Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Clients and their COMMENTS

" I don't know. Just get it done! "

" We love your work, but we have a budget of only $100."

" Can you please fix my code and make it work. It should be easy for you! "

" Superb! Great work! Its beautiful. Please marry me "

" Don't worry about the first point, just do the third and second one.I am
planning to give you bulk work can you give discount? "

" Look I donot know what I want..I just know, this is not it "

" I need a 5 page website by tomorrow. That won't be a problem, will it? "

" Well, I like it but my wife thinks it should be magenta"

" I understand its the 10th Mockup, but its still not what I am looking for "

" I needed this done like yesterday. "

" I am okai with the quote, but I need to discuss it with my partner"

Good Client Vs Bad Client

Everyone of us has experienced the Hell of working with a Bad Client. My company has been around for 3+ years and we had our share of bad clients. We have been lucky to have faced more good clients than bad ones. But one bad one washes away the happiness which 100 good clients give you.

Many successful business heads say that "Don't hire Bad Clients!" . However, being a small company, we need to embrace everyone who comes our way. Hence, we end up having bad clients on the go most of the time so we can hit targets and pay salaries. Not to mention that the knock on effect makes it harder to meet the targets for the next few months as you deal with the nightmare... and the vicious cycle continues.

Secondly, even if I decide to not hire bad clients, how do you know its one? Almost all the times everything adds up in the beginning, but then somewhere along the line, suddenly and drastically everything changes?

Here I am putting together from my experience identifiers of a bad client and good client.

GOOD CLIENT - A good client is one who ---
  • Knows what he wants.Is focused on the big picture
  • Fills the web project questionnaire in clear and detailed manner
  • Provides an RFP, or clear outline of the scopeof project
  • Understands the Web development process
  • Gives final sign-off and approvalIs in agreement on deliverables,schedule and budget
  • Is responsive to email and phone callsProvides content on time
  • Provides feedback and approval promptly.

BAD CLIENT - To be aware of has ---

  • "Need it right now" attitude, unrealistic project delivery requests
  • Has no clue of what the content of the website should be, but wants it to“look awesome”
  • Cannot give final approval on anything.Doesn’t have time to fill out the website questionnaire
  • Has Small budget but needs faster turnaround time
  • Non-responsive, cannot make decisions, does not email or call back in a timely manner
  • Indecisive, changes mind frequently
  • You provide the client with the 10th website mockup, and they still feel its not what they are looking for.
  • Four weeks ago you were working with James who quit, last week you were working with Andre who was fired, and now you’re working with Jeremy who doesn’t know what the hell is going on, but gives feedback that we have done a bad job.
  • Always threatening to sue you for some reason or another.

Please feel free to add-on to this list.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Unleash the Power of Enthusiasm

If you are not fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm in every aspect of our life, every moment of our life is a must. Enthusiasm makes the simple mundane tasks special and rewarding.

Enthusiasm at work motivates employees to go that extra mile to accomplish their tasks and shoulder more responsibilities without feeling the stress. But still one finds that enthusiasm is so scarce and rare to find.

To get people around you to be more enthusiastic, we need to be enthusiastic and active ourselves. Results always come in proportion to the enthusiasm applied. Enthusiasm is contagious, so be a carrier.

Below are 5 tips to unleash the power of enthusiasm within you

  1. To become enthusiastic, start by learning more about the things you are not enthusiastic about. Study deeply about the things that don't interest you but are a part of you life. Knowledge about the thing will create interest in it.
  2. Pep it up: Add life, vigor in to everything you do. When you shake hands with anyone, just do it with a big smile and say "Good to see you". You will make his day more brighter for sure.
  3. Do not hang out with unenthusiastic and negative people. Unenthusiasm is also contagious, stay away from it.
  4. Don't just like what you do, love it. Add that extra bit of care, affection and personal touch in everything you do.
  5. Be in the company of enthusiastic people. Participate in

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happiness at work is my responsibility !

Happiness in work place is not something which you feel when you are getting paid well or you have a posh office, its a matter of choice. You need to choose to be happy at work. When you are happy at work, the same happiness radiates ion to your family and social life. The impact of happiness at work is more, because we spend most of our waking hours at work.

