How many times have you spec’d out a project and given yourself way more time than necessary to meet the deadline? It’s pretty common to practice to generously pad our project deadlines. After all, you never know what’s going to pop-up between now and then, right?
As a result of this general practice of padding our deadlines, many businesses have fallen into the routine of waiting until their deadline approaches to submit their deliverables. It’s almost as if we are scared of “over-delivering.” Let me assure you, you are not going to meet a client who will complain because their service provider is too efficient. Many projects and tasks take the fully allotted time that was originally set for them. However, we should not let “beating the deadline” scare us away from improving our processes and highlighting our efficiencies.
It doesn’t always hold true, but most times, the faster we are the better we become. Speed should be recognized as a strength, not a weakness. Just because you can produce more, more quickly, doesn’t mean it lacks in creativity or quality. Sure, you may make more off of a single project if you set an exaggerated deadline and overstaff it. However, the real success comes from retention, and clients stay clients longer when they feel like they are getting the most out of the partnership. The business that’s most efficient while still providing top quality will beat out the competition every time.
So the lesson here is this: don’t be afraid of beating the deadline – accept it as a challenge. You may just end up with more business than you ever expected.