Unless you happen to land a huge, well paying contract from the start of your WAH career, you’ll most likely have to juggle multiple clients in order to make a decent living. Even with a single big client, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. If that client walks, you’ll have nothing. So for stability, you’ll want to work with several clients, which can feel a little like juggling. Don’t let that idea scare you away from your dream, because it is possible to successfully manage many clients at one time. These experts give you their tips on how to do just that, and stay sane in the process!
- Focus + Organization = Entrepreneurial Success- Keeping focused and organized when you are an entrepreneur — and you don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder! — can be one of the most challenging aspects of the job, especially for a person working from home. “But of course, the rewards are phenomenal. Not only have I found that I have the ability to make exponentially more money than if I were an employee, but I have the flexibility to build my (very rigid!) schedule around things that are important to me, such as my kids’ activities, and time for prayer and church.”
- Start Before They Do – Get a head start into the home office. Wake up before your clients do so you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished so much more and have added some additional (much needed) time to your day. I always wake up before my family, get them out of the house to school and work, and then jump right back in.
- My Strategy?- Just respond. Whether you send a text, leave a voicemail or send an email – it’s a response. When managing multiple clients it’s imperative that they know you are attentive, responsive and ultimately value their business.
Website: Beymour Consulting
When I first started consulting, I still had a full-time in-house role. When I finally cut the cord with my day job, I was juggling a roster of 8 clients – several of which were national brands. Most clients like to schedule weekly, biweekly, and monthly calls. This became an issue because most of my client work was done after hours and over the weekend. Whenever I had to have a conference call with a client, I would do it in my car, on my lunch break.. In order to streamline the process, I assigned specific days and times for each client, so that there was never an overlap. This tactic still serves me well, as a full-time consultant. When you’re a solo operation, time management is essential to your success. By blocking off certain days and times for individual clients, I can more effectively manage client communication. It benefits my clients as well. They seem to like having their own scheduled slot. Instead of sending various reports throughout the week, we can cover a wide range of topics in a single call, which helps us organize our strategy more efficiently.
Facebook: Amber Kelsey
- First, You must get your client scheduling system fully automated and online so clients are easily put into your calendar without you doing extra busy work.
- Set yourself up for success by having a system you follow for each client. Like a flow chart- From intake to completion. Always go through this list when you bring on a new client and as you work with them. You won’t miss the important steps (ex: signed contract, called on 7th day, confirmed on XYZ…)
- Schedule out your time wisely. Have daily, set blocks of times where you do client work, so you don’t get behind. Working from home can become distracting, stick to your block of time you’ve set for client work. (set a timer if you need help staying focused)
- Scheduling is your best friend. One way I manage multiple clients is by only taking client calls two days out of the week. Only two days out of the week I focus on communicating with my clients so I can spend the other days focusing on their projects and growing my business.
- Manage client expectations. It is crucial to set expectations early on. I’ve had clients message me through Facebook because they saw I was online, secretly watching funny videos. I had to remind them that communications are only available via email. Create a system that works for you.
- I also under-promise and under-deliver. Telling clients you have a 72 hour turn around time (or whatever makes sense for you) and then delivering under that time delights your client and turns them into raving fans. It is also gives you a buffer in case you do need that 72 hour window.
Website: Emerging Insider
- Set up a consistent weekly schedule for communications. It is imperative to have a set schedule for interactions, communications and updates. This allows a business owner to manage their clients in a way that also allows them to focus on the myriad of other tasks they may have at hand while providing personalized attention.
- Utilize a CRM program. It can become chaotic trying to deal with many clients, their needs, and trying to remember multiple tasks. CRM programs allow a seamless, automated way to keep notes in a fashion that manages your interactions and important details.
- Figure out the balance between client management and sales. The issue that arises when a small business owner tries to manage multiple clients is that they often forget to run their own business. Managing multiple clients requires any business owner to also set apart time each and every day to develop their own business, sales and marketing.
- It is ALL about time management. If you can’t manage your time properly, you live in a constant state of stress and disorganization. Once you learn how to segment your projects, personal life, and other priorities, then you can be successful.
- Having the proper tools. Not only do you have to have the proper project management, billing, time tracking, etc… tools, but you also have to have a good quality laptop, cellphone, external charger, etc… so that you can be prepared for anything.
- Always be ready to hire or fire clients. Business should not be overly emotional, and once a client starts to take advantage or ask beyond your initial scope, you have to make sure that you communicate with them. Same goes with hiring on new clients: make sure that you can take on the new client before getting lost in the dollar signs.
Note from Leslie:
I don’t juggle multiple clients so much, but I do have several projects going at once, so it feels like juggling. Like our experts said, scheduling and time management are crucial to giving focus to each thing that needs to be done. Tools that help you stay on top of what needs to be done is vital as well. I have a paper planner because I need to be able to keep all my appointments and to-dos in front of me. But I also have tools that keep my information and resources organized for fast, easy access when it’s time to work on my projects. Finally, if you find you’re maximizing your abilities to the point that you feel a little crazy, it’s time to consider cutting back or outsourcing some of your work.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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