When you have to get work done, you want your projects to be smooth-sailing from start to finish. Whether you're a freelancer or an employer, you need to ensure that any job you take on or offer can be finished as trouble-free as possible. There may be bumps along the way, both expected and unexpected, but there are ways to avoid or get over these hurdles.
1. Be upfront about what you need from the very start. If you're an employer, your job listing should have all the information you can release about the project. Does it state precisely what skills are needed for the job? Does it describe exactly what should be done? Be straightforward about the scope of the project right from the beginning.
If you're a freelancer, do you need specific information to help you do the job? Will tools help you do the work? Do you require certain files? Be open about what you need and speak up if you have any concerns. Ask the client if anything seems unclear – don't be afraid to ask for clarification so you don't run into any misunderstandings down the road.
2. Set clear milestones. The Milestone Payment system on Freelancer lets employers set aside funds for payment that will be released in full or staggered depending on the terms agreed upon with the freelancer. You can choose to go with a schedule and release payment after set time frames, or you can agree to have payment released after certain objectives are accomplished. Make sure you discuss the full terms of the milestone payment agreement with your freelancer or employer. That way, both of you have the same expectations as well as aligned goals for the project.
3. Communicate constantly. Think you need a deadline extension? Contact the employer immediately and explain why you need more time to do the work. Does the work submitted by your freelancer need revisions? Let the freelancer know right away. It is always best to update the other party on whatever changes are happening with the project. Discuss any feedback brought to the table immediately. Don't let things pile up and only communicate near the end.
4. Collaborate. Be open to ideas. Listen to the other party and give every suggestion a chance. Every project will be a mix of both parties' knowledge and experience. If you're a freelancer, consider your employer's vision carefully before coming up with your game plan. If you're an employer, take the time to come up with a strategy with your freelancer. Two heads are often better than one, and collaborating will enable you to have the best possible outcome for the project.
5. Roll with the punches. Lastly, if something goes awry unexpectedly, just deal with it. Some surprises sometimes pop up in the middle of a project, and when they happen, don't panic. Talk about the situation, look at it from all angles and decide on a solution. Just because you set specific milestones and terms for the project doesn't mean you can't be flexible when it comes to problem fixes. You can amend your schedules or reset your milestones. If you can adjust quickly, a few snags in the plan won't cause you any grief.