Notes from Jeff York

Small business marketing thoughts from a marketing small business owner

Posts Tagged ‘project

When is good enough not good enough?

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It’s a phase that many of us hear all the time. It’s a phase that sends shivers up my spine.

“Ah, that’s good enough.”

Almost sounds like quitting on a project. Almost sounds like someone could do better if they wanted to, but it’s just not worth the effort. Almost sounds like someone regards the task as beneath their best efforts.

So I have to ask, if that’s the case, why bother?

However, I have a tendency to go the other way. I want everything that I work on to be perfect. I need to learn that there is a time when you have to balance doing the best job possible with delivering on-time. I once heard a saying, “Audio engineers never finish an album. They just give up on it.”

But just the same, at what point is it acceptable to stop working on a project? When it is acceptable to walk away when there’s something that can be done to make it better?

More importantly, at what point is it acceptable to accept mediocrity in employees? When is it acceptable to keep someone around that just does enough to get by? When is it time to make room for someone with the interest and desire to learn more and do better.

You have to weigh both sides of the equation. When is the project do? What really needs to be delivered? Will there be the opportunity at a later date to revisit, rebuild, and/or improve?

I like to live by the motto “Try your best. Do your best. Be the best.” Because, in my opinion, at the end of the day, if you can look back and respond “yes” to the questions “does it fulfill the need/expectation of the client” and “are you proud of it,” then it’s good enough.

If not, it’s just not good enough.

Written by Jeff York

April 10, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Are you the right customer for me?

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Much is made of marketing customers searching hard for the right marketing company to help them grow. As there is a huge number of marketing organizations out there, customers/businesses must work hard to vet each one to find that special organization that has a mix of experience and expertise to help them move ahead of their competitors and grow.

Internally to the marketing companies, sales representatives spend enormous amounts of effort prospecting, qualifying, and landing leads and turning those leads into clients. The future of a marketing company depends on the ability to generate new project work.

However, smart marketing companies take that extra time before pitching a client to ask themselves “Is this prospect a good fit for us?” We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule. As it applies to this former Production Manager, it means that I had to spend 80% of my time holding the hand of 20% of our clients. This is a reflection of finding a client that’s smart enough to know that they need marketing to grow, but is somehow uncomfortable with the cost they are spending or perhaps they don’t fully understand the process. Or maybe their superiors are directing pressure on them for the same reasons. Innocently, these clients place a drag on the process by not trusting that the agency they hired isn’t working 100% in their best interests.

Or worse. A green sales rep at the marketing company signs a client whom believes they know marketing better than the agency. Maybe they think they know graphic design because they own a pencil or web development because their son used iWeb. In any event, endless rounds of changes ensue dragging the process to a halt and raising expenses on both sides of the equation.

The bottom line here is knowing the importance of spending time analyzing your ideal client profile and targeting potential clients that fit that spec which will pay you dividends in the long run.

Do you spend any time determining who your ideal customer might be? How do you turn away business that might not be a good fit, especially if times are tight? Do you have any strategies that you might be able to share?

Written by Jeff York

June 28, 2008 at 1:03 pm

Give me my stuff!

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As a producer and former project manager, I may find myself in the situation where a project is delayed not because of production issues or concerns over content, but simply because a client hasn’t delivered something vital which is needed to move the project closer to completion.  It may be a item needed for inclusion into a project or it might be a piece of information required to push the project forward.  But for whatever reason, it gets held up by the client.

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation?  What did you do to work toward resolution so that the project reaches a satisfactory end?  What might be done earlier in the process so that this situation might be avoided? 

Written by Jeff York

April 1, 2008 at 3:34 am