Running a business is not easy especially if you are a Creative Entrepreneur, you have to be vigilant about every detail and still be creative. Let's talk about 6 essential business terms you should know when running your small business!
When you are consulting with a new client, think about some of the requests that the client has made. The request that you package together and send to the client in nice envelopes, boxes, or emails are called deliverables. A deliverable is a product or service that is delivered to a client. A deliverable can be physical or digital, and it can be something that the client uses or something that they simply receive.
A cool tidbit of information to ensure that you are on track (time) with every client, create an Onboarding system. This system should tell you:
Who the client is
What the client is requesting
When the client needs the thing
How much the client has paid
What the client likes/dislikes
How to reach out to the client and other important information
This is typically done (depending on your business processes) during your consultation phase. Client onboarding is the process of welcoming a new client to your business and sharing information between both parties to work together efficiently.
How do you know that you are working efficiently? You have your Trello board color-coded and you're checking off tasks like crazy but what about your KPIs? KPI or Key Performance Indicator is a metric that is used to track and measure the performance of a business or individual. These are set up by you to help track the success of your business or if you want, anything! A lot of Creative Entrepreneurs struggle with determining if their business is successful because we (definitely including myself here) don't set KPIs to measure business goals to track specific areas of business. How will you know if your clients are happy, or if you have more clients this year than you did last fall? You create a KPI for it. What does that KPI look like? Well, it's specific to your business. For me, I track free consultations that turned into paying clients. There's so much that can be said about how to track KPIs, and what's the best strategy - listen, do what's best for you. If it makes sense to you, go in that direction.
Fixed-Cost and Variable Costs
When you are deciding to go in a new direction for your business, determining the cost is detrimental. Be sure to keep your Fixed-Cost and Variable Costs in mind. Fixed-Cost is a business expense that does not change based on production or sales volume. This can be a subscription to Slack, paying for Quickbooks, Virtual Office space, or even utilities. Variable Costs are those that increase or decrease depending on manufacturing. This could be acrylic paint (because you're a Creative Entrepreneur) that you use for canvases, the boxes to ship the finished artwork, or the thank you cards you send to the clients.
Hand-off, Retention & Referrals
When you are all done with a client, do you send a thank you card and say "bye" or "peace out"? How you handle the client onboarding to handoff is important to client retention and referrals. So let's break this down:
Hand-off - transferring a project, responsibility, or information from one person to another, one system to another, or one department to another.
Retention - the number of customers who keep coming back to a business in the same period of time.
Referrals - telling someone about the positive or negative features of a person or a business.
Fortunately or unfortunately, when you meet your client they are taking in the entire experience of your business - from start to finish. To ensure that your clients are leaving (and returning) with all the great warm and fuzzy feelings, get a feedback loop of what your client needs and what you are able to offer. If you offer comic books and literary works, how do you hand-off your finished work to clients? Is it in a way wherein produces referrals and you don't have to spend $XX.XX amount of dollars on advertising daily? What about Onboarding - does it take 5 minutes or 5 months to Onboard a new client, send a welcome kit, and begin work? I'm not judging friend, just giving your resources and a virtual hug.
Want to learn more about KPIs or setting up processes for your business?