So we all want to give our clients the best experience we can, right? We want to wow them and woo them and make them sparkle and shine. I want that too. But I don’t want to do it at the expense of my overall business health, my personal happiness, or my business profitability.
What this means, the way I think of it, is that we become so focused on providing an amazing client experience, but we do this without caring for our own business profitability. It’s when we invest in more expensive products, services, or experiences than we can afford, simply because we believe our clients will like it better.
It showed up in one conversation with a client, who was planning to offer a very technically advanced videoclass, but she couldn’t easily afford to hire the technical help she needed. She was feeling stressed about the financial resources needed to hire the technical help, but felt she couldn’t back away from the technically advanced call she promised, because, well, she PROMISED.
Now, of course, I think we should be in integrity, and keep our promises.
But not at the expense of our own selves.
What I mean is that this client is offering this call at no charge. She is not in a position to pay for the advanced technical know-how. Yet she can still have the call, and make the gift not the technology, but, instead, her own wisdom, grace, and expertise.
She doesn’t need to go broke for her business infrastructure.
This theme also showed up in a conversation with one of my colleagues, who was contemplating a expensive and flashy marketing campaign, when, really, all she needs is maybe 4 or 5 more clients. I suggested to her that she would find it easier, quicker, and much less expensive to simply reach out to past clients, or ask her network for referrals, or to place ads or flyers in her local community promoting her services. Even though we were on the phone, I could almost hear (and feel) her palpable sense of relief at my suggestion. Not that she wouldn’t have been able to spend the money, if she wanted to, but was this really the best place to spend her money? I believe not.
The purpose of infrastructure, to my way of thinking, is to support us in doing our best work. It’s not meant to cause us anxiety or make us waste money. It’s not meant to cost more than the value it provides. And this goes for everything in your business and your life (because you really can’t separate these out completely, anyway, can you?)
I’m entering a period of reflective and intensive streamlining. I’m cutting back on purchasing new items, investing more fully in the items I already have, and paring down to the essentials of what really works. In my business of SEO and traffic generation, this means reducing my twenty keyword tools to no more than three or four. It means reducing the number and kinds of similar software I invest in. It means better tracking and measuring so I can know with greater certainty what is actually producing results.
As a result of this streamlining, I fully expect to not only be able to provide better results to my clients, but to do this in a way that is less costly and a better fit for me, too. It’s a great feeling to feel that I have all I need to create what I want for my clients and in my business.
I would invite the same for you. Take a look at your business- and your clients’ businesses- and see where they may be going broke for their infrastructure. See how they can reprioritize their spending and saving to better fit their lifestyles and business goals. Helping your clients get right-sized in their infrastructure will not only gain you their loyalty and trust but, also, may free up some resources and energy so you can both do more great work together.