Thursday, 25 February 2016
The journey was particularly tiresome, waiting in traffic on the M25 for almost an hour, almost doubling the anticipated journey time. The round-trip took over six hours, which works out to about one hour a year, which is a really good ratio compared with most client meetings. We all felt that it was worth the effort as we often wandered off-topic, filling in gaps that would not be covered via email.
The meeting was a great opportunity to fill in knowledge gaps on both sides for a greater understading of how we can work together, better. Typically, our clients are proud of the quality of their work but don't expect others to find it interesting. Signcraft creates signage, which can sound flat but the projects are so varied - this is why there is a section on their website for case studies. These include giant wall coverings, giant hoardings and wraps around buildings, printing backgrounds for box-office films and more 'ordinary stuff' such as estate agents' board service and shop fascias... and more... plus their company news.
Many of our clients are south of our mid-Herts base; we have been recommended to them and contact has been mainly via email or 'phone. Word of our cost-effective services has spread amongst the small businesses of Watford and North-West London, which is the main reason that we do not meet often, if at all (although there are good links via the A1, M1 and Great Northern Rail).
We write blog posts for a client on the North London / South Herts borders who we have never met yet he has introduced several new clients to us over recent years.
We have some loyal local clients, too. For example, Keelings (Accountants) have been a client since the turn of the century! At the time, they were based in Hitchin, Herts., but have been based in Old Hatfield for more than ten years. The BPc designed Keelings' first website and redesigned it a few years later. We still update it with quarterly newsletters but would love to bring it up to date, technologically, as soon as possible. We have met with this client to discuss their website just once in all that time.
We have designed a number of interim websites and supplied various graphic design services for a client in Welwyn, since their business start-up in 2006. Millers Cleaning Services expanded to Millers Property Services and is now trading as MPS Facility Services. In those ten years, we have met with Millers just three or four times.
The BPC has designed a commemorative '10 years trading' graphic in the MPS Ltd company style for display on their website, social media, emails and stationery.
Further afield, we have a client in the Provence, South of France, who we met once around the year 2000 and who subsequently used The BPc for a new website for their new venture, almost 15 years later. Visit www.sunhatfrance.com for a family holiday and you could meet them too!
So, how important is it to meet up? It doesn't seem to be important to many businesses - as long as you keep in touch by other means. We have a good business relationship with our clients because we get on with things, keep them informed and don't put demands on their busy schedules.