When opportunities come knocking on our doors, we get into an instant response of acting positively. After all, new projects and clients mean more income, and no one would not want more money. However, the act of saying yes may run contrary to your long term goals and may work against your best interests. This statement is to cement the fact that no every project is worth pursuing and not every client is worth working for.
So, how do you determine which projects to take on and which ones to leave out? Here is what to look for, so that you can make more intelligent decisions.
Does the project enhance your portfolio?
There are two key ways you can enhance your portfolio – that is through association and through the type of work you do. Association helps in adding credibility to a product or service and instantly helps in making a project more desirable. Clients and projects that give you some sort of social proof may be worth taking. Additionally, you might have specialized in a specific service or a range of services. You can decide to take projects that are in line with what you have specialized in.
Take projects that allow you to grow
Even if you have core skills that you are excellent in, there is always more room for improvement. You should consider taking projects that give you an opportunity to grow. Focus on your starting point that you are competent in and work towards enhancing your competency to grow. Take projects that are doable but force you to be pushed outside your comfort zone. Learn along the way as you deliver and ensure in the end, you become better.
Charge what you are worth
Work on those projects that allow you to charge what you are worth. Never take a project out of desperation knowing very well you are poorly paid. Many people make the mistake of jumping into projects without truly understanding how much time and resources it will take to deliver a project. You may be fast to agree on a fixed price only later to discover that a client also wants you to do more than what was initially agreed upon. Get clear on how much time is required and what resources are needed to deliver on a task.
Work on projects with long term potential
You need to be convinced that a project will pay off in many ways in the long term. You may even agree to work at a reduced rate and a reduced price especially if it’s your dream client. It doesn’t matter how much you trust the client at the first interaction. Only focus to have some key questions answered. Ask yourself if there is potential for more work. Evaluate if it’s a one-off or recurring project and evaluate the benefits associated as well. It is important to get some anchor clients who can guarantee you a certain amount of income each month and work towards balancing your anchor clients with any other exciting new clients that come along your way.