Regardless of your place, position or purpose in life, everyone appreciates knowing what to expect in their relationships. As a business owner, I’ve come to learn the same goes for each of my customers and clients. In fact, clear expectations contribute to the success of both my business and the client.
Working with high school students in assisting them in their preparedness for college admissions can often feel more like wandering through a forest uncertain of which way is best. As an IEC, we can see the journey and recognize the fact that it’s complex, stressful and filled with options, but navigating through this forest without knowing where to go will only lead to an aimless pursuit of a cherished outcome.
In order to prevent this “guesswork” as a new(er) IEC, might I suggest beginning each client/customer relationship with a set of clear expectations! Plan now to build your practice a clear roadmap outlining what this relationship will look like, what sort of things will be encountered and what role they (and you) will play in the journey. Explain the timeline, describe the players and further, warn of potential pitfalls to anticipate.
Now, keep in mind, this is a fluid process. It’s ongoing! As you encounter those expectations you were unable to forecast, take note of them. Account for the lessons you’ve learned along the journey. You will surely have moments when you say to yourself, “I need to change this!” Then, each year, revisit these expectations and revise them accordingly.
Ultimately, all we want to do is grow our new IEC business. To do this we must always keep a finger on the pulse of its operations. Taking this first step in our business/client(customer) relationships will prevent many misguided steps in the future. As with any relationship, setting clear expectations will bring you one step closer to ensuring success!