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Posts Tagged ‘business’

Oh No, I Don’t Know How To Quote This!

Posted by collinsadmin on August 27, 2008

We’ve all ran into this from time to time, a potential client contacts you about a project and you aren’t sure how to quote the price.  That’s okay, no matter how long you have been in business there will always be times when somebody needs your assistance and you aren’t sure how to quote it because you’ve never done it before, you have never quoted it before, or there are so many variables that you don’t know how to quote it.  Here are a few steps to get you through it:

Step One: Breathe. Don’t panic.  Panicking will only get you to make irrational quotes that are way underpriced.  If the client is really interested in using your services, they will wait for your quote.

Step Two: Look at it from a rational point of view.  Do you still need more details? Are all the variables there or do you need more?  Potential clients will not have a problem if you need to ask more questions to get a better understanding of what they need.

Step Three: Consult with somebody.  If you believe you have all the details and variables that you need to be able to make an accurate quote but you are still unsure, talk to somebody.  Go to a trusted friend or family member (preferably somebody who is business savvy), explain to them what was asked of you (without breaching client confidentiality), and get their input.  They may bring up something that you might not have thought about.

Step Four: Go with your gut.  Once you have sat down and analyzed what is needed from you, go with your gut.  If you think it’s too high, then lower the price.  If you think it’s too low, then raise the price.  But always tell the potential client that that quote is good for only that project and that the price is subject to change should they need a similar project done.

Step Five: If you don’t get that particular client, do not be concerned.  It may not have been that you were unprofessional or that your quote was too high.  It could just be that they decided to do it themselves or the project got pushed back because something more important came up.  In business, the trick is to not take everything personal, it’s just business.

With these few steps, you can create a professional and correctly priced quote that will be both beneficial to your client as well as your pocketbook.

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Social Networking Sites for Business Do’s and Don’ts.

Posted by collinsadmin on August 11, 2008

With the internet comes all types of different ways to reach potential clients both far and near, along with this comes social networking sites. Social networking sites have been a great asset to having a successful online business. However, the networking sites and how to utilize them confuse many people. Below, you will find a list of my favorite networking sites for business and what you should and shouldn’t do on them.

For each different site there is a couple of general rules to follow such as do not post a picture of you in a bikini, swimwear, speedos etc. Do not post something to just spark an argument or if there is an argument going on, don’t add flame to the fire it will only look bad on you. Don’t forget, your posts and profiles will be indexed by the search engines and if you are seen as argumentative and non-professional it will hurt your business. It only takes a short time to get a bad reputation and a lifetime to regain a good reputation.

Facebook– This is a site that was started mainly as a personal networking site where you can find old friends and classmates it has since also become a great business networking site. You can keep your colleagues up to date about what you have been doing so that they can get to know you better. It does take some time to fill out a profile and find some “friends” to connect with but it is very useful. Do update your status consistently that is one of the only ways that people get to know you. Don’t add every single application that is available on the site such as hugs, kisses, gifts, etc only add the ones that you feel will be beneficial to business. There are still people on slow connections that if your profile doesn’t load quickly, you may have just lost your best client because they won’t hang around or come back to get to know you better.

Ryze-This site has always been a business networking site. This site is unique because it has many different networks and much more interaction between members that makes it easy to get to know people and their business. You can sign their guestbooks, participate in conversations etc. Do participate as much as possible. Do fill in your profile and make it look professional but also put a little something in there about yourself personally. Don’t private message somebody with a business opportunity unless they specifically ask for it on one of the forums. Don’t spam guestbooks. A simple hi and comment on something about their profile or one of their posts will suffice.

Twitter– This is one of the easiest social networking sites there is. You simply answer the question, what are you doing and update it periodically throughout the day. You find other people you may know and become “followers” of their posts. This gives you the opportunity to get to know about their business and what they are doing. Do talk about your business without spamming. Do not just say hey, check out my website. Give them a reason to go to your website.

Front Porch Folks-This is a very new business networking site. They have featured members, a forum, marketing lessons, brainstorming sessions, and awards given to members for doing extraordinary things. This is a free business networking site (for now) where you can connect with other like minded people and post in the forums and learn about marketing at your own pace. Since this is such a new networking site, it has not run into any of the problems that the other sites have. No matter though, always follow the general rules for social networking sites.

