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Managing Your Business When One Client Takes Alot of Your Time


How often has your schedule been thrown out of whack because of a client's needs?

I try to live by the 80/20 rule: working from my home office 80% of the time and working onsite with clients 20% of the time. But, the past week has been the exact opposite.

I had a demanding onsite project. I had to drive halfway across town and give up my weekend to help my client meet their deadline. Yeah, I know. It's time to get me some cheese to go with my whine.

You could think of this as "drowning in success". It's an interesting image. You're surrounded by good fortune - your clients need you, you're doing rewarding work, and, of course, you're getting paid. But, at the same time, you feel like you're drowning. You're so focused on how you're going to get through this stretch that it's easy to lose sight of your larger business goals.

When this happens, I have to put my situation in perspective. The following are 4 steps that help me to see the bigger picture.

1. Discuss your upcoming schedule with your business partner(s) and/or family members. You may have to reallocate some business or household responsibilities. Your business partner can continue to focus on marketing, searching for clients, and getting the word out. Your family can chip in by covering some of your chores. Brett and I are great about continuing to keep the business and household afloat when one of us gets too busy.

2. Be thankful for your current "problem". Acknowledge how busy you are right now. Then, think about what it's like when you're struggling to find clients. I know which "problem" I prefer.

3. Give yourself permission to relax. Sometimes when you're spending that much time on one client, you feel guilty about the other things you haven't had time to do. But, instead, set aside time to do something mindless. My guilty pleasure is my free money online poker game.

4. Leverage your current project.

  • Write a press release about the client you're working with. For added punch, include a quote from your client. It's a win-win.
  • Write a case study based on the work you did. You could include this with your marketing materials. Or, you could turn it into an article and submit to an industry magazine.

See you in the pool!

Leila Johnson co-owns Data-Scribe(tm) along with her husband Brett Johnson. The New Mexico-based firm empowers Micro-Businesses through technology, the written word & training. To get more tips like this, visit their Micro-Business E-Library or sign up for their Micro-Business Gazette at http://www.datascribe.biz.


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