As a Limited Company contractor having lots of clients is a nice position to be in, as it gives you plenty of variety in your working day, it spreads risk, increases your exposure as a contractor and ultimately means more income. So whilst having multiple clients and contracts at once can be positive, there are some negatives you need to watch out for.
In this blog we explore the top 5 ways to manage multiple clients, to help you stay on top of your contracting game.
Make a solid plan
It can be quite a jump from focusing on just one client at a time to having multiple clients, so be sure to understand how you can make it all work. Consider the amount of time you have per week that you can dedicate to work, how long you’ll need to spend on each contract, and how long each project is expected to last for. Make a plan of when you’ll work on which projects and where, and share this with your clients so that they know when to expect updates from you. This will also lessen the chance of clients contacting you on the days when you’re working on other client’s contracts.
There are plenty of time and project management software programmes out there that can help you achieve your time management goals, asana, Clockify, Monday Project Management, are just a few that might work well for you.
Appreciate that it’s a different style of working
In an ideal world you’ll spend a set time on client A, then switch to client B, and so on, and it’ll all run smoothly. But life along with other variables can get in the way, which may mean that from time to time you’ll slip off track, so having the understanding that you’ll need to delay work for one client to complete another’s may happen.
In order to be able to cope with this you’ll need the mindset that’ll allow you to drop everything at a moment’s notice, and be able to jump straight back into another client’s project. But if you find that it’s happening more often than expected be sure to discuss this with your client, as the original contract’s scope clearly isn’t working.
Be picky with the contracts you accept
It might be tempting to say ‘yes’ to every contract you’re offered, just in case you go through a dry spell, or want to earn more in a shorter space of time, but whilst this can be tempting it’s worth remembering not to bite off more than you can chew.
When considering a new contract understand its requirements, time constraints, and whether you can fit it into your current working week and other client’s requirements. Be honest and transparent with new clients also, so that they understand and appreciate that you work on multiple contracts at any one time. By doing so you’ll improve your ability to manage working for multiple clients, and it’ll have a positive effect on your mental health and sense of professional achievement.
Be honest with your clients
Set expectations with your clients from the outset. Never under or over promise your ability to complete contracts on time and correctly, as clients may get nervous about your capabilities and could take their contract elsewhere.
Before accepting the contract agree a plan for completion with your client, setting clear goals, timescales and when they can expect to receive updates from you. Once this had been achieved you can both progress forward, knowing that the terms of completion have been agreed and you know each other’s expectations.
Call in the troops
Working on multiple projects at any one time can lead to stress, anxiety, and ultimately can be detrimental to your contracting business. That’s why it’s always worth having a contracting colleague on hand to help you out, should you ever need an extra pair of hands.
Subcontracting work out to a colleague you trust can lighten your load, and help you focus on the important tasks. Before doing so though be sure to check that your client’s contract includes the right of substitution, or consider working under a Statement of Work (SoW). This could also help your case when it comes to being found outside IR35.
There’s nothing stopping you from taking on more than one client, and with the five points covered in this blog you’ll hopefully have a clearer idea on how to manage it and achieve your contracting goals. It may take a little getting used to, but once you’ve had more than one contract it’ll come as second nature. And remember that if you ever need Limited Company contractor accounting needs, Aardvark are able to help you run your business in the most tax efficient way possible, take a look at our services.