When you run a small business, there’s always going to be those times when you need to be in five places at once.
Clients come first, obviously. Briefs that are already in the studio get priority, but how does a small team like ours go about making new connections and securing future projects without losing focus on the work and deadlines we’ve already got?
We don’t know yet. What we do know is that we love meeting people and we love doing project work so we’re having to find the right balance.
We don’t want to hire a “salesman”. For one, we haven’t got a company BMW they could use and secondly we like the fact that clients meet the people who are actually going to be doing the work. Building that relationship from the start is something that we’re really keen to keep - both because we enjoy meeting people and because it’s a vital part of understanding the project.
Recently we introduced a studio timetable - nothing too strict and official, just a guide for us to plan our weeks around. Amongst other weekly events, we set aside 10am and 2pm on Tuesdays, and 10am and 2pm on a Thursday for meetings. At least then we could get used to those times being earmarked for visitors. When there’s no meeting scheduled, we either crack on with project work or use the time for an internal catch up. So far it’s working well.
Another thing we’ve worked on is defining our roles; talking through our strengths, and allocating related tasks to the most relevant person - it’s really helping us to focus on what we each do best. There’s no confusion about who does what, which is making the team far more efficient.
We’re also using Forecast to plan our in-project time; we’re able to get a better overview of the work that’s in the studio, what’s coming up, and when each project is likely to launch.
All of these changes are helping us to plan our studio hours effectively - meaning we can spend time meeting people and meeting deadlines. Winner!