Even Taxis Have A Charge for Idling

I’ve been sending out proposals/estimates via Freshbooks. These work wonderfully. The client sees all the costs. Can approve costs right online by clicking a link.

My one learning point is that I’ve not been explicit enough about when work will be scheduled.

Clients have treated this as “oh that’s nice to know” — and in some cases never approve the estimate.

My bad for not enforcing it. Until now.

I’ve had more than one client who seems to have glanced at the estimate, never approved it, then they call back on the day they’ve informally asked (and which we formally proposed) for assistance.

The problem is:

– They haven’t accepted our proposal
– We haven’t scheduled anything
– Yet they expect us to have reserved some “can you standby” time

Lessons learned:

– While it’s very uncomfortable to be direct and state that no work will be scheduled without acceptance and/or payment — I’m increasingly finding this MUST occur.

– I’m really talking about the C or D type client where they pay you hardly anything per year and expect on-demand services.

– “Can you be available while my IT person moves server/upgrades/picks nose” — is a billable event only to be firmly scheduled upon approval of the estimate. There’s a very odd belief that seems to be growing with my clients that we “standby” at no cost.

Even Taxi’s have a charge for waiting for you..it’s called an idle charge.

Why don’t consultants?