I just gave this morning a very short Keynote presentation to Creative Connections about how to differentiate your business from others. In fact, of what I’m about to tell you only three people had heard about what I had talked about:
A Document to Differentiate Your Business.
How this came about was I was in a discussion with a number of vendors such as graphic artists, editors, etc about my upcoming books about using Mac in business and we all kept going back over and over what both sides were trying to say and accomplish. Each of us, both me as the customer and them as the vendors has responsibilities as well as inputs and requirements to get whatever job was needed to be done. My frustration was in dealing with understanding what each vendor needed from me, what I would receive from them, and the results that I would get back.
So here’s the answer for you as an entrepreneur.
Create a document on how you work!
Here are the elements that you’ll need:
- Define your ideal customer – not the one that is anyone that comes to you, but specifically the type of customer that you want to work with.
- Define the process – here is where things can get muddy for creative types, the process nearly always does not change, the various inputs and outputs do. Define each step from the time the customer contacts you until you finally get paid.
- Define what the customer wants – here is where you’ll go back and forth over what the customer wants and may require multiple iterations to get the final idea down.
- Define what you need – what do you specifically need from your customer in order to get their job done
- Define the scope or time – here you need to set a time frame for each step as well as the complete project time needed to do the project. If your customer balks about the time, do a “FEDEX” on them saying it’ll cost more to get it done quicker to do a quality job. Keep in mind that it’s the value you bring to the hour, not necessarily the hours you put in.
There are more details, but you get the idea, so how can a Mac help out?
iLife and iWork ’09, using audio, video, and desktop publishing you can create any number of types of documents that will give your customer the education they’ll need of you and your business.
Watch for my up coming book that will go into more details on why this document can reduce your workload getting new customers and getting only those customers that you want to work with.