When I started my first business, I was very naive. I think I can let people know me, honest, sincere, smart people will use my service.
Ok, you can stop laughing now. As your business grows, you will learn a million things, but let me quickly understand some important things.
It is very difficult to deal with all the problems that will arise, but you also need to be careful about the scam. Many scam artists capture large and small businesses.
If you receive an invoice from your mail, check before sending the check to make sure you have ordered and received the product.
If you have not ordered the product, please do not pay. Also, if someone asks to update something, such as a yellow page ad, make sure this is the company you think and you really need to renew.
Liar artists may threaten you by saying that they have a recording of the product ordered by Mr. X (an employee of you), and if you do not pay, they will take you to court. If this happens, please record all the contacts they have with you and file a complaint with the Business Improvement Board and contact the local police.
This happened to my girlfriend Linda-Ann. A company called to tell her secretary that they were related to AT&T, but they were not, and wondered if she wanted to renew her yellow pages.
The secretary knew that Linda-Ann had an advertisement on the yellow pages, so she said yes. However, when the bill arrives, it comes from a completely unknown phone book.
Linda-Ann called to tell them to cancel it and the battle started. They said she had given them permission and they even recorded a recording agreed by her secretary. Linda-Ann contacted the police and AT&T; and found that the company has been doing the same to many local companies, including chambers of commerce.
She filed a complaint with the police, the Commercial Improvement Bureau, and even contacted a local newspaper that told her story.
Then she wrote to the company and told them everything she did. They eventually sent an invoice to Linda-Ann, canceling what they said was arrears. She has never received any news from the company.
If you don’t want to pay for the product, the scam artist can also offer you a discount. They will also try to let you pay for return shipping and restocking. Remember, if you are a victim of a scam, don’t pay them.
Also, be very careful about anything you need to buy a starter kit. This is usually a sign of a scam.
Now you are running your own business and making the most of the freedom that this brings to you. Create or create a fixed, envelope, and business card that reflects your personality.
Choose the paper you like and design a product that has a “look and feel” so customers can identify your fixture at a glance.
I use the same font and grey paper as the letterhead, envelope and business card (cover paper). This shows my customers that I am very concerned about my business to create a professional image that helps me stand out.
Always you get some complaints, but remember that the complaint is good. Yes, we strive to make all customers happy from the start, but if anyone complains, please listen. Don’t become defensive.
A complaint can usually indicate a problem with a product or service that you don’t know. Although I don’t expect to receive a complaint, I will review it carefully to understand what I can do and take all the necessary steps to solve the problem.
I also do my best to satisfy my customers. When I was a freelance photographer, several times I reorganized my work for free to satisfy my customers. Another time, when I did some computer work, I redesigned some charts for the customer.
These charts are exactly what they ask for, but when they see them, they are not “imagined.” Even if they never use me again, I don’t want customers to feel frustrated and tell everyone that they won’t use me. Give them a refund and let them keep the product for free and give them a replacement.
To be truly successful, you need to work hard to exceed expectations. If you can let customers say “wow”, then you will have a customer for life.
Remember to be honest forever. Never make a false statement or extend the truth. It will always come back to bother you.
As things get busier, remember to delegate work or get outside help. Need a part-time secretary? Use secretarial services. Is your promotional email too much for you? Outsource them to the fulfillment center or ask family and friends to help. When I mail it out, my girlfriend will help me with the address label and stamp. Getting others to do these things is never painful, so you can focus on running your business and finding new customers. Make sure you have the ability to do this, so you don’t want to go bankrupt. You can get free help by becoming a mentor at your local university. They send students who work for free or very little to exchange work experience. I also know a person who hires a former criminal because he gets a tax break. Please consult your tax preparer.
Every business needs self-promotion. You can do this with a lot of flashes or an easy way. The secret is to try a few promotional programs to see what is best. You can host a theme party, support a local minor league team or charity, offer your services to some local organizations for free, or simply pass on your company name and phone number to them. If you do pass out pens or other types of products, make sure they are of good quality. If it works, the customer will love your pen, and if it skips and blocks, it will hate it. Be creative and enjoy promotions.
When I was a freelance photographer, I made a monthly desktop calendar on my computer. It is printed on a piece of paper with a 3×5 inch photo on it. It is then mailed to the customer each month via a promotional cover letter. Customers fold the calendar so they can see the photo and the month, and then on the back is a promotional statement about my company so that anyone sitting across from my client can see my company’s ads.
A few years ago, I met a great promotional video. While walking in the mall, I found a $50 folded banknote lying on the ground. I can’t believe my good fortune. I picked up the bill but when I opened it, I found myself looking at a business card. This is a simple folded card, but a $50 bill is printed on the back. I assume that business owners just give up a few wherever they go. What business did he get from it? I don’t know, but I bet people are scrambling to pick up his cards.
There are a million things you need to know to run a business. I just hope that this article can save you some time, money and frustrations that I have encountered over the years.