I’ve written about it before but apparently not everyone got the message. In business today, speed is everything. Whoever is faster will be the winner. Good leaders realize this is true and act accordingly.
Here are some areas you need to consider your “speed” in and ask yourself if you are fast enough:
- Decision making. It’s a big problem in the AEC business. People can’t make a decision. As a result, they miss out on opportunities and don’t stop problems from growing into full-blown crises. There’s always more information one could ask for in building a case that they need. Time is a huge deal. Entrepreneurs know that the right decision is time-dependent. What could be the best decision at one point in time is not necessarily for a different point in time.
- Returning phone calls and emails. The sooner you do it the better. More people will feel you care about them and provide good service. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of this. Anyone can do it. It doesn’t take any special skill or resources. It is just an attitude and willingness to do it.
- Lead follow-up. Speed is everything here! The moment you hear about a potential need for your services you have to JUMP. Any delay and the opportunity can be lost. Ditto for submitting a fee proposal when it’s requested. Don’t delay. Be the first to get your proposal to the client versus being the last. It shows you care and want to work with the client.
- Information sharing. Speed is the watchword, whether we are talking about project meeting notes, project financial reports, or financial reports for the overall firm’s performance. The sooner people get the information they need, the sooner they can act. This is important!
- Criticism/praise. The experts will tell you that you cannot wait until a once-a-year performance appraisal to give someone positive or negative feedback. It should happen all year long. The closer the feedback occurs to the actual event – be it good or bad – the more valuable that criticism or praise is to the person receiving it. Speed is crucial!
- Billing and collection. The sooner you can get your bills out, the sooner you can collect what’s owed. And the sooner you start trying to collect, the sooner you will get your money. And the sooner you get your money, the sooner you can invest it in something that will (hopefully) make you more of it. Simple idea but powerful.
- Delivery of final work product. How about being fast at doing the work so you can thoroughly check it over before turning it over to the client? How about being early to complete your work so your client has more time to build it? Not to mention the fact that being fast to deliver will enhance your reputation and get you even more work. Speed is important to your success!
Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.