When piecing together a suite of business documents for the Branch launch in September, one of the must-haves on our list was a Process Sheet. A lot of creative businesses have a Price Sheet that lists their most popular packages and rates but a Process Sheet is less common. Over time, I had learned the hard way that I needed one. When reflecting back on my design career, one of the biggest mistakes I made early on was not properly conveying the value of my work to clients.
As a small creative business, when someone new inquires about your services, put yourself in their shoes: most of them haven’t worked with a professional in your field before. Because of this, your pricing might seem totally outlandish to them. It’s not completely their fault — often, they wonder how “a logo” could possibly cost so much but it’s because they don’t see all the in-between steps of the process clearly. It’s your job to inform them about your unique process and why the tasks take the length of time they do. Once they understand this, the value of hiring you becomes much clearer.
At Branch, during our initial conversations with potential new clients, we a send over a PDF document outlining each step of the process with the estimated amount of time it takes listed under each step. This serves another, less obvious purpose; it holds both sides accountable since the first few tasks are a team effort.
Besides value, the Process Sheet conveys another important component: time. If someone contacts you and asks you how long their project will take and you reply with 2 months and little explanation, that seems like forever in their world! After all, they are probably running a small business and the faster they have that new identity in place, the better. But, once you break down the timeline with each deliverable and they see how it contributes to the final outcome of their branding, they’ll usually sign off.
A Process Sheet conveys the value of your skills, time and effort upfront. The more your clients feel like they’re in the know, the more they will respect you. And when both sides are happy, the work always turns out better, doesn’t it? —Shauna