How to Get Quality Results on a Project You Needed Done Yesterday
There seems to be an age-old struggle between clients and freelancers: You need work in a pinch but don’t want to compromise on quality. Yes, I’m talking about rush jobs.
For many freelancers, this raises red flags. They’re concerned about being frazzled and not compensated for turning around top-notch work in a short span. You’re worried about meeting a deadline that just came up and saving your skin, too. If you can at all include more time for a project to be completed, do so. It’ll help you avoid rushing around—and probably save you a few bucks as well. But if that inevitable rush job comes into play, you’ll need to work with a freelancer that can swiftly get the job done.
Here are some tips on working with freelancers to complete rush projects.
Ask if Your Freelancer is Rush-Ready
From the beginning of the relationship, it’s important to ask the freelancer if they accept rush jobs. If they do, you know that you may be able to count on them when things get tight. If not, secure a back-up contractor that can take things in a pinch.
If your freelancer has indicated in the past that he or she is open to rush jobs, give him or her as much notice as possible about your project. That usually works by way of a phone call in addition to an email. Talk about the exact parameters of the project and give a clear deadline including everything that is expected of him or her. A freelancer should never take a rush project if they “think” they can do it—they need to be sure. You may want to reiterate that because many people nowadays are trying to snag any project they can to keep money coming in, but it’s only fair if they can deliver the goods on time.
Process the Red Tape Quickly
The contractor will likely want to have a written agreement signed and a deposit sent, so work quickly to expedite the requests you agree to. If you offer a project to the freelancer on Monday morning and it is due Wednesday afternoon, you want to make sure you get everything ready so he or she can get started on it right away. If you delay things a day, the freelancer will likely not start the work until Tuesday, which only gives him or her less than two working days—and that can mean your project won’t get the full attention it deserves. To avoid even more of a rush, make sure you get all the red tape items out of the way promptly.
Expect a Rush Fee
To compensate for scrapping other projects with less-pressing deadlines (and probably pulling all-nighters), many freelancers will include a rush fee. If you have a solid working relationship with your freelancer, he or she can probably get your project done without the extra charge, but in some cases, it is only fair to pay a little extra. Be sure to ask the freelancer if there will be a rush fee if you are tight on budget so you can determine from the get-go if you can afford him or her. If the freelancer is working on an hourly rate, it’s good to see if you can get a cap on hours to keep any project budget in check. If the freelancer is working with a lump sum, they sometimes toss an extra fee in there. It is perfectly okay to question hours or charges, just keep in mind that rush fees are an industry norm and you’ll probably be paying them if you put your contractor on the spot.
Give Yourself Extra Time
Never put your deadline so close to the time you need the project done that you don’t have time to look it over. You want to make sure everything is completed, and if possible, to give it a quick proofread. Remember, even freelancers make mistakes from time to time, so it is a smart idea to review everything before it goes out.
Be nice. A polite note will go a long way to thank your freelancer for helping out with a rush job. Take the time to thank him or her—because you never know when you may need help in a hurry.