Tuesday, February 02, 2010

My Ideal Client/Service Provider Relationship

Had a big editorial client meeting today. Got lots of corrections and additions for a publication I'm doing for them. This is my most favourite client, mostly because the people are so pleasant to work with. They ask politely for things to get done, they give me enough time to do it, and when we do have glitches, as invariably happens with large-scale projects, the issue is not who is to blame, but what needs to get done to fix the problem. To me that is the yardstick for an ideal client/service provider relationship.

In my whole career,I've probably worked with clients who offered me more money, saw themselves as being at the top of their industry. Maybe even the projects were/could have been more exciting. But in the absence of respect for me as a service provider, I've found it's actually better for me to walk away. Cheaper, cos I don't waste time managing situations that didn't have to occur in the first place. Less stressful for me ( which in turns means I'm more productive and eager to work on the project). And we correct glitches quickly which saves everyone time and money.

After the meeting, I went to the barber to get my hair cut. It's been more than a month since my last cut, so I had quite a lot of hair to get rid of. I feel bad for my barber - you might remember he charges R10 a cut? Surely his service is worth more? I also go back because of his excellent customer service, and to me he seems more like a hair artist rather than someone with a machine razing hair away. In any case, I couldn't help but think of many writers and small business owners of my acquiantance, who charge almost nothing for their service, and are afraid to raise rates because the customers might go somewhere else. In the case of my barber, who's coming from a low base, I'd probably continue to go to him even if raised his rates 100%. So, how much can you increase your rates and still keep your clients?

Anyhoo, I've decided to start bringing order to my veg garden, which has grown huge over the past couple of months. Initially, I just removed the lawn, treated the soil and then planted. Just wanted to see if stuff would grow there, after years of having lawn. As you know by now, yes, it did grow. but it was all over the place, with no particular design to make the garden pretty and accessible, even while it's useful. So yesterday I drew pathways through the garden, sourced some sand, bricks and gravel, and added some structure. There's still three other patches ( bigger than that one) that still have to be redesigned. But I like the way it has all turned out. You like?


po said...

Helloo I think your veg garden looks great but I am totally clueless! I am so impressed by your hairdresser, is he actually able to live off those fees? He must shave loads of heads!

Tamara said...

Your veggies look great! Love the paths.

I wish I had more clients that like. Mine all seem to be complicated or difficult. Or both ;-)

I think I'm one of those writers who's to scared to push the price up. *sigh* I'm working on it.

Ordinarylife said...

Looks great - I am really jealous. All my veggies died because we are not allowed to water!

We are busy installing rain tanks, so IF it rains in the near future we will be able to capture some of it and put it to good use. For now I just have a dust bowl of a garden.

Damaria Senne said...

@pam - shame. i'm guessing you guys have not been getting much rain? Because I haven't watered my garden since late October/early November. Rain is keeping my garden watered, and I'm planting up as many annuals as possible to take advantage of the free water. And maybe I should also use your idea; install some rain tanks.

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