Did a valuable employee just leave and you need to replace them quickly? Or perhaps you just signed a large client and need to increase resources or add a new skill set quickly? Most hiring decisions aren’t part of a master plan, they are often immediate, unplanned hiring scenarios where new employees are added because of short-term pains rather than long-term stability.
There’s an old business tru-ism that goes something like: “when you assume, you make an ass of you and me.” The expression is especially pertinent to creatives who make incorrect assumptions about client relationships. When we make an assumption, it is often because we are afraid. When it comes to client relationships, sometimes it is easier to keep your head down and keep working. However, these relationships are all about communication.
In a file where I keep of inspirational articles that I have collected over the years, I came across this insightful article from Print Magazine’s October 2010 issue entitled “Devilish Ruses. Psychological tricks. Red Herrings and Poker Faces. Designer reveals how they get clients to say ‘Yes’” by Peter Mendelsund and Peter Terizan.
One part of my job that I absolutely love is that my clients often expose me to best business practices. These best practices enrich my own consultation and allow me to grow and stay relevant within a continuously evolving business climate.
If you are having difficulty getting clients to agree to a final price, here are three strategies that may help you when negotiating and presenting your fees.
Recently, I have been evaluating my business and personal life in 2012, reviewing and recognizing my challenges and achievements in 2012, so that I can make improvements in 2013.
To kickoff the new year I was inspired to develop a list of the top 10 resolutions (plus one more for good measure) I recommend for principals or managers of creative teams.
Over 20 years ago my husband started a new job and, at the time, I was pregnant with our first child. As an independent consultant, I relied on my husband to provide health insurance through his employer. But as soon as I got pregnant, his previous employer closed the business and my husband became unemployed, leaving us without insurance. We were therefore thrilled when he immediately found a new job, but simultaneously concerned when we heard that the company’s insurance considered my pregnancy a “pre-existing condition” and would not cover any related costs, including the all expensive doctor’s visits and delivery.
My last blog posting on time tracking best practices mentioned that time tracked against specific tasks should reflect what people are doing in specific areas of expertise. As an example, I mentioned that time should not be tracked against things like “meetings.” That does not tell what each person was doing in the meeting (like concepting, art directing, or project managing).
In order to accommodate future growth, implementing consistent time-tracking systems is an essential tool for all creative businesses.