The end of the year is a good time to make sure that you have expectations set for the following year for your business and with your clients. For the past month, amongst other things, I’ve been thinking about what my clients need to know for 2015. Here’s a few things you may want to make sure your clients know the next time the contract is up, or if the end of the year is a natural time for changes…
1. Rate changes. It’s good to review your rates each year. I bill at an hourly rate, and that rate went up this year. Not a ton, $5 an hour, it won’t kill my clients, or so they’ve said.
2. Changing your fee structure. I had been billing in 15 minute increments and after some suggestions from friends, I decided to switch to bill in 6 min increments. I think it’ll save my clients some money because I’m pretty efficient. But that’s taken care of (see #1)
3. Holidays and vacations – make sure your clients know what’s going on in your schedule. I try to communicate about a week prior at the LEAST to let my clients know of vacations.
4. Billing– my invoices come out on the first of the month. So for December, I always ask my clients if they’d like to pay early (if they have excess in the budget) or wait till January. It doesn’t make a difference to me, and they’re happy.
5. Major Life Changes- okay, maybe not major, but if you know there’s some big things happening for you in 2015 that you can share, do that. “We’re moving,” “We’re going on a 3 week road trip,” “I’m taking up under water basket weaving,” “I’m prepping for the Zombie Apocalypse, and you should too!” Whatever it is, if it makes sense and will effect your clients, let them know so you can plan around it.