It’s that time of year – again, already. Spring break leads to Easter break leads to summer vacation weeks at the beach or taking an RV across the country or even a hop across the pond for the wedding (Megan just arrived back from London and I’m sure you’re hear all about her trip in future blogs). I’m planning on spending a week in Nag’s Head at the end of May, and I’ve already run into plenty of folks who are talking about their plans.

My unspoken question to them, precipitated by my own recent frustrations, is “have you spent as much time planning for your clients and what they’ll need as you’ve spent on your own plans and needs?” I’ve recently been held up for 1.5 weeks by the one person in the Virginia Department of Taxation who has the authority to allow MBM to set up a payment plan. He’s gone, my payment is due shortly, but I can’t set up the payment plan until he returns from vacation and “releases” my bills. Courtney has also run into speed bumps as vendors have not returned calls for several days, and when someone else at the company is reached Courtney is told her contact is on vacation and no one else knows what’s going on.

At MBM, we always work as a team, so more than one person knows what’s going on with a client at any moment. And with our open floor plan and filemaker project tracking system it’s easy to keep up with the status of each other’s projects. On top of that, whenever someone is scheduled to be out of the office she creates an Out of Office Memo (oh aren’t we creative with our naming) which outlines each client, each project and its status, and is sent to everyone in the organization. I would venture that other than Courtney (who’s the planner extraordinaire), we spend more time planning for our clients than for ourselves during vacation season.

I would like to find a way to share our process with my friends at the Tax Department, but I have a feeling they haven’t discovered this blog yet. As for those vendors who weren’t prepared, well, they’re no longer vendors. We expect our partners to act with the same level of thought and customer service that we provide. And if they don’t, then there’s someone else out there who would love to work with us, and our clients.

So, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Have a great vacation, send me photos, and don’t forget to plan for what happens in the office while you’re out of the office! Oh, and if anyone has a suggestion for a good read, let me know.