I’ve decided that sometimes business can be a bit like a first date (maybe online dating – I never did this so no idea!) I did however, have a “blind” date which was actually someone I’d met but forgot what they looked like, should’ve taken that as a sign really as you never forget the important ones…..sorry, I digress.
You start by doing a bit of marketing, maybe old school and an advert in the local paper, maybe a Facebook page or a basic free website. Anyway it has your e-mail and mobile number on so you’re live and ready to start taking calls! Then you wait for the call or e-mail or, Facebook message.
More recently people use the telephone to call as a last means of communication. It’s a message either via social media or text, an e-mail or a WhatsApp before anyone calls. This is fine, I can work at odd hours so that always helps as I can send e-mails without disturbing people but sometimes it’s nice to pick up the phone and have a good old catch up.
When you first start you expect everyone with their own business to be like you (I’ve learnt living in the Corporate world how people are actually different!) but with your own business surely everyone is friendly, wants to help each other, doesn’t make anything up or exaggerate sales or marketing figures…… OK, I’m not that naive but you get where I’m going with this.
I have to say though that 99% of the people I have come across want to help, are not looking for anything major in return but help from you. People with their own business are happy to help each other as you can grow together, share and recommend each others products or services. You have this affinity of hard work and knowledge that you have each gone through or are going through some tough times and it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. There’s not people by the coffee machine that you can share rants with or that it can be lonely not having someone next to you to bounce ideas off as soon as they pop into your head. I will admit and an ex-manager of mine will confirm that I could be a nightmare to sit behind, asking questions as soon as they came up no matter what anyone else was doing, shaking her chair randomly but I did make good tea quite regularly!! (Sara my ex-manager also works for herself as a Personal Trainer – Balanced Life – check her out, she’s fantastic!)
I’m not going to lie though, there is that 1% which are not there to help or look out for anyone else other than themselves but you get an instinct towards them – take my advice now, avoid them. You’ll just know I promise!! Even if they promise more than you expect, don’t use valuable time, money or resources until you are certain work is being booked or it is a good use of your time. I’ve had to learn to say no more and take the time to consider things before spending time or money which has benefitted me immensely – you can do this and not just agree to anything, especially when you first start.
Then there are the possible clients who sound very interested, make contact any way but not via the telephone, even go as far as booking your time. Now, make sure you have a process for this and don’t get caught out, when a client books, send them your terms and conditions which includes a cancellation fee. I’ve learnt this the not really hard way and lost half a days work through a cancellation an hour before I should’ve been at the clients house. My own fault I didn’t send my T’s and C’s, not a mistake but lesson learned. There are those people who ask lots of questions about what you do saying they would book you and need help but never do make that call.
Don’t be disheartened by this, there are always people who like the idea of things but never go through with them. However there are the alternative clients who book you time and time again and recommend you. They are out there and do call on a regular basis. Just keep working for it and they will come, I promise!