This last week or so, my team and I were working on generating some marketing materials so I could attend a busines expo here in Ravenshoe. It meant that some of the team have been working extra hours for me.

I ASKED them to do the work and I expected that my invoice for this last week would be higher. No issues there.

It got fed back to me that one of the team was concerned about the hours they were racking up and what they would have to invoice me for the work. It was a lot of hours.

Now, I've been in that position with my own clients. They keep asking for things, I do the work and submit an invoice. However, sometimes my tummy does flip flops as I worry if they'll be upset with the amount! I'm sure we've all been there an will be there again.

The question is, can you alleviate that?

The answer to the question I just posed is ... yes and it's it sort of a simple answer with the execution being perhaps a little more difficult.

The answer is COMMUNICATE. I know right? Simple. Just talk to your client. "Hey, just letting you know that this work we've already done is some many hours and we've got xyz things left to do. Did you want me to keep working on those this week, is there something that you'd like me to give more priority to, etc etc etc."

That does a couple of things. Firstly it lets your client decide if the budget can stretch for this time period and the priority of the things left to do. Secondly, it says that you're responsible and you care about their business too.

It really is a win / win.

Now, you might that the client is a bit ... surprised ... by how much time has been spent and that's ok - that's why we communicate. Managing perceptions is the other side of the coin here. It's difficult to understand how much work goes into something, if you're not familiar with doing it yourself.

By going back and giving your client that information, you're also educating them on the value of your work.

Of course, this approach goes to other things too. Asking questions, communicating, providing feedback are invaluable tools to understanding your clients communication style and their business. It also might help them structure requests to you in a way that is clearer and provides the details you need.

Overall, I've found that it makes for a great, long term, working relationship. And ... creates a team!

I'm sure you've all had some experience with this, why not drop over to my LOCALS community and leave it there ... start, or join in, the conversation.

About the Author Charly Dwyer

Charly has more than 30 years experience in the IT industry ranging from hands-on technical, to high-level business management, Charly has installed and configured computing equipment and has managed business contracts in excess of $25 million dollars.

As a result, Charly identifies the best way to integrate solutions and technologies for the most cost effective way to achieve a businesses outcome.

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