Raking it in without
breaking your soul

Quality Control

Have you ever used Frontline? It’s that flea and tick medication you put on Crackers or Captain.

Did you know that the US Food and Drug Administration can show up to the Frontline factory at any time, completely unannounced, for a surprise inspection?

Dule Hill Surprise GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Thank goodness, right? I want that level of quality control over something that impacts the health of my pets.

Quality control means there’s an internal set of standards plus an expectation that the standards are consistently met.

Do you have an internal set of standards for your work?

You might think your natural perfectionistic tendencies will ensure that your work is high quality. I promise, they will not save you here. You can’t just rely on some gut instinct about what good looks like.

Because as much as you might have perfection, you also have whims. Wild hairs.

And a fallible memory.

Plus, being a perfectionist sucks.

And don’t forget what happens when you start to hire some subcontractors.

Document what a minimum standard of care would look like. You can leave room for whims or deviations to cater to the client, if you want.

What elements are required such that you’d still be proud to put your name on it? Write that down.

Do you have a way to check that your standards are consistently met?

It isn’t enough to have thought through your standards and communicated them. That’s like writing down the driving laws and giving them to a 16 year old with the keys to a car. No, you’ve gotta teach and train and check in.

This might mean you have a subcontractor shadow you for a while until they’re independent. And then you check their work. You pop in on a workshop or rerun some of their stats or drop a paragraph into a plagiarism checker.

You don’t have to jump out of the bushes like the FDA. You should tell your team how you’ll monitor quality.

But quality control has to occur even if you don’t have subcontractors or employees.

This could look like having an editor read through your blog posts (I don’t have this, as you can probably tell ha!)

Quality control could be having an agreement with a trusted colleague to be the second set of eyes for each other’s reports.

Feedback surveys will never be a sufficient quality control measure. While they’re valuable, your clients don’t know what your internal standards look like. Feedback surveys can only tell you how it was, not how it was compared to what you planned for it to be.

Consistent high-quality work is a result of quality control measures. What do yours look like? Tell me.

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