1. Always Get Paid
Be sure to get a deposit before starting a project and never send the final files until the remaining balance has been paid.
2. Don’t Work For Chicken Scratch
Don’t low ball yourself. At first its tempting to take jobs for low prices, but sooner than later you will need to make sure you are charging enough to cover all your expenses.
3. Make Everything Clear
Establish a time line and any other project specifications and deadlines upfront.
4. Get it all in Writing
Save all your emails and get anything you can in writing; such as clients signing off on projects and project agreements.
5. Save Everything
Save all your receipts and print out anything you buy online for tax purposes.
6. Organization is Essential
Be as organized as possible. Keep a folder for every project and client and clean your office and computer at least once a week.
7. Backup, Backup, Backup!
Back up all of your files and then back them up again.
8. Behave in Professional Manner
Be honest, helpful and never leave a client unhappy. Referrals are a big part of business and happy clients will recommend you left and right.
9. Don’t Overwork Yourself
Stick to your normal office hours. If you work from home its easy to get caught up working and making phone calls late at night and clients will get used to this.
10. Never Stop Networking
Network with other designers, programmers and other skilled people. This will enable you to outsource work and get help when you need it.
11. Never Stop Marketing
No matter how busy you are at the current time you never know when a dry spell might come along. Always keep promoting your business site and never stop looking for new clients.
12. Knowledge is Power
Never stop Learning. You should always be building up your list of bookmarks, blogs, websites and other resources so you can be on the top of your game.