Are you struggling to figure out how to serve more than one client in an efficient way?
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Today we are talking about how to build a predictable schedule that allows you to serve multiple clients.
If you are a service provider you are probably doing fractional work. Working in a fractional capacity means that you spend a fraction of your time working with multiple clients. Think in terms of a pie, in which each client represents a slice. Each client may not be the same weight (size), but it will help you visualize a fractional capacity. Most of us start out this way as service based providers.
5 Steps to Building a Predictable Schedule
These tips will allow you to have greater ease in your schedule and be the leader that you desire to be. A great downfall of not building a schedule that supports your client load is that you feel defeated.
“When we don’t feel like we are in a place where we can show up and lead the client, we start to feel defeated.”
I want you to stay on track as you build a business that reflects the vision that you have set for yourself.
Statement of Work & Project Plan
You need a very clear statement of work and an up-to-date project plan for every client. This defines what you do, and when you expect to deliver it. Understand what you have committed to, which will allow you to have incredible communication.
If you have a really strong project plan for every piece of the statement of work, this will allow you to estimate the number of hours you will work in a client’s business during the week. It’s also going to help you set boundaries, and will help you understand when you need to push back and be very candid with the client.
Project Management Tool
You also need a solid project management tool.
“The best project management tool is the tool that you actually use.”
The important part of a project management tool is that it allows you to prioritize tasks. Since you have to do that for multiple clients, you want to make sure you have a project plan and an appropriate tool to assist you.
You will also be able to see visually what you need to tackle when you have the time available for it.
I want you to keep 20% of your time designated as “FREE TIME.” This will help you when things come up, and things will come up especially when you are in a support role inside of a business.
It is very hard to do this but it will allow you to exceed client expectations and meet the expectations that you have for yourself.
What happens when you don’t do it? Things pop up in projects and become urgent, and if you’ve already worked your amount of designated hours, you might just be out of luck. If you keep the 20% free, it’s not dipping into your personal time.
You need to time block for multiple clients. Each of them have their own set of commands and demands, and we want to make sure that you are able to deliver on that statement of work. The most effective way for you to do this is to set up time blocks in your calendar.
You can do this in one of two ways. You could set up a whole day dedicated to a certain client as a daily client time block, OR you could set it up so that each client gets a few hours a day.
If you don’t do this, the client that is the most demanding tends to win. They get the bulk of your time and attention, and the remaining clients feel when you are not present.
Create a Communication Plan
At the end of every shift, send the client an update and touch base with them. This way they will know what has been accomplished, which will alleviate any type of miscommunication that could come up as a result of working with multiple clients. It will also ensure that there are less surprises.
Communication plans are not just reporting on what has been done, but also setting expectations so that they know when you are going to be working in their business. You don’t want the client to think you are working in their business all of the time or that they are the only client you are serving. It’s important to be up front with them that you will be working in their business at a specific time. Most of the time this will help you get ahead of problems.
These tips will allow you to start to transform and lead with real integrity, and honor the client relationships you have built!
Weekly Ops Activity
Tell us how you block your time, daily or recurring. Let us know inside the Facebook group!
Episode 57: Managing Your Time With Multiple Clients
Episode 87: Planning Your Weekly Schedule Like a CEO
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