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Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Business Chat - Steps to Success!

Take yourself seriously. 
If you don’t treat yourself as a professional no one else will. Same goes for your business, if you think of it as just some little thing you do on the side and not as a business, then that’s what it will be. 
Charge your customers what you’re worth 
Nothing will sink you faster than undercharging for your work. By pricing your work too low you send the message that it has no value. And you won’t be able to pay your bills, let alone yourself. 
Make sure your customers know who you are and what you do. 
Sum up in one sentence what you do. If you say your name and your one sentence will a customer understand? 
Don’t be shy. Tell the world that you are here!
If you don’t shout it out from the rooftops who will? Be proud, be loud 
Make it easy for customers to find you. 
It is the customers job to be awestruck by your brilliance and to give you money, it is your job to keep in touch with the customers and let them know of all the places they can find you, when they can find you, and what you have available for them. 
Make it easy for customers to give you money. 
If they have to hunt for a way to buy they will walk away. Online give them a HUGE Buy Now Button. Give them shipping information. Give them pricing up front. Don’t ever make them email you for information on how to buy. In person, have your payment options clearly stated all over your booth. Know your payment options in advance. 
Think like a customer. 
What makes you happy as a customer? Now do that for your customers. 
Think like a boss 
There is crap that just has to be done even if it’s not really fun. (bookkeeping anyone?) Without these jobs getting done your business will sink. If you were working for someone else you’d have to do the boring bits. Put on your boss hat and look at the stuff that has to be done. Now do it. 
Watch your cash flow 
Profit is income minus expenses. The less you spend the more you put in your pocket. It’s really easy for expenses to explode, stay on top of them. Always think twice, do I really need this? Really? Do I have to have this? 
Keep your day job until you’re sure.
Making your work is super fun and the easy part of any business. Successfully selling it is a different story. It requires running a business. You have to love it to be successful. Before you quit your day job, sell part-time to see if you love it. 
Over the next few weeks I’m going to go into each of these steps in great detail. There are no guarantees in running your little business however by following these basic steps you are ahead of most other people.  

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