Our August 6th blog post “Marketing Efforts must equal Sales Results” discussed the benefits of deliberately evaluating the positive outcomes or disappointing shortfalls of your marketing and sales efforts. It is important to evaluate your performance in various aspects of your business in order to best decide which efforts are worthwhile, and which should be stopped or changed.
This week we’d like to expand on this idea by looking at evaluating a project on its completion. Entrepreneurs are in business to close sales, and do so specifically in order to make a profit. What happens if your project doesn’t pan out the way you wanted it to? Is a sale on the books a good thing if it didn’t serve the business with profit or other positive outcomes? Can we work to duplicate our successes over again if we did everything right?
Here are some of the main questions to ask while evaluating a project.
Was the customer a hassle or a dream?
During a project, you might find yourself wishing that every customer could be as great to work with. They could have been easy to communicate with, fun to work for, or transparent and accommodating during the project planning. Or they could have been the opposite on all of those categories.
Did the “scope creep”?
Scope creep commonly refers to an occurrence where the deliverables, materials and expectations for a job grow beyond what was defined in the original plan, quote or work order, without an increase in price, expense allowances or time. Scope creep can negatively affect profitability, deadlines and customer satisfaction.
Were direct expenses what you expected?
Often businesses are expected to quote a project including all of the materials, sub contract labour, travel expenses and other costs. Work to make sure the margin for profit on the deal was what you expected.
Did you get paid well and on time?
Earning money is only helpful if you actually collect it. A customer’s recent reliability for paying is a good predictor of his or her future reliability. Ensure that you were not carrying expenses or incurring interest expenses because of a delay in payment from the customer.
Is it likely that the customer will buy again or refer a contact?
Enabling a customer who has already purchased from you to easily purchase again is a very important opportunity. The marketing expenses incurred to acquire that customer are already spent. Find something that can be done to encourage this referral.
Inventorying the “lessons learned”, both good and bad, is an important step in laying the groundwork for future or continuing entrepreneurial success.
Interested in learning more? Contact us!