Freelancing Challenges: My Experience with Families First NI Limited - Mighty Women NI

digital marketing Jan 21, 2024
Families First NI Limited

As a freelancer, I often encounter diverse projects and clients.

One of my recent experiences was working with Families First NI Limited, a company managing two distinct websites: Mighty Women NI and Education NI based in Northern Ireland.

While rewarding in terms of experience, this project also taught me a valuable lesson in navigating client relationships and managing expectations, especially concerning payments. 

Although from Northern Ireland the majority of my work is usually based in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Project Overview

I was tasked with working on two websites for Families First NI Limited. The first, Mighty Women NI, focuses on empowering women through various initiatives, while the second, Education NI, aims to provide educational resources and support. My role involved enhancing the functionality, design, and user experience of both websites. I was excited about the project, given the positive impact of these platforms.

The Agreement and Execution

At the outset, Ann King, representing Families First NI Limited, explained that their finances were tight due to upcoming events. Despite this, we reached an agreement where I would complete the tasks speedily, and in return, I would be paid immediately after completing the job. Trusting this arrangement, I diligently worked on both websites, ensuring timely delivery and quality work.

The Payment Delay

However, post-completion, the agreed-upon payment was not forthcoming. Weeks turned into months, and my repeated reminders and invoices seemed to fall on deaf ears. This situation was frustrating and impacted my financial planning as a freelancer who relies on timely payments.

Escalation and Resolution

The turning point came when I mentioned the possibility of taking the matter to a small claims court, highlighting the seriousness of the delayed payment. It was then that I was informed about the company's financial issues. Eventually, Families First NI Limited made the payment in two instalments, resolving the matter.  One in December and the remaining in January 2024.  The second instalment was a little late as following a few text messages Ann informed me she was on holiday.   Who can't access a banking app on holiday?  eh? 

Lessons Learned

This experience was a learning curve for me. It highlighted the importance of clear communication, written agreements, and setting realistic client expectations, especially regarding payment terms (especially in Northern Ireland).

While I am happy that the issue was eventually resolved, it reminded me of the challenges freelancers often face in ensuring timely compensation for their work.

Moving Forward

Despite the hurdles, I take this experience as part of the freelancing journey. It has made me more vigilant and proactive in safeguarding my interests while delivering quality work to my clients.

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As a freelancer, every project brings unique challenges and learnings. My experience with Families First NI Limited was a testament to this, reinforcing the need for clear communication and agreements in freelance work.

I contacted the company to let them know that I have terminated any relationship with them due to this matter.