How to Deliver Good Ideas on Time
3 things are true in life: death, taxes, and the stepping stones in business are all built on ideas. Whether it’s resolving an issue, adding new processes, creating new features or services, they all stem from Ideas. But are these ideas valuable if they aren’t presented on time? We could argue that time is subjective and our understanding of time isn’t synonymous with someone else’s understanding of it. However, one thing we can agree on is that as a business owner, you know that operational efficiency also means maximizing billable hours, speeding up less profitable daily tasks, and tracking productivity metrics and client KPIs. Which brings us back to ideas and how presenting them on time (whatever that means to you) can save you money, increase productivity and keep your clients happy.
With all this in mind, here’s 5 ways you can set yourself up to present your ideas on time and establish better client relationships.
Create a Channel for Clear Communication
It’s no doubt that clear communication is one of the most important parts of a successful relationship, in any setting. Which is why you need to set up a platform to both track project progress and monitor your client’s feedback. The main thing every client wants is transparency and an understanding of what your team is developing for them.
It’s also important that your team is aware of where the client’s mindset is and what their needs are. Having a centralized station where all communication flows through enables your team to be aware of where everyone is in their respective stage of the project and allows the client to see the project’s progress or setbacks in real time.
The problem with having separate conversations across different platforms is that it gives way to a lot of lost information and miscommunication in general.
Lastly, having a centralized station for communication helps everyone establish ownership. Which isn’t about defining roles within the team but about everyone on your team having ownership of the outcome and allowing the client to see the results of their work.
Set Clear Goals
Another important factor is setting clear goals and expectations from the jump. The start of every relationship begins with identifying what your clients’ needs are and establishing a road map of how you’re going to get them to where they want to be. This doesn’t just include what your clients’ needs are but what yours are as well.
The SMART Framework is a good tool to analyze with your team before you begin any project.
Unfortunately, any project will come with its setbacks. Big or small. And depending on the different personalities involved in the project (including your clients), strains within the relationship can occur. This is why it’s of the utmost importance to be meticulous in your planning and diligent in your tracking and overseeing of a project. The only possible way to stay ahead of your problems is to be present and to have visibility of what’s happening day-to-day.
Establishing a clear SOP for tackling issues and setbacks will prove beneficial because this way, when a project comes to its end, you can be sure you delivered and were compliant with your end of the agreement due to a trail of approval decisions and amends.
Prioritize the Priorities
The Bible says, “All things are lawful; but not all things are advantageous”. The same is true for the things we deem to be important and the things we deem to be priorities. All things are important but not all are priorities. Having a clear understanding, from the top-down, of what your team needs to prioritize will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of every move you make from that point forward.
Stages of Feedback
Constantly pursuing feedback on a project can be time consuming. You want to make sure the steps you take throughout the completion of a project are in line with what the client needs. However, it’s important to create a clear process, setting out when you require feedback and what type of feedback is appropriate at each stage.
If you aren’t on the same page with your client and your team doesn’t have a clear roadmap or pathway to completion, it can cost your agency in a major way when it comes to receiving great reviews or repeat clients.
The Bottom Line
Earlier I mentioned that the stepping stones of business are built on ideas. Well, those ideas aren’t valuable after a client has decided not to work with you. And I’m not just referring to the “AHA” moments. The ideas you have to meet a client’s needs, to resolve an issue, or to improve a process are all ideas that need to be presented at their most appropriate time. Following these 5 ways to do so will enable a more fruitful client relationship and healthier team environment.