When you’re a consultant, patience is a virtue - a necessity, really. Clients are so busy these days it takes around three months (or more) to get from initial discussion by phone to proposal to project approval to final work and payment.
Small and large clients are so overloaded they need to outsource. As a consultant and contractor, your problem is getting them to move on the work they need. We’re dealing with 20-year-old approval structures, from a time when executives kept their fingers everywhere and signed off on all of it. Now executive management has no time, and many department-level managers have no signature authority.
The end result is a bit like the gap between editorial acceptance and actual publishing in any magazine. The longest I’ve gone is eight months between the first discussion about writing a technical article and acceptance of the final draft.
When I designed and managed semiconductor products for the traditional analog, battery power and networking markets, I was constantly pressured to get products out yesterday. Schedules were unrealistically tight, but competition was heavy. If your product missed the market window, you lost market share.
Kind of makes you wonder what lowly place marketing tactics and collateral have in corporate and small-business America.