I’m very fortunate to have worked with some of my clients for a long time, one for the 9 years I have in business, and others for 3, 4, 5 years. It is something that I cherish.
We have grown in business together, we have made a difference, we have created new offerings, won business contracts, had silly celebrations when something so small but so significant in comparison has been ticked off the list. Like mastering how to send our first email from Infusionsoft, discovering that Canva has everything the right size for social media memes, booking that first place on a new course. I’ve also been there to pick up the pieces when things haven’t gone quite according to plan.
I am supporting their business and them. The mechanics are running smoothly, clients notice a huge shift in their productivity and their successes. Helping them with how they work to get where they want to, and not just with what’s next on the list.
I am sure if you asked my clients what attributed to this, they would each say something different, and that would be true. But the one common theme for me is strong communication. That would be my top-of-everything-ever must of making what we have achieved together work.
Communication is something we can begin to take for granted. We spend so much of our lives communicating without even realising it. Email and social media are so intrinsic now to what we do, we no longer think ‘I must communicate this’, it just happens.
This trap of always communicating can also have flip side, perhaps we don’t communicate what we need to as well as we should, or even at all.
However great this all is, letting things ‘just happen’ can let cracks start appearing in the once succinct relationship. We get familiar with who we’re working with, and in some ways a good team becomes an extension of you and your business (and so they should be!), but mind readers we are not! We can’t always ‘just know’ without that weekly check in call or Skype, or the email update.
So how can you make sure that you keep talking, sharing your ideas and growing your business with the support you need? Here’s my top three:
Share what’s on your to-do list weekly. Talk over what’s coming up with your team, what you need help with or what needs to happen. There may be things on there that you can delegate, that others can help with to make it quicker and easier. It also gives a great insight into what’s going on in the business right now, what the priorities are and what needs attention.
Take a longer term view of your business. As well as sharing what’s in the now, share what’s coming up in the next few weeks/months. Share the bigger picture of what you’d like to achieve, if there are any shifts you’d like to make. You may not have the time to work on them right now, but others in your team may be able to push things along for you in the background until you need to jump in.
Having continuity within your business is so important. To have a team around you who are there for the long haul and who know you, your business and your mission means your business can grow without the worry of not having the commitment to make things happen.
And before you say “A weekly call? Really? Have you seen my diary?” or “An update email? Have you seen my inbox?”, think about how much 15 or 30 minutes could benefit your whole week. Just by taking the time to talk, to share, to tackle what you need to, with someone who can make it happen.