Managing expectations are very important to any business, but managing expectations work both sides of the coin; as a business owner having to manage client expectations as well as being a client yourself and managing your own expectations. There are a few things to take into consideration when managing expectations:
In the wise words of Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction: “Assumption makes an ass out of you and umption.” If you are unsure or don’t understand something; ask, ask and ask ‘till you’ve cleared away any confusion.
There is no such thing as over communicating when it comes to business. Psychology teaches us that what I say and think you hear can be very different from what you actually hear. We need to ensure that we communicate thoroughly through these loopholes of perception and reception. Also always communicate in writing. This is not solely for legal reasons and covering your own ass, but because we are all human. We forget things and having everything in writing makes it easy to remind us of exactly what was said and asked.
- Embrace the apocalypse
Go through all those “what if” scenarios if everything go wrong. What’s your contingency plan?
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint
This is true for any business development or marketing strategy. There are no quick fixes. That’s why it’s so important to have all of this in place BEFORE trouble starts. Many wait ‘till the business is on life support before asking for help and in many cases it might be too late to save it. A successful and sustainable business and marketing model takes patience.
- ROI (Return On Investment)
It’s a universal truth that you get out what you put in. Obviously, in business and marketing the goal is to get MORE out than your initial investment, but this is not what I’m referring to when it comes to managing expectations. I’m referring to the expectation of shooting the entire Titanic movie on a budget of R500 when you won’t even be able to hire a cameraman to take a short video of you sitting in your bathtub for that amount. Or expecting a website with intricate coding and tons of databases’ running in the back-end, but you only want to spend R2000 on it. This is absolutely impossible, so we need to be realistic.
This is also where the responsibility and integrity of business owners come into play, because if you as a business owner promise clients a trip around the world when in reality they can barely afford an Uber trip down the street… well, good luck dealing with THAT apocalypse.
If we keep these 5 things in mind we will be able to successfully manage our clients as well as our own expectations.