This 28th January, 2017 we organised first ever WordCamp at Udaipur, INDIA. I acted as the co-organiser of the event along with Puneet Sahalot from IdeaBox Creations being the lead organiser.
WordCamp Udaipur 2017 was a massive success. It went beyond what we planned and way beyond in terms of appreciation that we are still receiving, all made possible by the crew of volunteers and the organising team working tirelessly to make it a success.
With that being said, we met a lot of amazing people who are doing phenomenal in their respective niche which includes development, sales, business development, customer support and so forth in the WordPress ecosystem. Everyone of the attendee was an absolute delight to meet.
Whilst the interaction with many professional in the camp, I’m compiling the list of major takeaways that I can recall. These were primarily focused towards the business aspect.
Mail is for Sales
Mails are for client communication and sales and not for task allocation or reporting. It is pain when you grow big and your client will never be happy or feel the worth. Find out a tool and use it. Educate your client to use the same. Trello is fair, can look into Basecamp or ActiveGo. If you want enterprise level solution, you can try JIRA.
80/20 client rule
Find the 20% of the client who value your time and efforts and focus on them. Get rid of the 80% who don’t so that you can on-board others who fall into the 20% ratio. This will help you scaling big and better while handling less problems.
Getting rid of the ‘Defaults’
The defaults being all the things that we do ‘extra’ just to keep the client happy on invalid terms. That involves, but not limited to, always saying yes, bending down to every demand, going out of our decided performance or effort scope, compromising on payment terms, giving up on the profit-edge for acquiring client etc.
No client should have the presumption that they can get the company to bend and say yes on any invalid demands. Saying No to the clients who do not value the efforts or asks to prove the worth. Saying No to those who hold the money. Saying No who wants you, to indirectly undervalue your own resource.
Be adamant on the value
Do a good analysis of the value proposition you are making to the client, be confident on the deliverable and then quote. Once quoted, don’t fall back because that will only assure the client that you do not either value your own efforts or you are the ‘saying yes’ one. Your quote reflects your efforts and value you would be proposing and hence you need to decide and stick to it.
Let them go while not burning the bridge
Buckle up, come to office, take the list of the bad clients and mail them goodbye. These clients being the one who are sitting on the payment, delaying the work, consuming way more time than the allotted margin. Mark a straight mail and let them know that you mean business.
Fixed Costing, Hourly and Resource Based
Never give fixed costing.Hourly costing is the best way and Resource Allocation is okay if you have enough resources. Never take the route where you bid on the project first and then start looking for the resource. If you don’t have resource, you don’t take projects – that is the thumb rule.
Sales team should have Superpowers
The first front facing team is Sales team and they should have people with knowledge of niche that you are selling. Ex: If selling dev projects, the sales person should have grip over the topic, if not take the dev who is smart with you. Sales team should never assume on their own while commuting things, that is chaos which spreads over the time. Sales team should expand if they feel pitch-commitment-deliverable gap as they are the ones who need to get contextual projects.
Don’t miss on your own marketing. The case studies of the client work which you pride upon should be built asap as that is the only thing which genuine client wants. You cannot pitch tier-A clients for ‘premium’ budgets if your own social media channel or the online presence is slow and non-engaging. Real players do give importance to these things before handing over the project.
There should be one detailed mail to the client from POC on the on-boarding process. That mail should list names of people working on the project, their profiles, your weekdays, your timings their official email ids, what are the strict no-no (most important), reporting days, point of escalation among other things. Client should acknowledge that before moving forward, so that you don’t have to deal with ‘situations’ afterwards.
Research, Estimations, Consultancy, Scope Creep, Research on Scope Creep, Length reporting Calls, after hour support – everything should be charged. Client should never take you granted and should know that you value your resources and they need to pay for your efforts.
Resource is your Money
You earn from your resources, you deliver quality with their help and your company succeeds on them. Your resource should know what they signed up for and what do you expect in terms of quality from them, Being said that, you should act as firewall between them and any request of client that demeans your resource’s effort.
Invest in Yourself
Kick the ‘bad clients’ right now and use that time to make in team changes that are necessary like creating process, learning and focusing on things that can help you moving forward.
Every client mail in your inbox must be replied by you in 24-hour time, if you can’t reply allocate it to some one else, but the reply should be sent, The 80/20 tactic, kicking bad clients, utilising resources will surely leave you with time to follow this.
8’0 clock Reporting
Resource working on allocated task must mail to POC or lead on the tasks they are working on, the progress and the issue at the end of the day. This way POC remains updated on the latest happening. Same way, client should be communicated ‘weekly update time’ and that should be followed religiously.
No meeting should start without a specific time frame or agenda, that will just ruin your productivity in the longer go.
I’d like to especially thank Vivek Jain, from rtCamp as I had the major share of interaction with him along with Nirav, Jayman, Ajit, Puneet, Devin and Vinodh who answered all my queries and interacted genuinely. Let me tell you, the best part about WordCamps is the interaction you have with others. It’s priceless!
That’s a wrap.