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Comparing the Benefits and Risks of a Short-Term Freelance Project


If you are a freelance business owner, you know that job security can be somewhat fleeting. A short term freelance project offers both risks and benefits to the freelancer and should always be evaluated before taking on a new project.

Who is the Client?

Evaluate your client relationship. Is this client someone who you do repeat business with or is this someone you may only see once? Your relationship with the client is a main component to the benefit and risk of a short term project. One benefit with a client you have an established relationship with is that you know more work should be coming down the pipeline after the short term project is finished, especially if you always perform extremely well on each project.

On the other hand, if you don't know this client well or are working on your first project with the client, you don't know if you will have future work with her. If this is the first project with a new client, customer service and project performance are number one to opening the door to the possibility of future work. So, even though this project is only short term, your performance could impact your future of obtaining additional projects down the line.

Short Term Project Risks

With any short term project, no matter if you have a well established client relationship or not, you know there is no definite work coming from that client in the future. After this project is completed, you may get work in the future, but you are uncertain exactly when and what you will be receiving. Another risk associated with short term projects is that you may not be able to establish a stronger bond with the client unless you know that they will be giving you future projects. You'll only have a short window of time to impress this client and turn the short term client into a long term customer.

In order to do this, you'll need to make sure the project runs smoothly with a perfect result. Even if the client doesn't have a future project in mind, your on-time, efficient deliverly will put you at the top of her mind for future projects.

Short Term Project Benefits

There are an abundance of benefits associated with short term projects. Short term projects allow you to free up resources to search for additional business. Once you finish the project, you can spend time recruiting new business and building future relationships. Another benefit of a short term project is that if you are working on a difficult or unpleasant project, at least there is an end in sight. There's nothing worse than having to linger on a tedious project or have to deal with an especially nasty customer for a long amount of time.

Either way, short term projects bring both risks and benefits to the freelancer. Although a short term project generates limited funds, you can also spend time searching for new work or quickly getting through an unpleasant project.


Gina Ragusa is a freelance writer and mom from sunny (and sometimes not) South Florida. Her 15 year experience ranges from writing about banking to tattoo parlors. Read more about her adventures at

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