Calls, meetings, calendars, and prep work are the backbone of a solo business. So time really is money. 

To make sure I can complete the work I take on in the time I've promised it, I am very forthright about how I handle routine planning, from yearly holidays right down to weeks and days.  


Annual holidays

While my vacation or travel schedules vary, I always take off the holidays below. Please refer to the notes for details.

First Quarter

  • New Year's Day, January 1*
  • Naw-Rúz, on the spring equinox**

Second quarter

  • First Day of Riḍván, late April**
  • Ninth Day of Riḍván, end of April**
  • Twelfth Day of Riḍván, beginning of May**
  • Declaration of the Báb, late May**
  • Memorial Day, last Monday in May
  • Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh, end of May** 

Third quarter

  • Independence Day, July 4*
  • Martyrdom of the Báb, mid-July** 
  • Labor Day, first Monday in September

Fourth quarter  

  • Birth of the Báb and Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, adjoining days in early to mid-fall**
  • Thanksgiving, fourth Thursday in November (break includes Wednesday through Sunday)
  • Christmas Eve and Day, December 24 and 25***
  • New Year's Eve, December 31

* Celebrated on the date or closest business day
** Dates follow the Baha'i calendar; when they fall on weekends, they typically don't affect work schedules
*** I often limit new work between Christmas and New Year's to take advantage of the break if my existing clients are off work 


Phone and Video Calls

A phone or video call often takes the place of a meeting. I give each the same amount of thought and attention.

please plan ahead

  • Email a call request at least one day in advance.
  • Include the call topic in the request. Note: I will not accept requests for calls until I know the topic. 
  • If you must make an unscheduled call, please be prepared to leave a message so I can call you back later in the day.

contract terms and rates

  • Project contracts define the number and scheduling of included calls. Each extra call and call “no show” incurs an additional 30-minute charge (approximately $50-$75).
  • Consulting and hourly contracts include phone calls as needed, billed at the contracted hourly rate in 30-minute increments. Call “no-shows” incur a 30-minute charge.
  • A “no-show” is missing a scheduled call or contacting me at the time of a scheduled call to reschedule for a new time outside the original call window.

Meetings

In some cases, there is nothing like being in the same place at the same time, so we plan to get together in person.

please plan ahead

  • Up to 2 hours by car from my location: Email a meeting request at least one week in advance.
  • Above 2 hours by car from my location or requiring air or train travel: Email a meeting request at least two weeks in advance (or more to develop materials or a presentation).
  • Include the meeting topic in the request. Note: I will not accept requests for calls until I know the topic. 

contract terms and rates

  • Project contracts define the number and scheduling of included meetings, as well as travel arrangements.
    • If you require long-distance meetings, I typically build a travel budget into your contract using economy flights, business hotels, and meal per diems. 
    • If your company requires me to bill actual travel costs for reimbursement, or to use your preferred travel partners, I can accommodate those terms.
  • Consulting and hourly contracts include meetings as needed and define responsibility for travel costs.
    • Local meetings are billed at the hourly rate in 30-minute increments, including normal travel from my location to the meeting location and back.
    • Long-distance meetings and associated travel may be billed at a contracted day rate or hourly rate from my location to the meeting location and back.
    • If you require long-distance meetings, I typically book my own travel using economy flights, business hotels, and modest dining, and then bill the costs back to you on your next invoice. 
    • If your company prefers to book for me, that is also acceptable. Please discuss plans before booking.

Interrupting Cows

If you've ever told knock-knock jokes with a toddler, you get the punchline. If you haven't, then I'm talking about messaging and project management notifications.

please be aware

  • I only open your project management software or web page when I’m actively working on your project. I don't let it run in the background or allow notifications at other times.
  • I use email to collect messages from all sources in one place.
    • If you use Basecamp, Slack, SamePage, or other systems, please allow email notifications and email responses or let me set those preferences.
  • To maintain control over my life, I don't allow any external systems to access my calendar(s). Please be old-fashioned and ask me directly about call or meeting availability.
  • Text messages are okay for short, urgent questions or "synchronize watches" updates during the workday or by prior arrangement outside normal hours.

Payment

While your contract spells out specific terms, the information below is typical and may be helpful to you.

Terms

  • Payment is due on receipt of invoice. 
    • For contracts requiring an upfront payment, work will not commence until payment is received, nor will schedules be considered firm.
  • I fight net 30.
    • When you ask for net 30 terms or beyond, you're asking me to extend credit for the full value of my work, which is bad for my business health.
    • It may be "standard," but that doesn't mean it's right.

BILLING

  • I use QuickBooks digital invoices, sent to the primary contact and copied to any others you request.
  • Small, short-duration project contracts: New clients may be billed 50% to start work and 50% upon completion. Existing clients with positive payment history may be billed 100% upon completion.
  • Larger, longer duration project contracts: All clients are billed 50% to start work. Depending on the scheduled duration, the remaining 50% may be billed upon completion or in two or more incremental payments with the final billing upon completion.
  • Consulting or hourly contracts: Billed on the last weekday of each month (or on another day, or more frequently, upon request) in 30-minute increments. I will line item tasks to align with your budgets. 

Payment options

  • From the invoice, click to pay by electronic bank transfer.
    • First choice for immediacy and ease of use.
    • This is not a wire transfer; consult your bank account for details, as many allow free electronic transfers.
    • I never see your bank information. The transaction goes through a third-party QuickBooks processor.
  • From the invoice, click to pay by credit card.
    • Second choice for immediacy and ease of use.
    • I never see your card information. The transaction is through a third-party QuickBooks processor.
  • Send a check by mail to me at the address on the invoice.
    • Last choice, as mail and processing can delay receipt of payment by as much as 10 days.