Steering the ship and bending over backwards for clients

Anyone else feel like this week is flying by?

Yeah, me too…

Anyway, most of this week has been spent on business operations and sales.

Operations to make sure the wheels are spinning and the clients we have/immigration work we’re doing is progressing forward.

So far, the tech seems to be doing it’s job and we’re getting into a good flow with our new immigration app.

Sales is – and will for quite some time – be a big focus for me, as we slowly want to start ramping up the number of users/companies on the app.

The interesting thing about solopreneurship and entrepreneurship is that on a weekly basis, I find there are the things you’re doing and the things you’re thinking about. And they aren’t always the same thing.

This week, I’m doing more operations and sales calls. But I’m thinking about the general direction of the ship.

The ship, of course, is the business.

Now that we’re live, now that we’ve got 15+ companies using our app, now that it’s working well enough…

Where do we go next?

What things are working that we want to double-down on, and what things are not worth it (at least for the time being)?

These – at the end of the day – are the things that the CEO has to decide on behalf of a company, or just for yourself running a solopreneur business.

I think that in the last week or two my mind started to drift. I started noticing other opportunities that seemed promising, and spent some time evaluating them.

I don’t think it was in vain, but what I’m doing this week, is resetting. Resetting and solidifying what we know works right now, and building toward a future of 2-3 key focuses that are in the direction we want to go in.

I also wanted to share an “issue” we faced on Friday.

If you do any form of client work, you might be able to relate.

Long story short is we’ve been streamlining our process to help Canadian companies find developers from around the world that want to come to Canada.

This means building a database of developers, vetting developers based on the needs of our clients and sending a shortlist of the best ones.

One client doesn’t love the format of our shortlist, and requested it be sent to them differently.

My first thought was: none of our other clients have complained about it, so why should we change it? It will only create more work for our team.

My second thought was: this is kind of a sticky situation, because we obviously want to keep them happy as a client.

My final thought was: is there a middle ground here, where we can use their feedback/suggestions to improve our current shortlist for all clients?

I think there probably is.

What we decided to do was discuss it as a team, sleep on it over the weekend and come up with a solution that:

  • addresses some of the concerns of the client
  • maintains a lot of our current systems and processes, so it stays manageable and scaleable for our team
  • could actually improve our deliverable so that all clients benefit in the end

My key takeaway was: some client demands are unreasonable, some are very reasonable – but some are in the middle. For the ones in the middle, think of them as suggestions and feedback on ways to improve your product or service, without sacrificing the processes you already have in place.

Because while we don’t want to build entire processes for a single client (in our case, because we’re trying to build scalable tech – this could be different for a solopreneur business, especially if it’s for a very big client), we do want to use any feedback we can to make things better.

We ended up taking the weekend to consider her feedback and think about how we could improve our process because a) I think all feedback should at least be considered, even if it seems ridiculous at first, and b) she is in fact a great client so there was probably substance to the feedback that we should address.

Her feedback came with 2 suggested alternatives, but we ignored them both.

In a sense…

We didn’t follow either of her alternatives (because it would have meant going out of our way for just 1 client), but instead took the core problem and improved our entire process to address it.

The result?

She loved it – and the rest of our clients might benefit from it as well.

So the next time a client or anyone else has feedback about something related to your product or service, don’t ignore it. It might not be wise to do exactly what they’re asking for, but it’s usually wise to understand their underlying complaint and try to address it.

Hope your week is going well, and if you like my solopreneur blog and want more of this content right to your inbox, make sure to sign up for the daily email here!

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