So here you have a list of some of my favorite business networking sites. If you follow the general rules for every social networking site and some of the rules specific to each site, you will have a successful and lively business ahead of you. So, happy networking to you all!

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Stop Passing The Buck and Blaming Everyone Else

Posted by collinsadmin on August 5, 2008

Have you ever realized how so many people/businesses are willing to put the blame on somebody else before they will take the blame themselves?

Recently I was involved in a friendly debate about a certain big box retailer,  that we all know, setting up shop in towns all over the world and closing down all the mom and pop stores.  While this store may be responsible for a few of the little stores closing up shop, I do not believe that they are to blame for all.  It was said that this large store comes in and sells all of the items for really cheap and the small stores are not able to keep up with them so therefore they are going out of business.

Now here is the problem that I see with this statement and I am sure I will be getting some flak for this but that’s okay-if the large store is selling the exact same thing that you are selling but for a cheaper price, why not change the items you sell?  Now before I get everybody yelling at me about  “why should I change what has worked for me for years just because somebody bigger comes in”, hear me out.

Having a business and being successful is all about meeting the needs of consumers or other businesses.  What may have worked for the past 20 years may not be working anymore.  Take for instance McDonald’s, for years they have been selling happy meals with fries and fountain drinks but now all of a sudden everybody is on this big health kick so they needed to meet the needs of the consumers so now people have the option of having the basic fries and fountain drink or opting for the healthier version of apples and milk.  That is good business. They found a need and they fulfilled it.

I have made several mistakes in my business but not once did I blame it on somebody else.  Instead, I sat back and took a long hard look at why the mistake happened and what I can do to fix it.  People are so reluctant to admit defeat or failure or even accept change but in business, the needs and wants of consumers are constantly changing and you have to change your business along with them.  Take a look at technology, the personal computer is no longer all that consumers want or need.  Now they want, portability, speed, pictures etc  had the technological companies not met the needs of their consumers, they would have closed in a heartbeat.

So as you can see if somebody is encroaching on your “territory” you need to take a look at what you can do to compete with that particular business and still meet the needs of your clients.  So stop blaming the world when the solution to the problem lies within you.

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Don’t Be Bullied In Business

Posted by collinsadmin on July 28, 2008

We have our house up for sale and recently we got an offer that we accepted.  However, the buyer of our house thought that since the housing market being what it is today, he could bully us into doing what he wanted. Well needless to say, the deal fell through which is okay.

Some of you may be thinking, what the heck are you doing?  Getting a house sold right now is a great accomplishment.  I would tend to agree but I would rather live in my house than be bullied into something that I don’t believe in.  This whole ordeal was a huge awakening for me in what I perceive about myself and business.

Too often, business owners are bullied into doing something that is either against their personal principles or what they want for their business.  They do this because they believe that in order to get a client they need to submit to the demands, but that is not the case at all.

One thing that business owners need to take into consideration is that while the client may be providing your business with an income in the short term, in the long term this particular client will be more trouble than they are worth.  You will be babysitting more than doing what you love.  You will be bending over backwards just to keep him happy and is that really how you want to run your business.

Customer service is a big issue and from the time we get our first job until the time that we decide to think for ourselves, it is pounded into us that the customer is always right.  For some things that is true but not always.  As a business owner we need to stand up and stick to our guns about how we want our businesses ran.  Running a business does not mean that we need to put our principles and our beliefs to the side just to make a client happy.

We will all meet this dilemma at one time or another. A client who is overbearing, tries to micromanage everything you do and somebody who will find fault with everything you do. It is at this time that it is best to just cut the ties.  In the long run, your clients will appreciate the fact that you have principles and you will not set them aside just to make somebody happy.  You may lose that bully of a client but you will see that you will be much happier running your business as you wish and your clients will appreciate you more for not selling out just to make a buck. Not to mention the fact that business owners who love their business and love their clients are more successful than those who feel anxious or like the clients are running them.

Posted in business | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Things to do to over the holidays to keep your business prospering

Posted by collinsadmin on December 14, 2007

A great web designer and friend of mine posted a wonderful article on things to do while your business is in its downtime over the holidays.

We all know that the holiday season is a very slow time of year for businesses unless you are in the retail industry so why not take some of the ideas posted at this blog and start implementing them to ensure that your business continues to run smoothly in the year 2008.

Here’s the link:

http://frumpyhausfrau.com/2007/12/business/10-things-for-microbusiness-owners-to-do-over-the-holidays/

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