How to Find and Fix Pain Points in your business?
When we think of pain points, generally we think about them as a selling point to securing a project. How to make our proposals a little better, than our competitors. How to distinguish ourselves from our competition? Why our prospective clients need to pay us, as we are going to solve some of their pain points?
After a conversation at WordCamp US2019 in which, my new era of design and business was relayed to me. The need to self-examine your business. To put in a couple of hours per day on your business, in the form of blogging, reading, and updating. I have decided to review some of my pain points and how to identify and possible fix. This is an interesting process, because I am the client.
What are pain points?
Pain points are anything, which cause you stress or an extraordinarily amount of resources (generally time). Pain points typically come in the form of financial, productivity, or support. Financial pain points are easy to find. They are issues, in which you find yourself spending more money than you budget. Productivity pain points are ones in which a process, is so taxing that you lose on your productivity. Finally support pain points are the ones in which you are not able to assist a current or potential client.
Financial Pain Points
Financial pain points for me center around recurring payments from my client. My process is antedated, old and just does not work. I will invoice my clients around the 10th of each month, with payments due by the end of the month. Generally I have a couple of clients, who do not pay me on time. Typically, I have to send out reminders. Since I am using 3rd party vendors (web hosting, email providers, content update solutions, etc.), sometimes these delays in payments have made me short on paying for my services.
Solutions to my financial pain points, I am going to raise my rates by mid June. The notice will come out in April, and I will allow some options. For a reduce rate, my clients can select to have payments automatic deducted from their credit cards. I will send out notices a few days before the payment is to be deducted. If they do not want to have their credit card automatic deducted, then no grace period will be provided (or at least I will have the option of taking down sites). Any new clients will not have the option, all will be placed on a recurring payment plan.
Productivity and Process Pain Points
Productivity and process have to be consistent. Generally I use Asana for all my task management. It is an awesome system, and keeps everyone (my clients and me) on the same page. I can make notes, my clients can make notes. It just works for me. I have just started to send out proposal, and I use Proposify. It works for me, but it is not used on all my potential projects. It needs to be, so that I can develop a pipeline. Convertkit is used as my lead generator. I am working on one for my website, to eliminate projects outside of my niche or price points. A lot of process and time is lost on working on a project, that is outside of my niche or payment minimal. Lastly I have been looking at a couple of invoicing solutions, presently I am working with Freshbooks The jury is still out, but it is my solution at the present time.
Think about your process… How do you on board a new client? How do you find new clients? How do you secure payments from your clients? How do you explain your process to your new clients? Having these questions answered, and in a easy to locate place can save you time and energy (especially if you find yourself working with a difficult client).
Support Pain Point
We do not think about support pain points. Many freelancer do not do everything themselves, they have 3rd party solutions (ie, web hosting companies, content update companies, search engine optimizations companies, marketing companies, etc). Do you have a way to solve some of the pain points, which come into play, when dealing with another company?
Constantly moving from one solution to another is not always the best answer. Sometimes, you will need to just reach out an ask. What happens with we have this conflict? What are the proper channels to solve this issue? Who is my contact person for this or that? It goes a long way, to ask those questions in the early stages of a relationship. Some questions will present themselves as the relationship develops, which is fine, but some of the basic conflict resolution ones need to be hammered out in the beginning stages.
Image courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez
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