One of the biggest lessons I learned from running my own business is that people respect people who respect themselves.
You cannot go into business with the mindset that your clients will automatically know what your conditions and limitations are – it is your responsibility to make them aware of this.
The best way, I’ve found, to do this is through welcome packets.
Handing over a welcome packet is a great way to set boundaries in your business. It also gives you the chance to get clear on how you handle your projects, showing future clients that you value your time (as well as theirs) laying down the groundwork for a working relationship built on trust and respect.
I can tell you this much – something as simple as a 10 page document, has the power to change the way you handle projects, giving you peace of mind knowing that you and your client are on the same page.
In a previous post, I shared 3 things you need to highlight in your client welcome packet. Today, I’d like to touch on another 3 points you need to make sure are included in your welcome packet that you hand over to potential (and existing) clients:
4. A Service Page
This is the page where you’ll talk about your services, making sure to add as much detail as you can about the service you’ll be delivering. If you offer your services as different tiered packages, you may want to display this in a table to show what each package entails.
This is also where you’ll add your pricing and any sort of payment plans you offer to your clients.
5. Contact Information
It is absolutely essential that your clients know how (and when) to get hold of you. Whether you prefer back and forth emailing, or scheduled telephone calls, you need to clearly state how your client should contact you.
Provide them with your contact information, as well as your working hours (paying special attention to time zones if you work with international clients) so they are aware of how long you’ll typically take to respond.
If you don’t work on weekends or if you’re out of the office for any reason, it is good practice to alert your clients that you may not respond in the time frame you normally would. And it is important that you stick to this, setting boundaries right from the start!
6. Client Testimonial/Portfolio Page
When handing over your welcome packet to a potential new client, you want them to instantly see that you are capable of handling their work. People won’t want to work with you if they don’t feel they can trust you.
This is why I feel it is so important to include a client testimonial or portfolio page (preferably both) to your welcome packet.
Showcasing your previous work will give your future client an idea of your quality of work and help them see that you have experience backing your business. It’s also a subtle way to draw in clients with whom you’d like to work, since someone who does not find your previous work appealing is not likely to do business with you – and this is a good thing!
As your business grows you begin to understand who your dream clients are, and sharing projects you enjoyed working on will help you attract more of these dream clients.
For example, you may find that you enjoy working with wedding photographers. Adding a sample of work you’ve done with a wedding photographer in the past will let other wedding photographers know that you are the expert they should hire for the job.
Do you struggle to set boundaries in your business?
You cannot expect people to know the dos and don’ts of working with you – you need to be clear about it through every step of the way.
A welcome packet is a fantastic way to do this; and if you don’t have one ready in your service based business then you are setting yourself up for impending migraines, stress, and unease.