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Controlling the Changes

Deciding to leave work early after completing the project you have been breaking your back on for the past month? Not so fast! You still need to receive a mail from the client’s end with all the modifications they want you to make. A project is never completed without the regular drill of accommodating all the changes a client wants in the project.

Before dwelling into this topic, you first need to understand the difference between things you get wrong in a project and the client asks to fix versus changes the client asks to make. The first being your duty to take care of and solve, and the second being an extra service you provide to the client to maintain a good relationship. When dealing with clients it is very important for you as freelancers to know which is an issue and which is a change. As there are many cases where clients can convince you otherwise. This they do primarily because of lack of clarity on their end and sometimes to also make profits at your expense.

Incorporating the changes in a project to a large extent is part of the cost of the project itself. But where do you draw the line for changes and modifications that you do for free versus those you charge for? If the changes are small and do not require a lot of effort and time, then you can do it for free as it helps in building a good understanding and relation with your clients. But if the changes the client is asking for is very drastic and time consuming then it becomes important to let the client know that these changes are going to charged separately. This discussion needs to be had in a sensitive manner so it does not mess up the understanding you have built with your clients over the project. To avoid any misunderstandings at a later stage, it is better you include the cost of changes in the initial proposal. This results in not catching the client off-guard later.

Clients to a large extent do not like admitting that they want a change and try convincing that this was something you got wrong and they wanted in the first place. Thus, you need to be careful when dealing with such clients. The best way to avoid such conflicts is having everything you discuss and all the stages of the project documented. So, you can refer back to them when necessary.

Although frustrating, it is important for you to be accommodating of the changes a client wants. Why, you ask? Firstly, when a client comes to you for a service, in most cases the clarity they possess on the subject is fairly minimal. Thus, assumptions are high on their end and this may result in some of the changes. Handling the client and the changes they want well, only results in profits for you in both ways- monetary and a better relationship with them. This resulting in them having a good opinion about you and may also cause future deals and more benefits.


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