When starting a business, we normally accept all types of clients. I am no exception. It was while talking to a coach that I realized that it’s important to choose who we want to work with and what mandate we want to complete. I therefore took the time to do my research and I want to share my findings with you today.
As an entrepreneur, we are always looking for new customers. This does not mean however that we are meant to work with all types of people. For better collaboration, it is better to share the same values and affinities.
It is quite normal for a client to be demanding, but there is a limit.
The overly demanding client will surely cost more in the medium and long term. In addition, generally, this type of client will increase its requirements without agreeing to pay more. As a result, you will lose your money...and your time.
Focus on realistic clients who accept a budget relationship versus quality of service.
Do not accept contracts that go to against your values, you may regret it. Your clients must share your company’s values. Moreover, this could have a negative impact on your image. A dissatisfied client is often an opportunist. I will address this topic in another blog.
If a company is difficult to manage during the recruitment process, it will be even more difficult once it has paid its first bill. Usually, a prospect who takes time to respond to your emails, phone calls or other forms of communication will likely take the same attitude during your collaboration.
It’s important to take the time to study the personality of your future clients. Strong-willed people can become tiring but the opposite is also true of the client whose personality is too weak, as they can become frustrating. Learn to strike a balance.
As a human being, we all have expectations and your clients are no exception. From the start of the relationship, make sure you’re on the same page about the goals to be achieved, the deadlines to be met, and the work method. You will then be able to meet their expectations.
As a woman who likes challenges, I always make the effort to satisfy my clients. However, little by little I realize that life is too short to devote it to impossible clients!
I prefer to focus my time, energy and effort on those I am confident I can satisfy and who will become true ambassadors for my company.
President, Comptabilité sur mesure de l'Outaouais
Billing may possibly be an annoyance in your business life. How much do I charge? When do I send my bill to the customer? When do I need to remind my client of a late payment?
Start by establishing your ideal annual income. First, determine the number of hours you want to work per week and remember to add the number of hours you need to manage your business. Then multiply that by the number of weeks you want to work per year. Then divide your annual income by the result of your multiplication and you get your hourly rate. Important note to consider: your annual income must include your professional fees.
The time you spend managing your business is non-billable. In other words, your hours of prospecting, networking or sending emails, billing, etc. This is why it is recommended to double your hourly rate.
If you have a larger mandate, we strongly suggest that you ask your client for one or more deposits. One of the most obvious reasons is to help you pay your bills. In addition, by asking for a deposit, you will get a preview of your client’s seriousness.
Obviously, this really is not the most pleasant part of your profession, but it is important to bill as quickly as possible. Unless you have an agreement with your client (invoice every two weeks, monthly, etc.), send your invoice along with your work.
Do not hesitate to write “Payable upon receipt” on your invoices. This means that the client must pay you as soon as they receive your work. A 30-day delay is usually granted, the time your invoice goes to accounting. Suggest a bank transfer for the method of payment.
After 30 days past the billing date, it is best to gently remind your customer that you have not received their payment. Don’t jump to conclusions; it’s quite possible that there was an oversight. After all, to err is human.
Do you need help finding your way there? We can accompany you!
President, Comptabilité sur mesure de l'Outaouais
Business managers are known for being good leaders. However, being a manager does not necessarily mean being a good leader!
Being a leader means facing your decisions and accepting the consequences. It means staying in line with your responsibilities therefore allowing you to earn the respect not only of your team but also of your peers.
To be a good leader, you need to know yourself both personally and professionally. You must know your strengths and weaknesses.
The most common mistakes to avoid are the following:
These are the qualities of a good leader:
Share with your team your goals, your objectives. Explain your intentions in a positive way.
Learn to listen to others. Show interest in your team. Ask them what they think. Find out what’s on their mind. Be respectful of their opinions.
Seek their input
Don’t be afraid to ask them about you. Do not fear criticism. On the contrary, it will allow you to grow, to analyze your management skill. A good leader will know to surround himself with people who have an opinion, ideas, solutions.
Learn to go beyond technical details. Position yourself and take the time to get an overview of your business. This will allow you to make much more informed decisions.
Speak using US instead of I
Saying US instead of brings a feeling of belonging to your team. You become a whole, a group of people working in the same direction and having the same goals. Thus, you will have a much stronger business.
Organization is also part of the leader’s qualities. If you let the tasks bury you, your whole team will suffer.
Empathy is a very important quality. The time for rigid and cold bosses is over.
Being a good leader means taking into account the needs of y our team, their mood and accepting that there are days when your employees will be less productive.
We like to leave you with little tests. There is nothing scientific about them, but it gives us an idea of where we are.
This first test is by Phillip Carter and Ken Russell (available in French only):
Here is a second test (also only available in French):
Do you have doubts about your qualities as entrepreneurs? Do not hesitate to contact us so that we can direct you to a team that will be able to guide you!
Comptabilité sur mesure