Home – New Forums Other discussions Should you let people know how booked up you are on your website?

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #981427
    ScarlettR
    Member
    • Total posts: 396
    Up
    0
    ::

    I’m getting a request for a lot of work, which is fantastic, however I’m now booked up until late March.

    What are your thoughts on me putting up a “Booked until “this date”: Please contact me to get in as soon as possible!”? Do you think it’s a good idea or I should just let the person know in their point of contact email?

    One half of me says– don’t tell them straight up because then you won’t get work.

    Another half says– let them know because then they’ll realise how much in demand you are, and the sense of urgency to get in asap will drive them to you.

    I think both sides are total BS to be honest, which is why I’m here seeking your thoughts!

    #1130359
    John Romaine
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,108
    Up
    0
    ::

    What service are you providing?

    If there’s demand there, scale it.

    Have you considered hiring?

    #1130360
    ScarlettR
    Member
    • Total posts: 396
    Up
    0
    ::

    I provide high quality book covers to self-published authors.

    There is a demand and I’m in the midst of sorting out hiring someone. It’s a conflict of previously undercharging what I do and now upping my prices. Now I’ve upped them I wanted to see the flow of work come in on the new packages I offer before hiring, so I know I can sustain it.

    #1130361
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    Up
    0
    ::

    I think this is a bit of an ongoing challenge for specialsits working solo, I’ve been doing it for a lot of years and still find it tough to get a balance.

    I know the first reaction from many will be to tell you to scale up, not saying it wont work but it sounds like to me that what you do is very much based on a particular skill and talent, in your case probably multiplied by the fact what you do is creative.

    If you’re anything like me it’s hard to find or duplicate the skills you have.

    I still tend to fluctuate between working every hour there is to keep up, and occasionally, twiddling my thumbs.

    I do tell clients I’m flat out and will struggle with a deadline after an honest chat about what they want and when … never had one that didn’t come back, and often I’m able to come up with a compromise that gets them (and me) off the hook.

    If the workload looks like it will hold, rather than duplicate yourself, maybe off load some admin stuff. I’ve done it successfully at different times but used virtual staff rather than employ direct.

    Maybe I’m finally becoming conservative in my old age but scaling up can often mean a very big jump in your fixed overhead … staying small lean and mean, enables you to be quick on your toes if the market shifts.

    Lifting your rates is a good start to see if it thins out the bookings.

    #1130362
    kathiemt
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,167
    Up
    0
    ::

    estim8’s got the idea. Outsource what you can and admin is definitely one of those things. That’s what Virtual Assistants are for ;)

    Love your site. Not looked at it before. You’ve got a great looking site and business and congratulations on keeping so busy. You don’t want people thinking you’re so busy that you can’t fit them in. That’s fine for the short-term but not long-term. And you don’t want to give people the impression you are too busy. I’ve had potential clients go to someone else because they always thought I was too busy and I have no idea how they got that idea in the first place. Something I was doing or saying conveyed that. Lost potential there.

    You want to be able to pick and choose. Outsource what you can so you can do the parts you want/need to do and maintain the workflow. And in outsourcing you won’t have the commitment that’s involved in having an employee. You just use those other services when you need to. I have a team of VAs that I work with these days – and that grew out of being too busy in my second year of business, I needed to find a way to outsource the work without losing the clients.

    Congrats on what is happening with your business.

    #1130363
    ScarlettR
    Member
    • Total posts: 396
    Up
    0
    ::

    estim8 and Kathie- your advice is priceless. Thank you so much! It was just what I needed to hear.

    #1130364
    michnichols
    Member
    • Total posts: 236
    Up
    0
    ::

    Congrats Scarlett on how your business is going.

    I truly believe the way of the future is project-based working and collaboration. It is not necessary to advise people how busy you are. If you do, it is an attractive statement – your good at what you do and people like you. As Benjamin Franklin said, ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person’.

    As Kathie said, focus on your core skills and outsource the functions you can. Build your network or “business colony”, and engage the people who will support you.

    Michelle

    #1130365
    The Copy Chick
    Member
    • Total posts: 963
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Scarlett – a great question and one I’ve tackled myself from time to time.

    To encourage people to think ahead, I’m considering putting some educational info into my site to discourage people from ringing up on a Wednesday expecting brochure copy finished by the Monday (which happens depressingly often).

    Maybe something along the lines of what steps are involved (from the brief/quote, through revisions, edits, and production of final copy), why they need to allow a decent amount of time based on these steps, and also a reminder that other clients will already have booked work in, so availability may not be immediate. I’m also happy to add a bit about what their options are if they have a genuine rush job.

    I hope this will help educate prospective clients to the potential time-frames and have them reconsider how “urgent” their job is (it’s amazing how many of these jobs end up weeks, sometimes months, over their initial deadline because “circumstances have changed”), and to be more open to booking work in at a later date.

    Not sure if this would work for you, but thought it might be worth sharing.

    #1130366
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    Up
    0
    ::
    The Copy Chick, post: 147911 wrote:
    I’m also happy to add a bit about what their options are if they have a genuine rush job.

    I hope this will help educate prospective clients to the potential time-frames and have them reconsider how “urgent” their job is (it’s amazing how many of these jobs end up weeks, sometimes months, over their initial deadline because “circumstances have changed”), and to be more open to booking work in at a later date.

