Last-day, I was just about at the bottom of my side business venture, or at least it sure as heck felt like it.
I had called in nearly all my prospects from my back-list of clients, without a single bite. I felt incredibly rejected, and din't really know what to do. My grandpa, one of my major mentors, had suggested that it was because I was in a 'reactive business'.
That is, 'Don't call your customers, they call you'.
I still wasn't satisfied with that. I still felt as through they had 'betrayed' me, and went with other service providers (pizza techs that work for nothing).
But then, out of the blue, a few days later, I get a call from one of my oldest clients. Seems he had 3 units that needed work done, and a 4th one built. I took the call, and made an appointment as professionally as I could, trying had to sound unsurprised that he had called me back.
He actually thanked me for calling him, and offering him such a good deal - He had recently had someone else do work for him (a bit cheaper then my rates, he admitted), but the work was shoddy, and he wasn't at all satisfied.
In fact, the other tech had up and disappeared on him when he had an issue, taking the money with him.
I honestly couldn't imagine doing that, considering how I was trying to make as good a reputation as possible. So, went to his home office, and performed the job. It took nearly 2 days with all the things that needed to be done, and he was positive during the whole thing, even when I handed him a healthy invoice.
He was happy to pay me because he knew I did good work.
I also handed him a few business cards, and asked him if he knew anyone else that needed work done. He said he did, and I should expect a call in the coming weeks.
So, I felt like a true entrepreneur again, a fat cheque in hand. It seems I was making my business much more dramatic then it had to be.
And that's really the secret of owning a business. It's not about emotions, or personal grudges, or feeling like you're being cheated.
For me, owning a successful business is about doing a solid, reliable job, and slowly growing your client base through excellent referrals and excellent workspersonship. This is the best way.
Today, I do not perform my business full time, or even what I would call part time. I simply get a few calls a week, and schedule them in when I am able to get to them. Most of my clients are more then happy to wait a bit longer.
Quite frankly, if you look busy, people will wait longer, and pay you more.
I tell my clients that I am booked up during nearly every day, and that I am only able to get to them after 5:00PM (When my day-job ends, but I do not tell them I have a day-job.). They always are very understanding, and we come to a compromise on when and where is best.
Tomorrow, I'll throw out some general tips about how I make my side business successful.
Do you have any tips for prospective entrepreneurs?
When was a time you let emotions over-run your business sense?
Let me know :)!