Contracting: Developing and maintaining business relationships

Subject: Contracting: Developing and maintaining business relationships
From: Kathleen Padova <kpadova -at- MALVERNSYS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1998 12:22:19 -0500

Greetings all,

I have a full-time job (which I like very much) and do some contract
work on the side. I only have a few clients, which is fine by me. I take
on the extra work for the variety, experience and of course the extra
income. I am also trying contracting slowly to see if I am really cut
out to do this full time someday. I really appreciate all of the
discussions on this list by experienced and new contractors. Thank you
so much.

I am becoming concerned that I don't I have the right skills or
experience handling clients.

I notice that I am much more confident and take more risks in my
full-time job; and more cautious taking a hard stance with clients when
insisting on meeting project deadlines, status reports, etc. This will
not lead to a successful career as a contractor.

I am having difficulties with one client I've worked with for over 2
years. The problem is not with the work, it's with managing the client.
I was tempted to end the relationship after the current project; but
someone who knows me far too well said, "You don't want to walk away
without knowing that you could have solved this problem. You could learn
something." And he's absolutely right.

While there is probably a personality issue going on too; I'd like to
know if there are any resources that may have helped some of you become

Have you found that taking a general business or management class helped
you develop and maintain business relationships? Somehow I avoided ever
stepping foot in the business school in college and I know I will need
more business know-how if I ever want to run my own.

Please feel free to email me directly, if you prefer.

kpadova -at- malvernsys -dot- com

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