropriate price point and stick to it. So, if you're looking to meet your customer needs on time, ensure that all requests are met without overpricing yourself or the product you're selling.

Target a Specific Market

One of the most important aspects to consider when marketing your product is to attract more qualified leads to your business.  In addition, you can establish more trust and loyalty with customers by catering directly to a particular audience than if you had gone for less focused customers.  

For example, some companies might try to appeal to everyone and anyone, which can dilute your marketing message.  On the other hand, if a company has an effective targeted campaign, you will deliver better customer service and meet specific needs more efficiently than those companies who try for such broad appeal.

Review Feedback and Comments From Customers

Acknowledge customer feedback and comments, good or bad. Customers are the lifeblood of any business. Without your customers, you have no one to sell your product or service to. Be sure that anything said about your company goes through the appropriate channels to be documented for future reference. Also, consider what customers want in terms of service as it help show you care. You'll offer better service when you know what customers want from your company, and then deliver it on time.

Conclusion

There is no more straightforward way to meet your customers' needs on time than those discussed here. Keep these things in mind so you can better serve the clientele and improve overall company performance. Remember that there is no single best way, but if it feels right, then do it.

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