How I Work
So you can move your business forward.
Large marketing and design firms typically have full-time project or account managers on staff. I offer the same services to small design firms who may need assistance for only a period of time or specific projects. Like other outsourced services you may engage, I can be hired to assist you with managing your projects on either an hourly or by-project basis. This allows you to have professional project management services that fit your workload and budgets. Have questions? Please contact me, or review some answers below:
I can charge by the hour or by the project depending on what works best for your workload.
If you prefer the hourly method, we can establish a set number of hours per week that I will dedicate to projects you assign me to manage. I will only charge for the actual number of hours used. If the number of hours is exceeded, I will let you know ahead of time and we can either increase the hours or decrease the projects. This option requires a minimum of 4 hours per week.
If you have a specific project you would like me to manage, we will determine a total number of hours based on your project proposal budget.
My experience includes managing a wide variety of print and digital projects. Print projects have included advertising, branding redesigns, brochures, catalogues, direct mail and magazines. Digital projects have included websites, e-newsletters, online ad campaigns and banner ads. Projects have been for clients such as associations, non-profits, business services, insurance, IT services, law firms and retail.
The role of a project manager is to focus on the day-to-day tasks of running a project to ensure it stays on schedule and within budget. One of the main responsibilities of a PM is to facilitate communications among your design staff, consultants, and clients.
The role of the virtual assistant is to focus on administrative tasks that are similar to those of an executive assistant or secretary and are crucial to the running of your business in general. S/he may have minimal involvement, if any, with actual projects and clients.
For more information on this topic see my blog posting titled Project Manager or Virtual Assistant – Which is right for you?
As a project management consultant my responsibilities do not encompass business development. However, by contracting my services clients will find they have more time to devote to building client relationships and landing more lucrative work as they are freed from the daily running of active projects.
This is an important question. Many firm owners who are used to working directly with their clients are concerned their clients will feel they have been “dumped” or are no longer important if they and their projects are turned over to a project manager after a contract has been signed. This is not the case.
With the right introduction, your clients will come to understand that a project manager is there to assist them through the design and production phases of their projects. They will appreciate the regular updates and efficiency a PM will bring to the process. We will also assure them that you will still be involved in their projects and they can reach out to you at anytime they feel the need to do so. Your clients will quickly realize the good customer service a project manager provides and this is a good reflection on you and your firm.
With all new clients my first goal is to understand your business culture and your clients. I want to understand the processes you have in place for moving a project from contract to deliverables, what types of communication methods do you typically use and, most importantly, what are your most pressing challenges.
I will then ask you to consider your clients and workload in order to choose one project we can get started working on together. Typically this is a small or mid-size project with a comfortable production schedule, not something under a tight turnaround deadline. It can be a project for an existing client who is open to working with a project manager or a new client that is not familiar with your production routine.
This trial run will give you the opportunity to experience how I work and interact with you, your staff and your client. If we agree this is a good working relationship, projects can then be added to my schedule as time and budgets allow.