So from today lets repeat the below everyday till it becomes our nature -
  1. I choose to be happy at work
  2. Will spread happiness: I will be the carrier of happiness and infect others. Unhappiness is also infectious, but I choose not to spread that virus.
  3. I will create happiness today: Not tomorrow, Not next week or next month. Its Now.
  4. I will learn to say "NO"
  5. Letting my BOSS know what makes me happy at work is my responsibility.
  6. Letting my colleagues know what makes me happy at work is my responsibility.
  7. Happiness at work makes me more healthy, happier and completely stress free.
  8. I understand its OK to have a BAD WORK DAY.
  9. I will share my knowledge with others and appreciate others work as well.
  10. I am my BEST when I am Happy! Happiness makes me be creative, productive and successful.
Lets pledge from today at the start of the waking hour that- I choose to be HAPPY AT WORK !

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Implementing Simplicity in daily life, not easy at all!

Implementing simplicity in life is not an easy task.

Today evening, I saw a beautiful, mesmerizing, necklace which I wanted to own badly and flaunt it at a family ceremony. The price tag was a little steep, but subconsciously I made it worth peanuts to me. I booked the piece of temptation with a small advance and fixed the timing to pay the balance & collect it after a day.

At home, I shared my new purchase wish with my hubby. He asked me "why do you want to buy it more for - because you liked it or you want to flaunt it?". Hmmm..., now this was surely a bouncer, I replied for both reasons. I went to look for jewelry in the first place, because, I wanted to flaunt it.

He promptly replied,what happened about your Simplicity band wagon, did the bubble burst in just a week.

My speeding dreamy car came to an abrupt halt. He was right! I felt so ashamed of my behavior. It took me an hour to realize my folly, but I thank God that he brought me back on track.

Its really very easy to get deviated and get entangled in to the clutter. Its very easy to be a part of the maddening race to look good and show-off something which you are not.

Now, I am damn sure, I will be more happy and more free without it. I will live for myself, and enhance my inner beauty with accessories which will be with me till eternity than exterior diminishing ones.

Today, was a very important milestone for me.

Hidden cost of Workplace Complexity

Real problem is not more volume but extra complexity.

When we have more work volume from existing customers, we have to adapt to increase in volume which in turn adds to the resource cost. However, when the customer is new, their is recruiting cost and since their needs are different from the existing customers, the complexity and cost increases.

Even though the new customer is only slightly different than the existing customer, costs go up because the small change also breaks the routine and requires the manager intervention to handle the new requirements.

Stopping the work and starting it again incurs cost. Communication and miscommunication between extra people incurs time drain and hence cost. The gap and cost increases further when the work is put aside for someone else's instructions or for more clarity on customer feedback. All these costs are steep and shocking because most of the time they go unaccounted.

If this communication is across departments, offices and timezones, the result is unimaginably bad.

Increase in work volume, leads to marginal new customers and profit, but add significantly to the managerial complexity.

Management and managers both get a high from increased complexity as it interests and challenges their intellect. Hence, management and managers keep managing and encouraging complexity till it becomes unmanageable and goes completely out of control.

Alas, the cost of complexity is far more than the benefits of increased volume.

Business Volume is not all bad

Business volume and market share are important and valuable. Extra volume also helps us to spread the fixed costs. Volume also helps us in making a good sales pitch and creates confidence to approach big customers.

Business volume changes the way the world perceives your business. There is more acceptance and feel good environment. More people are hired to handle the extra volume. And the moral of the existing employees is high to see the company in the growing gear. You become a part of the preferred employer list for a lot of good talent, who earlier wouldn't even consider you worth sending their profile.

Its a feel-good environment everywhere, till the balance sheet is presented.

The bottom line still doesn't change why does high volume fail to translate in to high profits.

Why do businesses have to pay the price of shrinking margins when targeting more business volume or market share.

What can be the cause of increasing costs? More business should be more profits and the cost to profit ratio should remain the same, ideally. Converse is true though.

Real problem is not more volume but extra complexity.