Getting Down To Business: Status Reports To Clients

by Randy Murray on February 2, 2011

No matter how informally you run your business, one of the things that a client is paying you for is a degree of confidence that you are doing what they’ve contracted you to do. I’ve learned that as a freelance professional my customers are much more comfortable and less demanding when I take the initiative and provide them with regular status and progress reports.

You don’t want to overwhelm your client, but I think that it’s useful to maintain contact at least once a week on ongoing projects. You can do it through a regularly scheduled phone call, when you can also ask them for additional information or support that you need while you update them on your progress. You can send a formal email status report. Each client is different and you should discover what works best for the client, not for you.

Even if your customer has a system for collaboration, like Basecamp, you might want to make sure that they actually use it. I’ve had customers who have asked me to use their systems to report progress, and I’ve done so, only to find out that they never check in to their own system and are left wondering what I’m up to.

It’s your responsibility to not only send a status or report, but to confirm that your customer has actually read, heard, or understood where you are on their project. As a freelancer or contractor, you have to take on management responsibilities and status reporting is part of it.

Clients will continue to work with you when you make it both easy to work with you and you do good work. Regular status reports will go a long way towards helping you win new work and establishing a smooth working relationship with your clients.

The Getting Down To Business: Status Reports To Clients by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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