What to Do When You Can’t Meet a Deadline
Being under time pressure is not a new scene for businesses and the workforce, including creative professionals. Working with multiple projects at a time under the scrutinizing eyes of clients puts our juggling and decision-making skills to the test. Here at MicroCreatives, we are dedicated to managing expectations by providing realistic and manageable project timelines and deadlines. However, delays can still happen, due to unforeseeable reasons or due to a miscalculation on the end of the creative.
Those off days are awkward and hard to handle and can affect your reputation and ability to attract new clients. How would you mitigate the impact of the delay? Clear, direct communication with clients is the key to ensuring the survival of your career, especially in a scenario like this.
Update Your Client
You may want this as the last resort, but in this situation, the best thing to do is to keep your client in the loop. Giving your clients a heads up about the delay is a much better option than letting them wait until the end with no results to see. Updating your client puts things into proper perspective and gives way for you and the client to explore other options to push the deadline or what help they can provide to finish the project on time.
Render Overtime if You Must
As much as possible, we manage and schedule our projects just enough for eight or nine hours a day. But as we are handling more than one project, there will be times that the delay will be caused by an unexpected revision from another project. It can also be caused by a personal emergency. Either way, sacrificing a project that you already committed to is never an option.
Don’t hesitate to speak with your superior to let you render overtime to reach your deadlines on time. If it’s the client who needs the project completed soon, be realistic with your timeline and be honest about your current workload. Let them know that you would need to work overtime in order to make it to the required deadline. Chances are, they may agree to move the deadline or agree to pay overtime or a rush fee.
Call for Reinforcement
Creative agencies usually have a pool of graphic designers, web developers, animators, video editors, and copywriters in a team. Having a team with verticals that have more than one specialist allows for collaboration and a faster turnaround time. Project management and tracking software like Jira and Asana keep us updated on the status of our projects and makes it available to everyone in case a certain project needs added help.
Calling for reinforcement can also refer to creative businesses that need assistance in meeting their deadlines. Outsourcing your creative projects to offshore creative agencies like MicroCreatives is the best way for you to take on and finish more projects, especially during peak season, without the need to hire additional permanent, in-house staff and purchase and set-up new hardware and equipment.
Formulate Feasible Solutions
After explanations have been laid out, it’s time to think of solutions. Listen to what your clients will offer and ensure that the process is achievable within the constraints of the delayed project. More than working hard, it’s also important to work smart. Work economically with what you have in terms of time and resources and produce a high-quality result that is worthy of the extended hours.
Clients admire it when their request is achieved and finished on time. But it is much more admirable to have an open, honest, and a direct working relationship. Checking and exploring all your options to beat the clock is our prime gameplan. Deadlines are part of the business. A good creative professional handles both the creative side and the business aspect of the project efficiently, but a noble one also knows how to handle trying situations and knows how to recover from it.