[thelist] Fulltime to freelance

sbeam sbeam at onsetcorps.net
Tue Nov 25 09:35:24 CST 2008

On Tuesday 25 November 2008 05:58, Fred Jones wrote:
> I would think that is lucky. My jobs don't just creep a bit in
> scope--they often double, if not more, by the end of the job. To go
> back to the client every day or two and say, "Well, you know, we never
> mentioned that feature..." etc. makes both them and me crazy. That's
> my experience anyhow.

Then maybe you need to re-consider how you are setting expectations for the 
job. Everything needs to be written and detailed in specifications/ 
functional requirements and _signed_ before work begins. If there is any 
question about whether or not something is out of scope, then you haven't 
done enough planning. Some clients can be difficult but you should be able to 
just point to the reqs and resolve any dispute in minutes (ideally).

This can take many hours, on bigger jobs, sometimes days. This is time you 
generally don't get paid for (though sometimes you can put in hours for 
discovery/requirements/documentation if conditions are right). Which is why 
when people are amazed at your hourly rate, they are not thinking of stuff 
like this or the A/P or self-promotion or education or other huge time 
investments required of a successful freelancer (just like any business). 

Freelancing requires superior self-motivation and organization skills, and can 
entail more stress than almost any salaried job IMHO. And you will 
work "twice as hard for half the money", at least at first. OTOH, my local 
muffler shop gets 70/hr, which many people would be ecstatic to get as 
professional college-degreed software developers. Setting your rates higher 
than market can get you a better class of client and more time to develop 
business, assuming you are savvy enough to justify it.

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