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Published on August 7th, 2018 | by Jose Vasquez


How to Under-Promise and Over-Deliver in Startup Tech Companies

Setting reasonable expectations is key to finding success in startup tech companies.

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you might think the most important thing is delivering exceptional service—better than any of your competitors could possibly offer. But while that’s certainly a noble pursuit, it isn’t going to be what keeps your clients coming back for more. For that kind of customer loyalty, you need to under-promise and over-deliver.

The Role of Expectations

Client satisfaction is ultimately based on expectations. If a client expects a project to take two weeks, but it ultimately takes three weeks, they’re going to walk away disappointed. If they expect it to take four weeks, but it takes three weeks, they’ll walk away impressed with your abilities. In both scenarios, the project takes the same amount of time, but expectations can make the difference between a successful interaction and an unsuccessful one.

The Urge to Exaggerate

This may sound intuitive, but in your startup, you’ll be tempted to exaggerate. In a desperate bid to get more business, you might overestimate your team’s ability to complete a project. For example, you might quote a low price to outcompete other businesses, but end up needing to charge more when you delve into the project. Or you might estimate an optimistic timeline to make your service seem more appealing, but need to extend that deadline after just a week of work.

Conservative Estimates

The key is to estimate things conservatively in the following areas, at a minimum:

  • Don’t get too optimistic with your financial projections or you’ll stretch yourself thin. It’s much better to reduce those estimates and minimize your financial risk.
  • Always add a few days or a few weeks to any project you quote. You never know what obstacles will get in the way of your completion.
  • Abilities and performance. Never commit to a project you aren’t sure you can handle. Challenges are good, but impossibilities can ruin you.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to set proper expectations (without losing any projects), contact me today! I’ve helped hundreds of entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, and I’m always looking for more startups to add to my portfolio.

About the Author

is a serial entrepreneur and tech specialist dedicated to helping startup tech companies grow and succeed. As the founder of Build. Brand. Blast., Jose has worked with dozens of enterprises to find direction, gain momentum, and achieve results.

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  • Meet Jose Vasquez

    Hey there! I’m Jose Vasquez, and I’ve spent my life helping startup technology companies get the direction and momentum they need to succeed. I started Build. Brand. Blast. as a resource for new entrepreneurs to learn the ropes of starting a business and the keys to building something that lasts.

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