I have experience with being overextended, so I warn webdesigners, do not take on more than you can handle. At first it might seem like a great boon to your business to have five clients at once, but if you end up feeling stressed and over-worked, it is not that good at all. You will need to reasonably gauge your own breaking point.
If you’re working at home and there are children in the background who at times make demands on you, you’ll be distracted and unable to give a project your entire attention. You may handle this type of stress better than others, but once you’re in a pressure cooker of backed-up web work you may regret that you said “yes” to another client.
So save yourself. Assess your situation. How much can you reasonably expect to do before feeling anxious and unhappy? How much work can you keep up with without passing deadlines? What kind of commitment should you be making to your clients?
Your clients will expect their work done timely and efficiently. After all, they’re paying a webdesign expert – you – to perform a needed service. You will probably mention deadline dates in your contract so they’ll know when to expect a completed website. Do not make this hard on yourself! Your entire business depends on you being available and well-balanced, ready to work and able to concentrate.
Be prepared to say no to clients that offer you webdesign projects you’re not really able to handle. If it doesn’t look easy for you, there’s no harm in saying, “This is beyond my scope of expertise. You’ll have to find someone else.” Your potential client will have to adjust. You do not need to harass yourself and make yourself miserable to do everything for everyone who comes to you for help.
Time is precious, and time management is essential to a small business owner. Set checks and balances for yourself. Whether it is through a program like Getting Things Done (GTD) or by creating your own worksheets, forms, spreadsheets, or whatever you’re comfortable with, manage your time carefully so you won’t feel overburdened and stressed. Your well-being is extremely important while you’re working as a home-based webdesigner.
If people think you’re always available because you work at home, join the crowd. Many thousands of us have experienced this attitude from others who don’t realize you’re deeply involved with business matters no matter where your office is. You have to be strong and be prepared to say “no” to a lot of people! (Children not included, of course… they may need you!) Always remember that your time is golden. It translates into the money you need to survive in this world. Do not minimize that and don’t let anyone else do it either!
If you always remember your time constraints, you’ll be careful never to take on more that you can handle. This is what’s best for your webdesign business, and for you.