Successful Business Tips Part 1 – Going Beyond the Call of Duty
There are essential steps to running a business to ensure smooth sailing. As part of our blog mandate, we would like to share with you certain tools and knowledge that we’ve gained working on Bis Films for the last two and a half years. The subject I would like to address is the idea of ‘going beyond the call of duty’ in regards to clients – old, new, or future – and peers. This is one thing that we promised ourselves to upkeep over the years, regardless of how much work comes our way. There are several ways to stand out as an honest, hardworking, and loyal company:
If you receive an email from a potential client or someone you’ve worked with before, even if it doesn’t interest you, get back in touch with them within a couple days at most – not a week or two later. Daily, we get people writing Bis Films asking us to produce scripts, to volunteer or to ask advice and 95% of the time, our answer is ‘sorry, we’re not hiring’ or ‘sorry, we aren’t looking for scripts at the moment’. The point is we always respond to every email we get – because it’s nice first of all! – but also because you never know what professional relationship you might gain from it. After responding to this one guy offering his director of photography services to tell him we didn’t need them but would keep him in mind, he wrote back thanking me for having given him “the time of day” and actually looking at his reel. Unfortunately, I couldn’t work with him then, but I’m sure that if I need him in the future, we will have left on the right foot!
2. Wrapping up a Project:
Once you’ve completed a project, there are several small things you can do to follow through with the client. First off, it’s a great idea to have a meeting or phone chat with your client to find out their impression of how the work unfolded. Not only does this give you great insight into how others perceive your services, but it also tells the client that you’re not too proud to learn from other more seasoned professionals. Some of our best lessons and feedback has come from these postpartum meetings.
Something else that we like to do is to leave the client with a small gesture of appreciation. This all depends on the nature, size, and length of the project just completed. For every project, we send our client a custom ‘Thank You’ card. For the larger projects, we find that a card along with a little bottle of wine is always a nice touch. Although we know this scores brownie points, the point is to show that we’re grateful for the trust the client invested in us. Last year, we completed a huge project that lasted close to 8 months. We wanted to thank our client for having given us the opportunity to work with them and so we gave him a bottle of bubbly. The bottle of wine or bubbly is just a kicker. The card is what really shows your true colors.
The last tip I would like to share with you is to be flexible with your time and expertise. If a client needs some help with something small, but that’s not necessarily part of the project at hand, evaluate whether you’re able to help or not. This doesn’t mean working lots of extra hours without getting paid. It translates as you ‘going beyond the call of duty’ to help someone who values your knowledge in the first place. It’s important to know your limits though.
These are just a few tips that help to build strong professional relationships. If you have other suggestions that you would like to share with us, don’t hesitate to let us know!