Having spent a good proportion of this week working on Bedfordshire BusinessWomen, trying to juggle my business and all of the other domestic duties it has been quite difficult to get a good balance.
That is where it is so difficult to balance your work life between the business that is paying the bills and the pro-bono work.
We have to be capable of knowing at what level we get involved with the pro-bono work and there is no crystal ball that will tell you when, if or what opportunities might arise from such work.
It is through experience that we learn but sometimes we learn a very hard lesson that can be at a huge cost to a small business. Ensuring that invoicing is kept up to date and you are on top of it is critical and making sure that terms and conditions are issued at the point you raise an invoice so that the two can be sent together is equally important. Very often we do not think to send a cancellation policy, but if a client cancels part, or all of the contract with short notice you may still have to pay a cancellation fee to those you have commissioned to work with you, or printing costs etc, which can leave you out of pocket.
At the end of the day we are all in business to make money and have a good quality of life so if you are doing more pro-bono work than paid and you are not getting invoices paid then that quality of life will suffer. I am not saying that you should not do any voluntary work but to get the balance right.