I've been self employed for a few years now, and I've picked up a few things that I think are quite important to keeping a business running smoothly. Here are some of them I hope some of you will find useful: 1. Follow Up There are 2 important times that it's important to follow up with a client: During the project The client will appreciate good communication from your side, if you keep him in the loop. It doesn't have to be a long essay about everything you're doing that day, just let them know you haven't forgotten about them, what you're busy with on their project at the moment, and whether or not you're having any issues. They will appreciate being told sooner, rather than later, if they do need to expect a delay. After the project This is one of the easiest, simplest ways to get repeat work. Send a client a lighthearted, friendly email a few weeks or even a few months (or both) after the project, just to find out how they're doing, whether your service is working nicely for them, and to remind them that you're there if they need anything. They'll appreciate that you haven't just forgotten about them after you've finished (unless that was your intention), and they'll often be "reminded" of something they wanted to ask you to do. 2. Keep Backups I've had the misfortune of having 2 hard drives crash in the past year or so. Thankfully I had backups of my important stuff. If you're running a service where you provide any sort of digital goods or media to your clients, it's even more important to keep a backup. For example, if you do web design like I do, and the client is late with his hosting renewal, simply make a quick backup of his site (most hosts use cPanel, so this should take 2 minutes), and store it somewhere safe. You never want to have to do the same work again for free, just because you forgot to backup your work. 3. Keep Your Word If you say you're going to do something, or give a client a specific time you'll have something completed, make sure you have it done as they're expecting. If that means you have to work all night on Sunday to have something done by Monday, then so be it. Don't be unreliable. Something important to note here: Don't set unrealistic goals. Just make sure you keep them, no matter what. 4. Be Ready to Refund There may come a time when you get a client who isn't satisfied with your work. Or maybe they'll have a sudden week of poverty, and will want their money back. Whatever it is, make sure you're ready to refund for a few days or so. Don't spend your deposit right away. Keep the money somewhere it can be sent back at a moments notice if worse comes to worst. Sure, it's annoying, especially if you've already done some of the work, but sometimes it's better to have wasted a little time, rather than get in a big dispute and possibly have your name slandered (you get those dramatic clients sometimes). 5. Be Professional This should go without saying, but clients don't want to receive smiley faces in their emails, or be called "Dear". Keep your communication professional. It can be friendly, and there's nothing wrong with a "Hi, how are you doing?", but don't overdo it. If your pet has just died, post it on Facebook if you must, but don't use that as an excuse for replying late to a clients email. Also, it helps to try to keep your cool around those dramatic clients I mentioned in point 4. If they start acting childish, throwing around threats and insults, it's better to diffuse the situation as soon as possible by being calm, give them a refund, and just cease doing further business with them. Don't be that guy who tries to get "revenge" by doing neg-seo on their site. Be the bigger man.