“Business is booming” isn’t always a good thing.
A surplus of demand can detract from your company’s growth and sustainability in countless ways if you aren’t prepared for it, but that conversation isn’t nearly as uncommon as the conversation we need to have.
When Busyness Isn’t Good for Business
Offering a clear, high-value proposition to your clients requires a capacity and elevated focus that is not available when you and your team are overrun with busy work.
The hard truth is that if less-than-aligned projects are eating up your time, you’re inadvertently saying no to bigger and better things.
The idea of turning away clients might seem outlandish, especially when you’ve invested so much of yourself to build your company and your reputation. But when you aren’t discerning about who you work with, you and your business pay the cost.
Building Boundaries for Alignment, Fulfillment, and Profitability
One of my Catapult clients, the founder and CEO of her company, found herself in exactly this position.
Her business was booming, but it didn’t feel like something to celebrate. Far too much of her time–and her team’s–was being spent on projects and clients who weren’t aligned with company values and the work she wanted to put into the world.
Meeting those demands and deadlines was diminishing their capacity to elevate their services and operations and, in turn, limiting profitability and growth potential.
My client needed to draw a line in the sand and create better boundaries around the opportunities she said “yes” to so that she could continue to grow the company, elevate their offerings, and execute with excellence.
To ensure she had a clear and effective framework to guide the transition to that focused, high-value proposition, we created a Client Scorecard to filter out patrons and projects that were less than aligned with her vision.
The Business Benefits of Building a Client Scorecard
The results of creating clear boundaries around who your company serves and the work you do speak to the key goals of every business owner.
- Increased profitability
- Improved productivity
- Clarified project planning and prioritization
- More efficient allocation of resources
- Higher customer satisfaction
- Better identification of growth opportunities
- More job satisfaction for you and your team
Qualifying Your Client Criteria
The purpose of the Client Scorecard is to systematize the decision-making process by creating a standard measure that you can apply to all potential projects across the board.
Not only will this method help you filter out the work that falls out of scope or your desired specialty, but it will also reduce the stress you feel around making those decisions. And it will create more clarity and cohesion for you and your team.
If you’re a high-performing business leader who wants to do more of the work you love and make a more meaningful impact, here are some questions to help you find clarity:
- What is your ideal budget and timeline for this kind of project?
- What do the project scope and outcomes ideally look like?
- How much labor are you willing to invest in these projects?
- How does this offering impact your available resources and workload?
- What does your ideal client’s decision-making process and timeline look like?
Focusing on these details helps ground an otherwise objective process in functional criteria that you can use to create better boundaries – and opportunities – for you and your business.
Clarifying the Qualifications
Now that you’ve created some parameters to guide your decisions, it’s time to create your Client Scorecard.
The first section of your Client Scorecard uses professional parameters to grade potential projects. Each of the following four questions is worth one point. Whether you decide to allot half or quarter points as part of your process is entirely up to you.
- Is the scope of the project appealing?
- Does the price tag include a solid ROI?
- Is the labor required a worthwhile investment?
- Is the work aligned with your vision and goals for your company?
If these questions don’t resonate with you, adjust them to reflect the metrics you want to use as qualifying criteria. If you aren’t sure what needs to be shifted, experiment with applying these measures and see what other questions come up for you in the process.
What essential elements need to be factored into YOUR equation?
Remember, you aren’t writing anything in stone. Your business is always shifting and growing. Your Client Scorecard will evolve alongside it. Give yourself permission to play with what works best for you and your company.
Determining the Deciding Factor
The second part of your Client Scorecard is a personal qualifier because you really don’t want to work with just anyone. There’s only one question here, and it is strictly Pass/Fail.
My client was tired of investing her energy and expertise in clients who were inconsiderate and entitled, so, for her, the ultimate deciding factor is this:
Would she hang out with this potential client outside of work?
If the answer is no, the project is a no-go. Even if it did score 4 points under her professional criteria.
Now my client has more time and energy to focus on the work and clients that feel aligned and exciting. She has a simple system in place to easily identify those opportunities when they come her way, and she’s making more money doing work she loves for folks she’s excited to empower.
Do More of What You Love
This simple tool cuts to the heart of your more audacious goals and deepest desires to bring more meaning, more alignment, and more spaciousness to your work.
What metrics move the dial in the direction you want to take your company?
Don’t be afraid to talk to your team about what makes or breaks their motivation.
What feedback or observations do they have to share?
What standards do they need you to set to protect their best work?
Strong boundaries and clear expectations are beautiful things. Like anything worthwhile, they take time to build, but creating your own Client Scorecard will help you get there, so you can do more of the work you love to do.
Start crafting the next chapter of your success story with Catapult Immersion® an elite, one-on-one, strategic consulting engagement created exclusively for ambitious, high-performing business owners like you.
Ready to take the first step? Fill out your alignment application here.