Why Sticking to a Timeline is Key to Your Business’ Success
You probably know by now that one of my biggest pet peeves is not meeting a deadline. If I can’t serve my clients in the way I promised, I consider it a lose-lose. And as fellow creatives, you know the challenge of making sure you’re on the same page as your clients and communicating your needs in order to meet theirs. It can be a serious #strugglebus.
I came up with a client timeline process about a year ago when I knew I needed to start managing my time better to allow for growth. When things weren’t organized correctly, I ended up working late nights and long hours to meet promised deadlines, ultimately sacrificing my health and my sanity. No thank you!
Here’s why you need to have a timeline: it creates a synergy between you and the client. Not only does it allow you to plan better but you can also deliver your services on time and communicate correctly so the client feels involved and follows through on their side of the deal. In other words, we definitely just turned a lose-lose into a win-win!
The Busy Bee Client Timeline:
Getting contracts signed, deposits made and filling out client homework. The client is also gathering images for their site as well as website copy.
Finalize Preparation + Begin Design
The client sends any final pieces of imagery + copy to me and I get started on the shell of the design. In other words, I set up the pages, add in their branding, style the header and footer and add in any business information like hours and email addresses.
Design + Delivery of the Site
I take the first half of this week to finish designing the entire site and at the end of the week, I send the site off to the client to review.
Client Review + Edits
The client has the whole week to review the site and come up with a list of edits. Edits are provided to me at the end of the week.
Make site Edits
I take a few days to make the requested edits and then send the site back to the client to review once more. At this point, the amount of edits is minimal.
Final Touches + LauncH
We add in credit card information, I transfer site ownership and go through final training with the client. After all of this, we launch (or re-launch) the site!
Don’t be fooled—a timeline is not enough to get things done perfectly. It takes time, a lot of communication and a few extra resources to set your clients up for success. I’ve built a custom portal for each client (password-protected) that shows them both visually and verbally where we are in the process as well as addressing dates they need to deliver something to me on almost every email correspondence we have. These 2 additions to the timeline are absolutely key.
Let me know if you have a client timeline and when you decided to implement it! I love hearing how you manage time and serve clients the best you can.