We put a lot of effort into starting projects; from nurturing prospects through to agreeing terms and requirements. But what about when projects are completed – how do you wrap up and complete projects?
In order to keep a good relationship and possibly win future business with the customer, doing a project hand over is just as important as the project start.
What to include in the hand over….
So you have a web site, and the web site has a nice Contact Us page, and maybe you have even done some extensive A/B version testing to see what layout will get the most enquiries. That’s all great, but….
I am sure that in the last 12 months, you will have received many emails offering web design or SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) services. I am sure that like me, you deleted the majority of them as soon as you spotted the term SEO in the header or text. But did you ever see one or two that made you stop and think if you should be doing more on with your web site?
PostHeaderIcon Are you planning for your freelance future? Why you must act now, before its too late!
PostDateIcon June 19th, 2012 | PostEditIcon Edit
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attended a freelancing workshop with about 120 other freelancers. This workshop covered all kinds of subjects, from legal issues, to finding work, to working with agents and also finance. It was an ‘advanced’ workshop – all the subjects were based around the assumption you had been freelancing for a while, so the presentations and discussions covered the more advanced aspects (such as better haggling with agents/clients/bank managers, dealing with difficult legal issues, expansions, overseas markets, etc).
As part of the freelancing discussions around finance, there was a general question asked – who in the group was planning for the ‘end game’? The definition of an end game was left open – it could be retirement, or selling the business or emigration or even returning back to the (shud
I have a confession for you: for the last couple of months, I have been having a real struggle to make both my company current account and my own personal account balance. At the end of both March and April, I have really come close to running out of money. For instance in April, I only had 12 left over in my personal account from the start of the month to the receipt of the April pay cheque.But you know what. I love it. These two months have caused worry, caused stress, and at times it has caused panic. But it has been really useful.
A question for you: When you look back at your historical quotations, estimates and proposals, is it clear on the documents how long the figures are valid for?
Put it another way, what happens if a prospect from a few years ago knocks on your door and expects you to honour the quotation you produced which is based on your 2006 prices? Do you honour it, or do you expect that you can refresh the quotation with the current prices and everybody will be happy?
Last week, my business made £1,180 from a customer without doing any work. All it took was for this particular customer to pay their invoices late. This one customer was over 80 days late in their payment, and the amount was large.
When working with my customers, most of the products I deliver are based around Business Intelligence. I provide tools for them to perform quick analysis by dragging selection criteria (in the form of column names) into windows, and selecting which information they want to report – the tools then crunch large amounts of data and produce answers in the form of tables, graphs and trend plots. Using such tools, they can quickly report on anything from yearly turnover, number of patients seen in a hospital, or breakdown of budget verses actual figures.
But what if they (or the system) gets the answer wrong?
One of the things that has been playing on my mind for the last couple of years has been newsletters. I have read many books, read many blogs and heard many presenters talk about how a newsletter can keep you in a customers/prospects mind. Yes, it all sounds great, but why would anybody want to read a newsletter about my small insignificant company? I mean, ‘breaking news – we have a new pot plant’ just seemed so ridiculous. Yet people go on and on about having a newsletter.
Last week I had a breakthrough, thanks to a fellow freelancer who I met at a technical seminar. Over lunch we got chatting about freelancing, about the time drain that is ‘social media’ and then about newsletters. He said that newsletters had generated a lot of business for him – so I asked what he did.
In my house, we have a wooden plaque with our coat of arms – a merged coat of arms created from my wife’s family crest and my own (with a few whimsical touches thrown in for good measure to make it “us”). On this plaque there are two phrases included which are our family mottos (me and my wife – not our historical family’s).
Every so often, my 10 year old daughter looks at the plaque, runs her fingers over the crest and words, and repeats the phrases to herself – fascinated by their meaning (which we explained when she was very little).