Whether you are going for a project or a business deal or making a decision about selling a product in the market, you have to be very careful in making decisions before you actually go for it. So how can one decide?
It’s really quite simple… Before you agree on a project make sure you understand what’s truly being asked of you AND clearly establish expectations for both you and your client paying close attention to the following 10 guidelines.
* Understand what will you need to deliver.
* Clearly define any deadlines that you will need to meet.
* Identify the information or materials you need in order to get started and make sure you have a plan to get them.
* Outline your client’s deadlines. What materials do they need to deliver and turnaround time for any feedback they have to provide to you.
* Communicate how missing deadlines (on either your part or your client’s part) will impact the project’s timeline.
* Create a single document that clearly outlines everyone’s responsibilities that all parties agree to.
* When scope changes occur get on the phone with your client immediately and renegotiate or say NO to the change. You’ll be able to do this because you have an agreement in place.
* If you agree to a change in scope make sure you both understand how that will shift deadlines, deliverables, and pricing and update your agreement.
* Never underprice your work. Make sure that your proposal is priced in a way that makes you feel good about the work you are doing and allows your client to respect you. That’s not to say that you can’t offer a friend or current client a price break, it’s more to say that make sure you are being fair to yourself and that you aren’t letting yourself be taken advantage of.
And I guess the most important thing is this…
Before you even make a proposal on a project ask yourself if it’s something you want to get involved in in the first place. Is it something you want yourself and your business to be associated with? Are you doing it for the money or are you doing it because it’s a project that you feel good about?
And what about the prospect? What happens if you say no to them? Chances are that someone will say yes and that person will do a better job for them then you would have because it’s a job that they wanted to take on.
It might be awkward saying no to a project. It might be difficult to communicate so openly with clients and prospects. For me, I’d rather go to sleep at night with a fewer dollars in my pocket but with a smile on my face and knowing that I’ve respected myself, my boundaries and my team, especially because when I take care of myself I know the right clients will come to take care of me.
My friend recently set up a face mask unit. Got a device from a Chinese supplier for mask machines, hired a couple of people having experience of operating such machines, and started producing face masks. He only got 1 machine but he took bulk orders from face mask suppliers. I suggested him to work only within your production limits but he didn’t put an ear to my advice. The result was devastating. Poor health due to continuous work, half the suppliers left him the supply wasn’t in time. So he has to face the loss. He could have bought one more machine, hired a couple of more people, and increase the production in that way but ‘greed is a curse’ you know. Anyways this example will definitely help you understand what I am trying to say through this article.
What about you? Are there projects or things that you’re thinking about doing that you’d be better off saying no to or at least asking more questions about before you say yes?