No matter if you have years of experience leading an agency or if you are just starting out, one thing is certain: your business cannot lose money on projects if you plan to be around for years to come. Your agency’s bottom line is crucial to your overall success and if you are paying your team without making enough money from clients, your profits will disappear.
If you find that you are losing money on projects at least a few times per quarter, you must take the time now to revamp your approach so that you can stop losing money and start making it. For many agency owners, money lost on projects happens because of improper or unrealistic scoping with clients before the project even starts. Here are a few ways you can make the scoping process work for your agency, and its bottom line.
Make Scoping a Service
A scope of work document is the key to a successful project. It allows for clear communication and expectations, making projects run smoother for both your team and the client’s team. However, developing a scope of work that is realistic and covers all the bases for a project is not always something a client can do for you. In fact, clients often know the goal of a project but just don’t have the knowledge to break the project down step-by-step, and that’s okay.
Your team is full of experts and knows the steps of the project. Why not just let them develop the scope of work on behalf of the client?
Charging for scoping services is an excellent way to ensure your team has a full scope of work. It also gives the client and your team the chance to interact before a project officially begins, which can be invaluable as your team begins to learn how the client communicates and if they are reliable. Your client will also be thankful that they don’t have to spend the time and energy completing their own scope of work document.
Develop a Template
If you aren’t ready to make scoping a service of your agency quite yet, you can still make the process run smoothly if you give clients a template to complete. Gather key subject matter experts of your agency team to contribute to your scope of work template and encourage them to create questions for clients to complete that are not too technical, but that still render answers that can lead to a realistic final timeline.
A template is handy to have for clients who know the goal of the project but aren’t quite sure of the steps it takes to get there. It can also be helpful to use a template so that everyone on your agency team is on the same page when it comes to scoping requirements.
Make Scoping a Part of the Project
Finally, you might choose to make creating a scope a part of the full project cost. While this can streamline the process, it is not an ideal solution for working with new clients. Instead, this approach might work better with an established client.
In all cases, a scope of work process is crucial to ensure you are getting paid for the expertise, time, and work of your team. Now that you have a few ideas of how to effectively get that scoping process completed, you can choose which one would work best for your agency.