    This has been an ongoing theme for me … everybody thinks their job is urgent, often it’s not.

    Often they’re just shooting from the hip, when you push them for the info “they” have, that “you” need, they go to ground, preferring a timeline that fits with “their” schedule.

    Human nature I guess.

    It’s why I don’t automatically say I’m too busy, but sus them out a bit. Experience has taught me that often I can say yes, knowing full well they’re not ready for any deadline at their end, just being impatient for a result.

    I’m often submitting stuff (for clients) for tenders that have strict deadlines, even down to the hour of the day on the close date. If you miss them, all the work (often days), let alone the work opportunity, is wasted. So I know what a deadline is, and how to get there …often the client doesn’t.

    No bullet proof solution IMHO, but lots of practise helps.

    #1130367
    marketingweb
    Member
    • Total posts: 625
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Scarlett,

    Not sure I have a lot to offer, but wanted to note the following:

    Firstly, I LOVE your website and I LOVE your work. If I was looking for this service and happened upon your website, I wouldn’t hesitate to hire you.

    I can see you are passionate about what you do, and since you are working with individuals not big companies, you want to give people good value. This is an admirable sentiment and one I follow as well. But you need to make sure your prices are sustainable – only reason I mention this is that if you are fully booked but can’t afford to outsource, subcontract or have someone work for you, your prices may be too low. That said you are all over this by the sound of it, but it’s worth a thought – don’t undervalue yourself!

    One sentence I did notice on your “About me” page:

    6. You can be relaxed working with Scarlett because she’s flexible and friendly. If you have tight deadlines, she can work with them. If you aren’t sure when you can contact her next, she will be patient with you. If there are things you don’t like about the design you can be open and straight forward with her without fearing rejection, being talked down to, or being treated like a child.

    I would change this to remove any reference to working with tight deadlines – if you are booked a couple months in advance at a time, no point encouraging people to rush things.

    Hope this is a little help.

    Matt

    #1130368
    JaneB
    Member
    • Total posts: 324
    Up
    0
    ::

    From a client’s perspective: I find being told that a company is very busy extremely offputting. The words “busy” “full” “flat out” “just crazy” should not be used to clients, but substituted with the times that you can do the work. It doesn’t impress me that someone is busy – of course they will be if they are any good.

    This year I have to find new companies and people to work with simply because my current suppliers and contractors are “so busy”. What an awful person I would be to impose more work upon them!

    #1130369
    Zava Design
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,463
    Up
    0
    ::

    1) Raise your prices. Always step 1 when you find you’re “too busy”.

    2) See if you can scale up your workload by outsourcing. It may not even be your design work that you outsource. ie: How much time do you spend on your accounts? How much time do you spend on sales communications? Probably much to find someone to do ytour accounts and/or your sales than design.

    3) Don’t mention anything about your schedule/workload on your site, that should be purely an offline discussion between you and a potential client.

    #1130370
    bluepenguin
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,026
    Up
    0
    ::

    As good as outsourcing can be, it also brings it’s own challenges and headaches with it. I have done quite a lot of outsourcing over the last few years and have now scaled it right back in favour of a smaller, more profitable business.

    Personally, I think that if you can sustain what you’re doing on your own and your business is rewarding you to a point where you’re content, keep it like that. Nice and simple.

    I think you should trial putting some cleverly worded text on your site that says something along the line of “Due to the popularity of our service, we are often heavily booked, so call us today to avoid disappointment.” If it doesn’t work, take it down. You’re guaranteed work for the next couple of months, so you’re not risking much.

    If your product is good, your clients will keep returning with realistic expectations and you’ll be relying less and less on getting sales from your website anyway.

    #1130371
    ScarlettR
    Member
    • Total posts: 396
    Up
    0
    ::

    Thanks guys! Absolutely brilliant advice. This is what I’ve done:

    1. Prices are now up, so just keeping tabs on how quickly work is going to come in.

    2. Admin is now delegated to a temp, via templates and set actions (as mentioned in the EMyth)

    My work load has lifted already, and it’s great!

    #1130372
    marketingweb
    Member
    • Total posts: 625
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Scarlett,

    Fantastic that you have had a win already with your admin oursourcing! Well done!

    Clearly you are doing really well already to be booked up so well, so I almost hesitate mentioning the below, but then a little more fine turning doesn’t hurt.

    Although I love your website and marketing overall, a few little things I noticed.

    1) Your “Order Now” buttons are blanked out white in Internet Explorer 9, sort of half blanked out in Opera 12.10 (latest), but show up fine in Firefox 18 and Google Chrome 24 (side comment: aren’t those version numbers getting crazy!)

    2) I for the life of me can’t see the value in the top package? Why would someone pay almost double for this?
    First one is standard, second adds two phone chats, unlimited revisions and all images, third one adds a poster and various extra graphics including a 3D book cover, but then the top option for an extra $500 adds…. one extra phone call? Or am I missing something? Is that blue box at the side an extra as part of this maybe? It isn’t overly clear…

    3) Price points with 0, 5, 9, 5 are a bit odd – I would make the 9 a 5 or the 5’s 9’s, but maybe that’s just me.

    Matt

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.