When your business begins to boom and clients call consistently for your services, it is exciting! After all, a busy client calendar is what your agency has worked for since you started it, and having consistent clients means you can pay your hardworking employees well. However, what happens when you have a long list of clients and a booming business? You might start to worry that you don’t have the staff or systems in place to ensure every project is meeting every promised deadline.
Time management isn’t just important for individuals. It is also important for agencies. Here are a few tips for creating systems that ensure your team is meeting deadlines with exceptional work on their projects.
Keep Lines of Communication Open
It’s important to talk to your team often to get a sense of how things are going. If your team seems stressed out and is struggling to keep up with their project timelines, you want to know it before the situation gets out of hand and begins to affect your business. Make sure you are checking in often with your staff via quick phone calls, emails, or even just sending them a “how’s it going” Slack message. You should also be meeting with your managers regularly to ask about how project management is going and if there are any potential issues with project timelines.
Use Project Management Software
As your agency grows, project management software becomes even more important. Whether you have a team of 2 or a team of 102, you cannot keep track of everyone’s tasks and how those individual tasks work together to complete a project. Without the use of project management software, the team doesn’t have a roadmap to completion, which can end up causing delays and missed deadlines.
As an agency owner or representative, it is all too easy to over-promise to a client in order to secure a new account or because you are rewarding a loyal customer. Unfortunately, when you rush a deadline or promise to meet unrealistic project goals, you are setting your team up for stress, frustration, and even failure.
Create General Timelines
It can be difficult to know how long a project takes, so work with your team to develop general timelines that you can use in your project management tasks. When you have a general timeline already created for common projects, you can plug those right into your project management software as well as create realistic deadlines with clients.
If you aren’t sure how long certain tasks take to complete without rushing your team, enlist the help of your team to estimate. You can also use time tracking software in order to see, on average, how long common tasks take to complete.
Use a Scope of Work
Finally, ensure your agency uses a thorough Scope of Work process with all clients and with all projects, no exceptions. A thorough scoping process will not only get you, your team, and the client on the same page, it will also help to ensure everyone understands the tasks that will go into the project. It is easier for clients to understand deadlines when they see how many tasks go toward the project they are requesting.
Creating a company culture of time management without the extra stress can improve morale and retention as well as set you up for success with clients. You see, clients are more likely to be happy with work that doesn’t feel rushed. Good luck!