The Dirtiest Seven-Letter Word in Business

by Kim Taylor

M-e-e-t-i-n-g. If there was ever a function of doing business I could live without, it’d be meetings. But, darn if most of them aren’t at least somewhat necessary … especially in professional services firms. Meetings are where ideas are generated, work is disseminated and people are brought up to speed. But, if you’re like us, you often wrestle with the sometimes-soaring people costs of these meetings.

A few weeks ago something great happened; I had the opportunity to join my peers from agencies throughout the country for “Leadership Camp.” And, while I took away more nuggets of wisdom than I ever expected, one tiny tip really stuck with me. It came from an exec at Texas’ best public relations firm:

Before you begin a meeting, jot down the total cost of the meeting (presuming that you bill time by the hour like we do) on your agenda, or if you’re like us, on your wipe erase wall.

Trust me, if you have even a few people in a meeting for an hour (or more!), the time and cost to the client really adds up. Eyeballing that price tag every 15 minutes or so is a surefire way to stay on track.

What’s your secret to being a good steward of your clients’ budgets? Or, do you have another meeting tip to share? I’d love to hear it.

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