As a business owner, there are times when I don’t understand why people can’t deliver, especially on the simplest tasks. A simple email would suffice, however sometimes there is no response whatsoever. What ever happened to under promise and over deliver? Are there times when I don’t accomplish tasks as I had hoped? Yep (and I hate to admit it). But you better believe that when I come forward to my client with my shortfall that I’m fully prepared to offer more on the back-end to make up for my initial shortcomings. With that said however, I am learning when to say “No.”
One of the hardest lessons to learn as a business owner is not biting off more than you can chew. Even in the present day I see Dave raising his eyebrow when he sees me submitting proposals for work. (Sutton Creative Studios is growing! Additional staff means additional manpower to support additional clients!) In the early days Dave saw me get overwhelmed with too much work. I was constantly saying “Yes” because I wanted to make the clients happy. What I didn’t think about was the fact that I would have to give up sleep to accomplish all the work I had promised. Did I deliver on time? Yes. Was I as stressed as when I was working outside of the home? Yes, unfortunately. And it wasn’t worth it.
Unfortunately (well, fortunately for Sutton Creative Studios), we signed many of our recent clients because their previous contractor or consultant failed them. Graphic designers up and disappear; high-charging consultants don’t deliver results and/or cancel appointments repeatedly, making them feel as though their constantly second-string; social media consultants over promise and the client’s SEO tanks. You get the picture.
When it comes to working with your consultants, what do you want to hear? What do you want to see? I’m positive that results are the most important, and before the deadline. Do you agree?
Do yourself a favor: when you know your schedule is busy pad your delivery time by 48-72 hours. Don’t tell your client “tomorrow” just because you know that’s what they want to hear. What they don’t want to get is absolutely nothing. Instead, under promise and over deliver. Tell your client their work will be ready in three days and deliver in two if you can. Do you hear me?
Kim Sutton is the Managing Partner and Chief Everything Officer of The Sutton Companies, including Sutton Strategic Solutions and Sutton Creative Studios. She is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Architecture.
An avid reader and passionate learner, Kim is constantly researching, studying and developing business improvement strategies. When it comes to client work, Kim especially enjoys helping her clients develop innovative marketing strategies and sales funnels, particularly when they are using Infusionsoft to automate all the heavy lifting. To find out how you can further develop your company’s marketing and automation strategies schedule a 1-hour Business Boost Strategy Session by clicking here.
In her free-time, Kim cherishes the time she gets to spend with her husband, Dave (her business partner), and five children. She also enjoys reading, knitting, writing and playing video games.
Get a copy of Kim’s FREE guide, “10 Top Tools for Small Businesses” by clicking here.