Are you valuing your time (and that of your clients)?

Do you arrive at every job or meeting on time? Being punctual is easier than you think. Business Systems Specialist, Tamara Simon, has a few simple tips on forward planning.


I’m sure you’ve heard from family, friends or clients that one of their biggest frustrations is with people who don’t keep appointments, are always running late or don’t allow enough time for meetings. Not to mention those who take phone calls while they are with a client.


Is it any wonder that negative generalisations are held about tradespeople in the building and construction industry and other service based businesses?


Clients want to feel valued because their time is precious too. They want to feel that you actually want to be there, listening to their issues and concerns – rather than feeling like they are a distraction to your day, and that there is somewhere more important to be.


It seems simple enough to provide great client service, but so often not remembering the little things can damage your client relationships and your reputation.


Here are a few tips to help you value your client’s time and meet their expectations.


Tip 1: Include travel time to and from the meeting when you block out your diary.


Allow 15 minutes extra for unexpected traffic or bad weather.


Tip 2: Confirm the appointment time with the client the day before.


Phone or email the client to ensure things haven’t changed since you made the appointment.


Tip 3: Don’t start a task, take calls or discuss anything with your team 15 minutes before you are due to leave for an appointment.


This will ensure you leave on time for the meeting. Use this time to check you have everything you need including directions, the client’s file, tools, safety gear, notepad etc.


Tip 4: Turn off your phone as soon as you arrive at the appointment.


You don’t want to take a call that could make you late for the client. This also means you will be truly focused on the client and not distracted.


Tip 5: If absolutely necessary, have your phone on silent or vibrate.


If there is something so urgent that it can’t wait an hour or so, explain to your client that you are expecting an important phone call and may have to take the call.



Tip 6: Keep a notepad in your car.


If you arrive more than ten minutes before the meeting, use this time to get a jumpstart on a task, draft an email or to jot down ideas, but keep an eye on the time, as you don’t want to be late.


Tip 7: Get out of the car 10 minutes before the meeting time.


This allows you the time to collect your gear, lock the car and arrive calmly, whilst still ensuring you are early or on time. Better you are waiting for the client than the other way around.


These tips are simply common sense, but they will help you to value your time as well as your clients. As the saying goes, time is money – it is a precious commodity that we should respect, not dismiss.


Thomas C Haliburton says that “punctuality is the soul of business”. Remember: whether you are on time or not is often the first impression your potential client will get, and it may determine if they do business with you or not.


tamara_simonTamara Simon was a Queensland Finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards. With extensive experience in over 10 industry sectors including building design, training, auditing and marketing, she is passionate about helping build profitable and sustainable service-based businesses.