Balancing your Geospatial Life
Snowy Sheep Land (the Yorkshire Dales, England)
Welcome to the 8th edition of the Geospatial Marketing Academy Newsletter – a fortnightly newsletter by me, Elaine Ball, on all the stuff that matters – geospatial marketing, life, and maybe horses! A big hello to Petra, Stella and Caio. Welcome to my NEWS-letter!
“It is ok to protect your time!”
A tradition in my family is to give ourselves a new year’s resolution and this year was no exception. So diving head first into 2021, I decided I would protect my time by setting boundaries and balancing my life! Here we go…
Balancing work and life is somewhat interesting? Hard to get your head around it and more annoying when old habits creep in!
You know what I mean!
Even more so with this pandemic! Home schooling being part of the new-norm for parents – taking time-strapped adults to the limit! Set that aside for now and let’s talk about YOU!
“I’m too busy, I can’t do any more!”
“Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management . Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices”
#1. The Non-negotiables
Let’s start with important time factors!
What do you have to do in your work life that is non-negotiable?
Beach time with the kids?
Taking the mutt (dog) for a well earned walk🐕
Tax return? 😆
Finish work 5pm on Friday ready for quarantine-nie time (aka drinks in lockdown) 🤣
While I know how hard it is to run a small company when you are wearing many hats, working many hours to give your family a great life. Could you free up more time to become richer? In time and moola (money)?
List down the non-negotiables in your weekly diary!
What is important for you?
You don’t have to accommodate people’s preferences and I know from experience how burn-out will destroy all the hard work you have put in! So think about the non-negotiables that you must put into your week!
It will not only boost your energy but your business too!
#2. Look into outsourcing your weaknesses
Do you like bookkeeping?
Writing content to generate marketing qualified leads?
Sorting out your website?
Calling back clients?
Booking in clients?
The school run?
Start small; you don’t have to outsource the world, just those little things that you hate doing or could free up valuable time.
You will soon wonder why the hell you didn’t do it before.
#3. Manage your clients expectations
Yup managing those client expectations from the outset!
Do you do it?
Have you done it?
This is one thing i have put in this year already and BOOM it’s working. For example; every Friday I have a Client Sales meeting. This used to last over an hour, sometimes 2. 😩 We would spend 20mins on sales then the rest on politics, covid and other bollocks… wasting valuable time. I used to think they needed to get stuff off their chest but it made me feel exhausted, unmotivated and fed up with my client! #notpretty
So this year, I set the expectations at the start of the meeting;
And bloody hell, it worked. 😲
It has not only changed my Friday’s, it has helped my client free up his time! My attitude to ‘change’ freed up my time and our sales meetings are all wrapped up and put to bed in 26mins (my new goal – woohoo!)
My client didn’t sack me
Nor did he complain
And we got more done and dusted in those valuable minutes
I set the expectations…
I also reshuffled the sales executives to do mini one-on-one calls during the week to review any pressing questions thus leaving me to deliver the goods on a Friday. Those little tweaks have made such a huge difference. I now leave the office at 5pm on a Friday, ready for Quarantine-nie time!
“Drama is someone else’s client”
Two things I can’t live without for Managing your Client Expectations
Communicate your process! Set up a Google Doc showcasing what is and isn’t included in your service and what you need from your clients and when.
Example; I set up a “Do you TopoDOT” document (for my client; TopoDOT, a point cloud processing house). It outlines all the things that the prospect might ask, which saves tons of time when they send me ANOTHER email asking the same thing! I now just ping them the link!
Adopt Calendly – a free online appointment scheduling software.
Ideal for days you know you are pricing or are in the office! Make it super easy for your clients to book your time. The trick is to set expectations at the start of your call, so add these into you Calendly. Also fabulous in managing your team’s time with you!
“Poor planning on your part does not necessitate an emergency on mine”
#4. Project Management – being super strict with your time!
Plan ahead; i know projects run over, if this is the case with rush jobs, create space in your schedule in advance to accommodate inevitable last minute requests. And if the time is not needed, you have some space time to write your marketing plan 😉
Look at your contracts, terms and conditions; set out expectations in these. Verbal agreements can go haywire!
Look into project management software like ASANA or AIRTABLE, especially efficient if you have a small team. Then you can keep on track of all the important projects without going astray with other items that could take up your time
Automate your process. If you use a New Client Form during the initial sales phase, speed up the process by automating it for the client to fill in before the initial meeting. This will hugely speed up your time, give you all the valuable details and reduce any missing information; make it super simple and automate that form!
Again, TopoDOT automates so many processors including ‘request a quote’ – super efficient, reduces your time. They fill in the details, so no creating silly mistakes!
#4. Put your prices up
“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get”
Stop attracting high-maintenance clients – yes you know exactly who they are and I can hear you saying “but Elaine, they pay the bills!” However if you don’t change this, you will always be chasing your tail (always too busy for life)! If you actually wrote out all the time one of these clients costs you, is it worth it? So this is a good time to up those prices.
Here are 5 things Denise Duffield-Thomas talks about in her book Chillpreneur:
Answer the following:
Is demand outstripping my available energy right now? How many clients would I like instead, and for what money?
Do I want to offer a ‘skip the queue’ or fast turnaround service? If so, what would make it worthwhile?
Do I need a ‘fuck off price’ to deter painful clients? If so, what would feel good?
Am I undervaluing the results I give to clients?
Michelle Blicava, CEO of Consulting Surveyors National, Australia informed the Wisconsin Society of Professional Surveyors in the Get Kids into SurveyKeynote (see 2mins 20secs in) on Wednesday 27th January that every year 5 years they do a study into the need for Surveyors in Australia; the latest report shows that they are 2000 surveyors short every year until 2028!
Now’s the time to take action! Demand is out there! Put up your prices.
Do tiny little tweaks, you don’t have to do them perfectly!
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Thanks for reading to the bottom. I appreciate you!
Stay safe. Stay sane. Wear a fabulous mask!
I’ll be back on 11th February 2021