RE: Another day in the Life of an Independent Contractor...

Subject: RE: Another day in the Life of an Independent Contractor...
From: "Sharon Burton-Hardin" <sharon -at- anthrobytes -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 07:16:13 -0800

We have several clients that we have never met. My writing teams are
virtual, for the most part. In other words, all virtual many times.

The admin tasks are all billable time, as far as I am concerned. But I
always tell the client that we are burning hours unproductively. What do
they want - more meetings? More phone calls?

It is their choice, but they are wasting their time and the assumption is
that they do not have unlimited funds that they can squander on
non-deliverable stuff. Some is required, but they need to know they are
paying for all of that.

Talk to the client and ask them. And bill them, within reason, for the admin
stuff. You are working on their project during that time.

Client wasting your time? No such thing. If they are paying you for your
time, your time cannot be wasted. It can be poorly used, but never wasted.
Tell the client you are sending an invoice for the time you have spent so
far. This is where line item invoices are a huge help.


Sharon Burton-Hardin
CEO, Anthrobytes Consulting

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-71429 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-71429 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of Charles E
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2002 6:44 AM
Subject: Another day in the Life of an Independent Contractor...

Just want to throw out a question to the list for opinions...

I have a client who's a startup. They consist of competent people I've
worked with before whom I like and respect.

Here's the issue: as a startup, they've taken the "Virtual Team"
approach. They have a large client project, with resources spread among
the Northeast. We are working as 1099 contractors, handling individual
parts of the project. The tasks are all self contained, with no
dependencies between tasks (other than to hand them off on schedule.)
There's one full-time Project Manager coordinating the resources. We know
our jobs. We just need to be handed the files to work on.

Here's the issue: the admin time is adding up (schedule evaluations,
meetings, email queries, etc.) and I've yet to see any work I can bill.
My basic feeling is that much of this admin time is unnecessary. The task
is straightforward - I just need the files and a deadline.

I'm curious:

* is what I'm describing normal client interaction (or am I just being
ornery?) At what point do *you* separate normal client interaction from
billable time?

* What do *you* do if/when you feel a client is wasting your time? How do
you tactfully say "I don't think another meeting/discussion is

Please, no patronizing "business is tough, building one is blood sweat
and tears, the customer is king and you have to go beyond the 9 to 5"


Charles E. Vermette
85 Washington Park Drive, Norwell MA 02061
e-mail: cvermette -at- juno -dot- com

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Another day in the Life of an Independent Contractor...: From: Charles E Vermette

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