As a freelance developer, every time I get offered a project, I do my best to take it. I’ll be honest…I need the money. Every bit counts. But there are times when I simply must say no and politely decline the opportunity. If you’re new to freelancing, here are a few situations that will arise during your freelance career that you can and should not feel guilty declining.

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Not enough dough

In the beginning, working for lower rates is going to buy you experience. And experience is precious. It’s going to buy you quality references with samples you can show future clients. But there comes a time when working for low cash flow is an absolute no-go. If you can’t get the project done in a quick enough turnaround time, then it makes no sense to waste your time on it. This doesn’t mean you should pass up every client that has a small budget but don’t forget that time is money. If the time you spend on a project takes you too long, it won’t be worth it in the long run. However, since freelance projects tend to ebb and flow, if you find yourself with extra time, take that extra work.

Expedited orders

Better known as the good old rush job, these are projects that clients want doing yesterday. On the one hand, this is an excellent way to make more money. All freelancers should have a standard rush fee that they will apply to their usual rates for this kind of a situation. But sometimes a rush isn’t worth it, especially when you’ve got your hands full with work from other clients. It’s stressful too. You want to keep your good reputation by providing quality work without missing the deadline, and you don’t want it to affect the other stuff you’ve got going on. While you shouldn’t turn down every request for expedited work, you should carefully consider if you can turn it around in enough time and if it’s worth it.

Too big a workload

It’s a freelancer’s dream to get enough work to live comfortably. Because of the uncertain nature of the job, freelancers are all too happy to try to take on as much as they can. So when we find ourselves with a massive workload that makes us wonder if we can complete it properly in the allotted time, it kind of feels like looking a gift horse in the mouth. Sooner or later though, there’s going to come a time when you need to say no. How will you know when it’s best to decline? If you know accepting a new project is going to put a strain on the quality or the completion of your current projects, then it’s best to focus on what’s on your plate instead. Making sure your clients are pleased with your work will lead to future opportunities and will almost always generate new business thanks to glowing reviews from your clients.

Article by Matias

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Mat currently works like a Word Press Developer for Novatise 

We help SMEs in Singapore to create digital solutions to increase sales and productivity. At Novatise, we work in a lean environment as such, no sales person is involved.

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