Now that both you and your new client have determined that working together is a good fit, the time for task building and forward thinking begins! The first question you’ll ask yourself will be, “Which project takes precedence?” Rather, that should be a question for both you and your new client. Most likely, you’ve determined top priorities through the interview process, but you probably haven’t hashed out the details of the A’s list just yet. This can really take a bit of thought, depending on the industry your client’s in.
Onboarding…or Walking the Plank?
Bringing in a new client can often feel like being a new chef in a new kitchen. Suddenly you notice that all the burners are going at once, things start to boil over, and If you didn’t know any better, you’d swear a random kitchen sprite has just run off with your mixing spoon. Believe it or not, this is a rather normal reaction. You’ve certainly got the skills and know how to do your job, but often it’s the little things that can cause the biggest disturbances. However, there are some steps you can take to avoid those unnecessary upheavals.
The Priority A List
The A’s list should be the first and foremost on both you and your clients mind. What are your clients upcoming battles? Deadlines? Immediate goals for the company? Learning about these 3 main topics is going to be crucial to how smoothly the lift-off stage will be (arguably the most important stage.) These initial conversations will inevitably bring attention to modes of operation your client has been applying, and how they correspond with your specific work procedures. For instance, what types of online platforms is your new client familiar with? Are you familiar with said platforms? Should there be an integration on your clients side…or will you need to learn something new in order to better serve? Now is the time to re-establish those work-type boundaries and areas of flexibility, before going full speed ahead.
Additional Steps for the A’s List
- Establish monthly meeting times
- Review the contract
- Establish payment methods
- Create a new client folder with subfolders
- Facilitate a going plan for Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Confirm best contact methods
- Do team introductions
- Collaborate on tasks with your team
- Send an introductory email to client
- Do a 30 day checkup of your clients integration progress
- Consider having a project timeline
Something that entrepreneurs may forget is–each onboarding process is going to feel and BE different. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. It depends on sooo many things. What’s important to remember is that with every new client, your skills will improve. Before you know it, you’ll have created the perfect onboarding format with which to draw from every time.