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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Meeting with clients when having a full time job

    Hiya,

    As some may have seen, I have finally taken the leap to start out by myself in web design. The problem I have is that I also have a full time job that unfortunately the bills will not allow me to quit. I am not sure how this is going to effect how my business progresses because I will not be available in the normal working hours. So I have a few questions.

    Has anyone had any experience in this?
    If so how did you overcome it?
    How did you arrange meetings with clients?
    Are client understanding when it comes to things like this?

    Thanks in advance
    "Am I the only one doing ASP.NET in Delphi(Pascal)?"

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webnoob View Post
    Has anyone had any experience in this?
    Yes, I too tried freelancing whilst still employed full time. I ended up working ridiculous hours and not getting enough rest due to the demands.

    Quote Originally Posted by webnoob View Post
    If so how did you overcome it?
    I chucked my full time job.

    Quote Originally Posted by webnoob View Post
    How did you arrange meetings with clients?
    Once I quit my job, I met with clients when it suited them, typically during normal business hours.

    Quote Originally Posted by webnoob View Post
    Are client understanding when it comes to things like this?
    At a guess I really dont think any clients would mind, however If you cant make usual hours, I dont think you need to disclose your reason. Just give them your available hours.

    RJ

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    You really have two options here... change the job or find clients who can work with your limits. This can be as simple as having an upfront meeting (PTO) day and working via email from there. For clients who like face time, figure out if they're open to meeting later in the day (i.e. 6 or 7 after work) and if not, move on. Working over the web is a great way to solve this challenge but it won't work for every client, even if you win the work.

    The big thing to remember here is that you are an FTE for someone and have obligated yourself to give them your full attention during the day so really, the issue goes beyond meetings and extends to all forms of requests and communication. If your main employer doesn't know about your side business I highly suggest that you review their policy and insure you aren't stepping on any toes. Some companies are far more flexible and will allow you some leeway with this but remember, the time your working for them should not be spent doing work for someone else... that almost always ends badly.

    Also realize that while you can definitely do both jobs, you should be honest with your clients as well... they don't always have to know what your day job is but they do have to know that at 8, 9 or whatever time it is that you go to work, they can't get support from you, discuss project status or anything else. So long as you remain upfront, open and realistic with yourself and your client and you should be fine.
    - Ted S

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Teds advice is right on the money here, and I esp agree with being upfront with clients and found that most of mine at first had no problem talking after hours or dealing mostly via email. I rarely if ever met with clients in person, but found that email and the occasional phone call worked well for me.

    Steve

  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist Fergal's Avatar
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    If your clients are small business owners and are working for themselves, they may be glad of the opportunity to meet you outside of normal business hours. This way they can deal with their own clients during business hours.
    Fergal Crawley (Previous Username: Proudirish.com)
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast imagineinternet's Avatar
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    Woo Hoo! I'd call that the beginning of the end, my friend.

    Found myself in the same place about 8 years ago. It was very tough, but I would meet clients before work, after, and at lunch. I spent a LOT of time in coffee shops in the morning! After I got things going (and started to see less and less of my wife), I took a leap and asked my employer if I could work part-time. They went for it, and I was able to do both, AND keep my benefits, retirement, yada yada yada. It was pretty sweet, but after 3 years of that I couldn't afford to stay at the real job, so I took off and have been on my own for 5 years now. Scary as hell, but we are growing at 80&#37; a year, and I only answer to me

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