If you’ve been hanging around for awhile, you may wonder why when working with new clients I start with a three month package. That’s a great question!
When I first started my online business, I knew I needed to earn the respect of others in a new space. My local friends came to me with projects. They had seen me working “in person” and knew the quality of work I produced. Working in the online world, however, is different. I felt like I needed to prove myself.
So I took anything that came my way…designing invitations, answering customer service calls, making appointments, contacting media outlets, etc.. If I got asked to do something, I did it. I saw it as an opportunity to get experience in the online space. In addition, all of those experiences gave me an opportunity to earn money.
The further along in my journey I got, the more I realized that I wanted to be doing the work of an online business manager. This kind of job seemed like a more serious and possibly long-term commitment. I, all of a sudden, wasn’t as willing to take any kind of work. I wanted to make sure that when working with new clients, they would be a good fit for me and my business.
Working With New Clients During A Trial Period
A discovery call is usually a good indicator of whether or not you and a client will be a good fit. This isn’t always the case, however. Anyone can be behave well for 20-30 minutes. It’s when the work needs to be done and maybe things are a bit stressful when the real character of someone and the state of their business is revealed.
Doing business together for three months is usually ample time for you to each determine if you’ll be a good fit for each other over the long haul. During the three months, several things will be made clear.
- Work style
- Communication style
- How stress is handled
- The state of the business
These are all very important things to consider when determining if you’ll want to work with someone on a long-term basis. Likewise, these are not things that can be determined on a 20-30 minute discovery call.
Personality tests can also be a great tool when trying to determine whether or not you and a potential client will work well together. Rather than finding someone with the same personality test results, seek out someone who has the exact opposite results. While this may be uncomfortable at first, it may be beneficial to fill some gaps in your business. Your weaknesses may be their strengths and vice versa.
When The Work Gets Done
The work of an OBM involves organizing by building processes and systems and implementing automation. These are not things that happen overnight.
For an OBM, getting to know the business is the goal for the first month. This doesn’t mean that work isn’t getting done. Rather it means that you are communicating often with the business owner, putting out any fires that need immediate attention, and meeting with the team. These are things that help you learn about how the business is currently operating and what needs to be organized.
Of course, there are basic organizational strategies that any business can benefit from. But a business owner doesn’t hire an OBM for their business to be treated like any other business. An OBM will personalize their service to meet the needs and personality of the business.
When you commit to working with an OBM for three months, change within your business will be noticeable by the end of that time. There will still be work to do, especially if the business is growing. During this time, though, you both can make the determination of whether or not you will want to continue working together.
Other Ideas To Date A Client
If a client expresses interest in working with you, yet neither of you are completely sure that it may be the best decision, there are other things you can do to “date” your client. The hesitation may not always be personality based. The concern may come from the client being hesitant about spending the money to hire an OBM. They want to know that the ROI will truly be worth it. A “trial” project may be a better option in this case.
Project Trial Period
Sometimes a business owner may have an upcoming project they don’t have time to plan and carry out. Hiring an OBM for a trial project provides an opportunity for both parties to see if they work well together.
An OBM can complete a project typically in 3-6 months. This is enough time to determine if the business owner likes the quality of work and the work style of that OBM. If things go well, the two of them can discuss what a long term working relationship might look like.
Strategy Call Sessions
Many times a business owner has a desire to grow and scale their business. The problem is that they may not know exactly what should be done. An OBM can help with this by taking a deep dive into the business to examine the current structure. Then the OBM will advise the next steps to make strides towards scaling the business.
This may involve the business owner completing an in-depth questionnaire and jumping on a longer call with the OBM. Once the OBM collects the necessary information, she prepares an action plan to move the business forward.
If a business owner already has a team, this is a great option because the team can implement the ideas. It’s a low commitment opportunity for the business owner to evaluate the OBM’s work. Keep in mind, however, that if hired, the OBM would oversee the progress of the plan while the business owner focuses on other business growing projects.
Benefits Of Starting With A Three Month Package When Working With New Clients
By offering a three month package when working with new clients, my clients and I can have actual working time to see if we make a good fit. This may not be as obvious if you only spend a month together. Or if you have a longer commitment, you may find yourself committed to a relationship that isn’t working. Three months gives you enough time to see if you work well together, yet it’s not so long that you end up in an awkward situation.
If you are thinking that the time may be right to hire an OBM, figure out a way to “test” each other out. Having an OBM on your team can be such a positive addition, but you want to make sure you are doing it with the right person.
P.S. If you are looking for an OBM to work with, I’d be happy to chat with you. Check out my services or fill out my contact form to set up a free discovery call with me. If you are unsure whether or not you need an OBM, check out this blog post.