Some things are just understood. Others have to be written down:
(Updated 24 March 2016- jco)
- Know your customer and give that customer your complete loyalty.
- Prioritize you customers - you might have more than one or two at one time.
- Own your clients objectives as though they are your own.
- Never tell a client what to want. They might have a completely different agenda from what you think. And what you want is not necessarily what the client wants.
- Never make choices for the client. Present the available choices, as you understand them, and let the client make their own choices.
- Be professional but totally independent.
- Be truthful at all times. You do not have to "spill your guts" but never, ever tell a lie or shady half-truth.
- Always give a "fair and equitable" price. If you work for "scab labor" prices, then you are, in effect, scab labor.
- Never, ever bill for hours that you did not work. The is stealing.
- Never, ever double bill two clients for the same time period. That is what Lawyers, Barristers (UK), Solicitors (UK) and Attorneys do as a normal practice. And we all know the public opinion of those guys. Is is not professional even though those guys do it all the time.
- Remember, you can always decrease your price by a bit to meet competition but never can you increase your price by any significant bits because you dropped it earlier.
- Consultants do not get a "pay raise" nor a "pay rise."
- Everything that you client tells you MUST be considered totally confidential. Nothing is ever for sharing with friends, family nor anyone else.
- Never criticize another consultant - especially not in writing nor on any conversation that might be recorded. It could always come around and bite you in the backside.
- Never use material from one project on another project UNLESS that material is Open Source or free to the public OR is considered (by a reasonable person) public information.
- Always remember the "conflict of interests" problem. If something seems to make a situation more profitable for you but not for your client, then you probably have a conflict of interest.