Where you are, working hard on whatever project you’ve got cooking for a client. Maybe you’ve got a cupcake order you’re about to fill. Or maybe you’re making a prom dress. Or building a coffee table. Or doing some online research. Or building a web page. And then it happens. The power goes out.
What do you do next?
It’s not just about the power going out. It’s about any hiccup that may happen in your day that will affect you getting your work done. The power goes out. You woke up with a migraine. Your child has the flu. There’s a family emergency. Whatever that hiccup might be, when you work at home, you need to be able to have a plan of action to ensure your customers remain happy and that the work gets done. Here are 3 steps you should take for your plan of action.
Practice Risk Management
Manage your risk. This really should be happening before the lights go out. Before the problem happens, ask yourself, What will I do if X happens? With my other business, I (Andrea) have two things that I do to make sure the work for my clients gets done. First, I have people that help. That’s huge. Second, we all play back up to each other. That means, if my power goes out, if I’m sick, if I want to go on vacation, my clients still get their work done. In case of emergency, go to the next person!
Maybe you don’t have a team yet. But perhaps you do have some friends or family that could provide help. Hey mom, my power is out and I have two dozen cupcakes to bake. Can I come over and bake them at your place? Or finish building the coffee table. Or whatever. Find someone who has power and ask to come over. (And if you’re just doing computer work, I highly recommend #Starbucks!)
Review the risks and mitigate your damages by planning ahead for problems.
Notify Your Customer Immediately
The worst thing you can do to a customer is to ignore him. If you’re working against a deadline, your client deserves to know when you’ll be able to complete the project. And it only takes a simple phone call. Or send an email via phone. Or a text message if you’re familiar enough with your client. It’s as simple as “I just wanted to let you know that the power is out here, but I’m working to get your project done by the deadline.” Clients just want to know that you’re on top of things.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
After you let your client know what the situation is, stay in touch. Don’t be a jerk and say “I’m working on it” and then use a power outage as an excuse to slack off. Send updates. Especially if your hiccup is going to last more than an hour or two. Your clients will appreciate it, they’ll feel better knowing that you are staying on top of things, and they’ll be more willing to send over future projects or recommend others to you.
What are some of the things you do to make sure your clients aren’t left in the dark?
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.