It’s amazing how missing one day can wonk your schedule for the week. The self-employed in particular loathe missing a single day of work, out of fear that it will result in losing business, ticking off clients, etc. It’s also amazing just how wrong a way of thinking that is and just how understanding your clients will be about it.
Yesterday, I had a stomach virus (I assume) and, as it is difficult to work when doubled-over, I got very little accomplished. To a man (and they were all men so do not get on me about not being PC), all the clients I had to contact to change appointments not only did not complain, they all wished me well.
Yes, my one experience doesn’t mean it will always work this way for you, but I can also tell you that, in the past, on the rare occasions when the photographers I repped had to change schedules because of emergencies (rare as that was), clients always understood and we never lost a gig because of it.
I like to look at it this way–if a client cannot understand that things need to change because of something out of your control, if they can’t have the compassion to work with you in the face of whatever emergency you are facing, then they are not a client worthy of your time and best efforts. That client does not respect you and your professionalism, and if they don’t actually fire you, you should seriously consider firing them.
But I bet, like me, you’ll find that your clients will work with you and will respect you for being honest and caring enough about the project to admit “I’m sick and can’t give your project my best efforts today–we have to reschedule.�?