We love our service based business. If we just wanted to make cool things, we'd be artists.
Our purpose is filled when we create work that isn't just cool, but helps others. And that's why we're commercial artists.
But working with clients comes with a learning curve. It's only through trial and error that we've discovered these tips + tricks to a better service based business.
Never assume anything.
We've learned that we can often take our knowledge for granted. Sometimes the language and concepts that are so ingrained into our everyday aren't general knowledge.
For example, vocabulary like copywriting, inherent drama, and unique perspective are everyday words we throw back and forth. But, our clients don't use this language in their day to day and we need to be conscious of that. We try to teach our clients some of the language, but other things we adjust our communication and try to meet them half-way.
The same goes for our clients. They're experts in their field and deal with the same issue coming from the other side. They have plenty of assumptions and terms that we've probably never even thought of.
When we chat with clients, we try to be as clear and simple as possible and tell our clients to do the same.
Stick to your guns.
We've learned that if you don’t set strict work hours, you will work ALL THE HOURS. If you provide your personal phone number to clients, they will call it. If you don’t spell out what your services do and don’t include, people will ask for extra things - for free.
Boundaries are important.
When you set strict work hours, you don’t feel guilty letting things wait until tomorrow. It’s just the way the cookie crumbles. When you use a business phone service, you can set it to go to voicemail outside of work hours. When you spell out all the details, your clients don’t ask for extra things because they already know the cost.
We've discovered that some of our worst work/life balance moments occurred from clients doing what we've allowed them to do by failing to set boundaries up front.
Our number one customer service tool has quickly become honesty.
#RealTalk, when we were first getting going with our business, we got nervous to tell our clients the truth about what their business needed. The truth usually meant more time, more money, or both - two things no one is ever happy to hear.
We thought they would run away over numbers slightly outside their budget. We thought they'd go with someone else because we were honest that we couldn't turn around what they wanted in a week.
We're big people pleasers and at the end of the day want our clients to have a big smile on their face.
We've discovered that time + money is not nearly as valuable as honesty.
And by continuing to always be 100% honest with clients, potential clients, and anyone who chats with us, we've built trust and helped them to make the right moves for their biz by simply being real.
While we learned these three things from running a design studio, the truths are universal for any business owner out there.
Have you learned BIG things in business from others? Share with us!