MUSE, my creative consulting firm, is coming up on it’s first birthday next month and Kelly (my business partner) and I have put together a list of business practices we believe are simple yet give the right impression to your current and prospective clients. In one short year we have learned so much about servicing our accounts and communication, we felt we would be doing a disservice to all the business ladies out there who might be wondering how to improve their practices. Do note that we are 2 girls who strive to foster a friendly relationship with our clients while maintaing a level of professionalism that is imperative to our productivity. Read on to see if you agree (or disagree) with us:
- Manage client expectations. This little bit of advice was shared with us as we signed our very first client, and essentially what it means is be upfront and realistic with your client about what you can provide. Don’t over-promise and under-deliver.
- Reply All. It takes no additional energy or thought–and typically right next to regular ‘ole Reply–and ensures that if someone was added to the email for a reason everyone will be in the loop. Since we work on all account together we both must be on the same page at all times.
- Be decisive. When you work in a creative field it is crucial to know what you like and dislike. People are working with you for your expertise, and showing uncertainty is unnerving. You wouldn’t work with a lawyer who is unsure of the laws, would you?
- Show gratitude. How nice is it when there is mutual appreciation between 2 people? Using the basic manners your mom taught you apply in business as well! Thank you, please, you’re welcome, hello!
- Communication. Communication. Communication. In a world of emailing (and not so much phoning), it is so easy to misconstrue tones in an email. Be clear and concise, not ambiguous and overly-wordy. Although, we will take overly wordy over a one-worded email any day!
- Trust is key. It can be the hardest part of enlisting someone else to handle a part of your business, but you have to trust the process. The “grace period,” or transition, will take a minute, but success isn’t achieved overnight.