Shhhh I have a confession. Despite the official operating hours of Sutton Creative Studios, my work day begins well before 9am. How much before 9am? Well, thats between me and my coffee maker, however I promise I do NOT mean 8:59. And if you must know, my work day often ends well after 5pm however dont expect me to respond to your emails unless we previously agreed on it. Why? Because BEFORE 9am and AFTER 5pm are mine.(Read more)
- 1. suttoncreativestudios.com http://suttoncreativestudios.com/before-9am/October 6,2014Before 9amShhhh I have a confession. Despite the official operating hours of Sutton Creative Studios, my work day begins wellbefore 9am. How much before 9am? Well, thats between me and my coffee maker, however I promise I do NOTmean 8:59.And if you must know, my work day often ends well after 5pm however dont expect me to respond to your emailsunless we previously agreed on it.Why?Because BEFORE 9am and AFTER 5pm are mine.If youre a parent you will understand where Im coming from with this comparison: As a toddler, children willconstantly test the boundaries to see what they can get away with. For example, our daughter went through a phaseof slapping us. Because we held our ground and gave her a firm, No!, she learned she could not get away with it.Clients are the same way.Dont get me wrong theyre not trying to get away with hitting their contractors when they email before 9am or after5pm. However if you always reply and/or complete the work theyve requested before 9am or after 5pm, what are youteaching them?Your clients need to understand completely that your time IS your time.Recently I had a client start telling me when she has appointments scheduled thatI need to be on.I scratched my head out of confusion when I saw these emails.Im sorry When did I become an employee rather than a contractor/consultant?Nothing in my contract says I will be available when you are.Remember: As a FREELANCE contractor/consultant you are offering yourclient(s) a specialized service. You are a skilled professional, and as suchyou should be treated that way. You are not a call girl (or at least I dontthink you are?), and your client is not your pimp. YOU have ultimate sayand authority over your calendar regardless of what time it is.If you find that one or more clients are regularly pushing the boundaries of your work day, then perhaps its time tofigure out why: Do you have a turn-around clause in your contract? If so, how soon do you promise delivery of work to yourclients? How about an emergency clause? Just because your client (or his/her client) waits until the last minute toannounce they need something doesnt mean its your problem. Offer a rush service, however make it clear that anywork performed as rush will cost 2-3 xs your regular rate.You will either eliminate rush jobs altogether, or you willmake a bit of extra dough.
2. Are you answering emails before 9am and after 5pm? If so STOP! Clients will begin to expect immediateresponses to all their correspondence, and the last thing you will want to hear after taking a night off is, Well, I sentan email at 9pm last night Why didnt you respond? What does the outgoing message on your voicemail say? Does it clearly state your regular business hours?I realize all of what I have just written could come across with attitude and seem like I have little to no appreciation orrespect for my clients. This is not the case at all. However in 30 years my clients will not remember whether or not Ianswered a call or email before 9am. My children, husband, friends and family, however, will remember if I was toobusy to spend time with them. With that said, who do YOU work for?If youre going to be working before 9am or after 5pm, here are a few tasks I would love to see you workingon: Your business blog Does your business even have a blog? If not, you are missing out on a HUGE opportunity toshowcase your expertise! Developing your business strategies Could your business run itself if you needed to take a leave of absence?EVERY process within your company should be well-documented so that anybody else can pick up where somebody(unexpectedly) leaves off. Marketing How often are you evaluating your print or social media marketing materials? Are you participating inLinkedIn groups? Are you thanking your new Twitter followers with a personal message?If you are going to work before 9am and/or after 5pm, make sure these extra hours work FOR your business,and not against it.*****Kim Sutton is the Managing Partner and Chief Everything Officer at SuttonCreative Studios, an agency specializing in business consulting, Infusionsoftconsulting, social media management, graphic design and virtual assistance.She is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where sheearned her Bachelors Degree in Interior Architecture. In her free-time, Kimcherishes the time she gets to spend with her husband, Dave (her businesspartner), and three children. She also enjoys reading, knitting and writing. Youare invited to follow Sutton Creative Studios by following our blog, subscribingto our newsletter, or following/liking us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,Google+ or Pinterest. In addition, please comment and/or contact us with anyquestions. Copyright Sutton Creative Studios - Built with Passion