If you are an entrepreneur running your own startup or business, you should know that it is a bit of a juggle to keep everything, as well as yourself, afloat. Keeping up with finances, ensuring your marketing is done and that you are attracting enough clients, making sure that you make a profit and that the business is thriving, and still have time to spare for exercise and the family. Yes, it can be a bit difficult to keep up.
Here at SDG Business Forum, we believe in the power of community and sharing of wisdom gathered through experiences. Some good, but mostly bad experiences teach us all lessons that others can benefit from. In this article we look at some handy tips you can use to add to your next meeting’s agenda and get the success ball on the roll.
Top tip #1: Charge Upfront
You just had a meeting with a potential client, the pitch went well, the client is impressed. The client could be a great one for future or even retainer purposes. So, you trust them when you send them a cost estimate and quote when they say that they accept and will pay when the job is completed. Months go by, the job is done, the client was happy, yet the account is still to be settled. This is a quick way to lose your business. Charge clients upfront to ensure you have a cash flow, and that you don’t sit around and wait for payments on jobs done months ago. You can even ask them to pay a deposit of a certain percentage.
Top tip #2: Branding is Key
To get your business noticed and out there where your potential clients are, you should have a visible brand. Get a designer to work out a corporate identity that suits the business values and persona, and a logo that fits. These images should be used on all your communications, whether on or offline, to ensure potential clients notice and later recognize your brand.
Top tip #3: Shut out Cheapies
For that matter, shut out those who do not settle the bill on time too. Never lower your rate just to get a customer, always charge what you and your product are worth. If you do allow clients to get you to give them a special discount, it may cause costly problems in the future, with others demanding to get the same discounts or even them wanting to pay even less. Your professional rate or price for your handcrafted product should not be negotiable.
Top tip #4: Nurture Customer Relations
The best marketing tool ever? Word of mouth. Never underestimate the power of great customer service. Some people would even argue that bad customer service would make them avoid a brand or service completely. Touch base with clients, and if you have employees, touch base with them too. Ensure they have the skills to ensure customers are taken care of in the best possible way.
We hope you found this article with top tips to add to your next meeting’s agenda helpful and that you will start implementing at least one of them today. For another interesting read on lessons learned during the first year of a startup, read this article here. We wish you all the best with your new business.