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Handling a solo project

If you decide to take on a project by yourself, here's a brief list that can help keep you on the right track:

  • Prioritize your tasks and develop a workflow. Some parts of the project are more enjoyable than others, but you still have to complete all of them. After you've done a few projects, you start to develop a workflow that enables you to work effectively through all the parts of the project (even the ones that aren't as enjoyable). Prioritizing your tasks (based on what needs done when) and breaking up creative and analytical tasks (so you don't burn out on one aspect of the project) can help you meet your deadlines.

  • Establish a workflow with your client. Do this at the beginning of the project. Working with one contact person can help reduce misunderstandings.

  • Notify your client of personnel changes. If you find it necessary to bring in some help, make sure you let the client know.

  • Treat your home office like a “real” office. If you're freelancing from your home, make sure you have a good workspace with all the equipment you need. Treat it like a regular job. Make regular hours for yourself. It's also a good idea to save some days strictly for production and others for meeting days.

  • Network and market yourself. You'll need to build time into your schedule to look for your next project. When you're writing proposals and discussing projects with clients, don't forget to build “lost” days into the timeline. Lost days are those spent going to meetings or other events. If you know that you'll need 40 hours to complete a job, don't tell the client that you'll have it in five business days. You won't have it done. The 40 hours is the time that you'll spend on their project specifically — but you'll have other tasks that take up your time. The “40‐hour‐job” can be more like a month‐long project.


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