The best way to get the projects to work is to bring clients into the process—without them taking it over.
- As the owner of a service business, I find it troubling when I hear a firm that don't include the clients that they're trying to serve in the process. It's not about creatives just delivering ideas with little interaction, and being frustrated when things are not approved or liked. Think about how you like to buy or interact with something that you need. Most of us want to feel confident in the process of purchasing. You feel confident by feeling that it, was the item you needed, it was made well, it works for your budget, and you got it when you needed it. What we do is no different and the schedule's one of the key factors of making that experience work.
So invite your clients into the process. Here are suggestions on how to do that. Start by identifying who your client-side manager and decision makers are. These are ultimately who you are serving and the individuals you want to help be successful. This also enables you to understand how to most efficiently schedule the approval process. If you have someone on the client side who will be forecasting or getting approvals along the way, you need to understand how their process works and focus on that relationship. The better of an understanding you have, the easier communication will flow.
From the very beginning set up regular check-ins regarding the schedule and the budget if necessary. Avoiding surprises always works in your favor and the best way to do that is to hold a check-in meeting, a video chat, or an email that summarizes the work that has been completed, what is being worked on currently, and what is coming up next. With regular check-ins you can highlight any time-savings or delay, and where you are budget-wise if it's a tight project. Understand the work you may need to do for your client. Understand your client's culture and availability can help you schedule parts of the project you may not normally do, but will need to do for this client.
It might be populating a website or writing or editing some copy. Making your client a part of the scheduling process with consistent check-ins, can help you manage this possibility, and allow you to plan for your team to do the work or hire a freelancer to help. Make your client feel like they are part of the team. When you're all in it together, you demonstrate that you have their best interest in mind and you communicate, that to be successful, everyone needs to do their part. No matter what always be honest. Sometimes bad weeks happen.
You make a mistake, or other work explodes. Be honest with possible delays and assure your client that you will get the project done. Another words, the truth will set you free. Bringing your clients into the process gives you a chance to educate them on your process, understand their culture, build a better relationship, and enjoy a smoother scheduling process.
- Creating a balanced workflow
- Increasing productivity around tight timelines
- Delivering bad news early
- Determining when you are most creative
- Daily habits that help you win
- Working with easily distracted employees and team members
- Bringing clients into the schedule