Are you going from solo to supported and starting to dip your toe in the ‘collaboration’ pool? Trust me when I say, you must read and digest this if you don’t want to lose your mind…
If I were to sit back and calculate the number of times a new project with a client was stalled due to not having key components prepped first, I’d wager it was close to 8 times out of 10.
Let’s be honest, that’s definitely NOT a great percentage.
When a project is starting, if the project prep is not fully flushed out, you will run into problems. It’s inevitable. If key items aren’t mapped out, ready, and brought to the table before a project begins, it can ripple into misaligned expectations for team members and cause a variety of issues, leading to project stall outs and delayed deadlines.
[bctt tweet=”Project success begins with proper prep.” username=”freshtakepro”]
Why Things Go Wrong
When I really start to dig into this phenomenon and examine how it all goes down, it looks a little like this:
Client A has hired us to help produce a webinar, but other parts of the production are being handled by other team members.
Her internal team member is handling emails, then our team is handling another aspect, and yet another team is taking care of the rest of the project. In the mix, there’s an online business manager, a virtual assistant, and then us.
As we get into the project, we realize that Client A wasn’t fully aware of how to execute the production of a full webinar and that the team wasn’t aware of all of the necessary steps. Add in the fact that the client wasn’t using her project management system, and it’s a recipe for delays and confusion.
We’ve all been in this situation where something relatively straightforward turns into much, much more work.
The key takeaway is that everyone was left saying, “What the heck is going on?”
Nothing kills a project faster than poor communication and lack of respect for another’s role and skill. A lack of understanding that goes unchecked by you is the first step to a downward spiral. If you can’t trust the expertise of others, then perhaps you need to build your empire alone…but it will be a long, hard, lonely road.
The only way to ensure that things go smoothly is confirming that everyone knows their part to execute, and everyone is willing to trust each other and work as a team towards the same goal.
[bctt tweet=”Smooth execution comes from clear expectations.” username=”freshtakepro”]
When the Small Things Add Up
Here’s another example: Client B came in wanting an online course platform built to house her online course. After our production strategy session, we outlined the scope of work and dug into our tasks.
During the course of our work, we did hit a few snags out of the gate. There was no branding style guide or design elements outside of a logo. We’re resourceful and always looking for solutions, so we took the logo and used it as our point of inspiration, quickly creating design elements to use within the platform.
This, along with another snag, resulted in delays in the completion of the project.
My takeaway from this was that I should have ensured the project prep was fully completed at the beginning. I didn’t hold my client accountable for her part in not coming to the project fully prepared, and instead, jumped in to correct the issue. While that may seem like it was the right thing to do, it didn’t save me from having her later frustrated with me, holding the pushed deadline against me.
This is a great example of the role we play in ensuring our clients are accountable and that we have what we need to be successful.
[bctt tweet=”You can’t create something out of nothing… unless you own a wand.” username=”freshtakepro”]
Sharing Your Process Can Make All the Difference
In both of these examples, a lot could have been avoided by clearly outlining the process from day one of the projects. And for any business owner who’s going from a solo show to having support, this is essential.
As you bring in people to help you, you NEED them to communicate their process, and they need to understand what you expect from them. Even if you don’t want to know all the details, it’s critical you know how things are going to work on a day-to-day basis.
The goal is for you to avoid having to completely change course over and over throughout the lifespan of a project. Basically, you want a team that can be successful and can do things right the first time, so you need to invest in the process and ensure every member of the team feels valued and supported.
If you’re a service provider who’s working with people that are moving from doing everything themselves to having support, you can help bridge this gap by providing them with insight into your process. This can save you a bundle of time and effort.
The key to going from solo to supported is understanding the expectations of your role — whether you’re joining or leading a team. As the owner of the company, you’re the captain of the ship, so making sure objectives are very clear and that YOU understand the processes and their impact is your responsibility. And as a service provider, you want to bring your best to the team and be in a position to do your best work.
The reality is that nobody can support you if they don’t even know what their roles are in the first place. So, no matter what role you’re in, you need to invest time upfront to understand what needs to happen and take the time to ensure you’re expressing your support for those around you.
[bctt tweet=”There’s a reason they say communication is KEY.” username=”freshtakepro”]
Are you currently dealing with going from solo to supported? What’s been the toughest part of transitioning? Share your experiences in the comments section below!