OAK has been in business now for 2+ years, and we have over this time gone through a lot of crests and troughs. We have come to appreciate and loved clients who believed in us, and worked through the challenges of working with those who struggled with us. We have learnt a lot, and we are still constantly learning but we have identified a few lessons that we are happy to share our thoughts on.
1. IT STARTS ON DAY 1 – ALWAYS GO TO THAT FIRST MEETING THINKING THAT IT IS START OF SOMETHING GOOD.
2. Never ever stop working on that lead - Treat every interaction with the prospective client as if it is your first date.
3. Invest your time into your client - Let your client know that you are prepared to give them the time that it would take you to learn their business.
4. Persist - Don’t give up on the client just because you do not like what you hear.
5. Be an extension to your client’s team - Your relationship with your client should not just be just about the contract and the contract deliverables. Step in when they need you.
6. Let the client know that you are in it for the long-term - We all love consistent stable relationships, and that applies equally well to business relationships.
7. Don’t exploit a situation, EVER - When a client is in a corner, don’t push them more into that corner. Be there when they need you, and often will least expect you to.
8. If they can’t pay you, try help them find out how they can – what matters is that you get paid, and if you can help the client raise it – BINGO.
9. Be prepared to say a “NO” to the money – esp if you know that the client either needs something simpler, or already has a minimum viable product to go to the market. Better to lose the money but keep the relationship.
10. IT IS ALL ABOUT LITTLE THINGS – SURPRISE YOUR BEST CLIENTS WITH LITTLE UNANTICIPATED SURPRISES (A LOGO DESIGN, A SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN, A LITTLE SOMETHING THAT HELPS AND ADDS CAPACITY).