How To Get New Business Written by Chuck and Sue DeFiore
Market, Market and then market some more. So many small and home-business owners do what we call spot marketing. They market hard for their business, get a response then stop marketing.
Marketing must be an ongoing process. Let's repeat that...Marketing Must Be An On Going Process. In addition, you should have multiple marketing strategies. For example, we market on internet through newsgroups, newsletters, press releases, forums, writing articles. We also market by running support groups, joining local groups and chambers, and being active and getting involved in community. We give out our brochures and business cards. Your cards and brochures are not going to do you any good sitting in your files. We send out follow-up information for every cold call we make and speak to someone. While we might not do business with them now, we might down road. However, we certainly won't hear from them, if they don't get something from us.
The following happened during a teleclass we sat in on: One of other participants asked about getting customers for interior design work. She had a brochure with her services, and would give a free consultation to her clients. However, she wasn't turning those into sales. A couple of things we suggested were to 1) put pictures in her brochure of before and afters for homes she did; 2) offer to re-do a small area of their home for half price, so they could get an idea of her work. She loved ideas, and thought they would work marvelously for her.
Remember, you won't get business, if you don't ask for it. Along with marketing you have to also be a salesperson. You have to ask for sale. You don't have to be obnoxious about it, in fact, if you are, you probably won't get it at all. As most of you know, we never push anyone to order or do something with us, it's up to them. We want our customers to make an informed decision, and for it to be win-win for everyone, and that is how we conduct our business. You should also. However, realize that for certain businesses a stronger approach might be necessary.
How To Realistically Set Your Fees - Part 5Written by Chuck & Sue DeFiore
How To Raise Your Fees
There comes a time when it is inevitable that you must raise your fees in order to maintain both your profit margin and income level. You will find that greatest resistance to this comes from your oldest clients.
There appears to be a direct correlation between length of time a client is with you and amount of outrage they show to your rate increase. This article will discuss types of clients and how they usually react.
Keep in mind, no matter how you raise fees, how you approach telling clients or amount of lead time you give them, you will lose some clients. This is a given. I have found over years that a very high percentage of clients lost are those that I'm not crazy about working with anyway. It's worked out, for me anyway, that these former clients who complained most about your fee increase, were responsible for 85-90% of aggravation I encountered.
Clients are attracted to you for a variety of reasons. We would all like to think that it is because of our brilliant promotional pieces, our award winning designs, outstanding service, etc. The reality is that many clients are using your services strictly because of price. I refer to these clients as price loyal. They are loyal to whomever has lowest price. This type of client is not particularly sensitive to quality of work or level of service you provide. They go strictly with lowest price and if you have opportunity to examine how they run their business, your see it operates on this principle. For me anyway, this type of client is no loss.