Have you ever worked for a client located abroad?
Although the work is essentially the same as usually done, the circumstances surrounding it can make everything different. In FreelanceFolder have collected the points to keep in mind to make sure everything goes well:
If your client lives on the other side of the planet, it is clear that you have to synchronize part of your schedule to ensure communication and project management fluid. It makes little sense to call you-or call-in the middle of the night …
Bear in mind the time difference with your client to:
– Match when answering questions, request information, support, etc.
– Perform deliveries
Avoid last minute surprises. Agrees with the client payment currency. If this is not your usual currency, make your calculations to make sure the quantity is correct. You can lean on a conversion tool.
Please note any exchange fees, transfer taxes, etc.
The language is often one of the fundamental barriers.
English has become the most used communication tool between people with different languages. But sometimes actors have their limitations: if both parties did not dominate, it is easy for misunderstandings.
To limit errors to a minimum, do not be afraid to insist on points that are unclear: deadlines, conditions, language of work, deliverables, formats, etc. Make sure you know what the customer expects of you, and both you share the same vision of the project.
Sometimes, things are clearer writing: a simple email may be sufficient. Sometimes it is better to make a phone call or a videoconference.
Do some research online to find if there are important legal differences between your country and your client. The type of contract you normally use might not have the same value abroad.
Each culture has its uses and customs. You can not know them all, but you can keep an open mind.
The best way to avoid problems is to try to be clear, but also flexible and respectful. There are cultures that go direct to the point, and others who need preambles and intermediate steps before tackling the business. Do not force the situation, get set and tries to learn something in every customer interaction.
No face to face meetings
The face to face meetings always provide relevant information. But if your client is thousands of miles, you better forget them. Fortunately, chat and video conferencing systems allows to us to overcome almost any barrier.
Agrees with the client application that you are going to communicate, taking into account the time difference and everything will be much easier.
What taxes you pay when you charge a foreign customer? Understand clearly to take this into account when determining your rate, and to avoid further problems with the IRS.
What was your experience?