siding options inverness james hardie siding siding calculator northfield installing vinyl siding south barrington siding replacement .. Chicago Drug testing

Small Business No How - Dont Give Away the Farm

You're pretty proud of yourself! After all, only four months ago you came up with the idea of opening your own business - "Jenni's Interior Design" Your friends have always said you were gifted when it came to arranging furniture and picking out colors, and you love to do it, so you decided it was time to get serious.

You went to a few "Starting Your Own Business" seminars, picked out a name and registered it, had your nephew build a great website, printed up some business cards, got a second phone line, and took out an ad in the local paper - "Are Your Walls and Furniture as Stagnant as Pond Scum? You Don't Need to Break the Bank for a Fresh Look, You Just Need a Makeover!"

Then you crossed your fingers and waited. Day one, no calls. Day two, no calls. Day three - the phone rings! Success! Your heart is pounding as you pick up the phone. The conversation goes something like this:

"Hi! This is Jenni with Jenni's Interior Design, how can I help you?"

"Hi, my name is Celia, I saw your ad in the paper. What do you charge for your makeovers?"

"Well, my rate is $25 per half-hour for consultations or $100 per room to redesign the entire room. If we decide on new furniture or paint, that is your cost of course"

"Hmm, I have a lot of rooms I'm thinking about changing. Can you come over for a free consultation just to see what I have? If I do more than one room, can I get a discount?"

"Umm? sure, that's fine. If we do more than one room I can do a discount too, no problem"

Hold on. Maybe Jenni hasn't given away the farm yet, but she's on her way. When Jenni hangs up the phone she's going to realize a few things:

  • She is committed to spending her time and gas money to visit Celia.

  • She has no agreement or commitment from Celia

  • She indicted that some of her time is "free" time.

  • She let Celia know her price could be bargained down.

    The problem here isn't that Jenni was caught off guard, the problem is that she instinctually began to doubt herself and her prices. You can't blame Jenni, after all, this is her first potential customer and while she's talking on the phone she's probably thinking "Gee, am I really worth $25 per half-hour? I do this for my friends for free. I don't know if I'm really qualified to charge that kind of money"

    The potentially bigger problem is Jenni pretty much threw her pricing structure out the window when questioned. There is nothing wrong with bartering and making deals, but it shouldn't be your standard business practice. Without a doubt, if Celia likes Jenni's work and recommends her to a friend, Celia will be sure to brag about the great deal she negotiated as well. Now, Jenni is probably stuck with this "free consultation with a discount" policy for any referral customers. Jenni is setting herself up to run all over town free of charge, give good advice, and potentially not make a dime.

    What Jenni should say is, "I would be thrilled to come out, but I'll have to keep the consultation charge in place. What I can do is credit your consultation towards the first room we makeover, each additional room would be at the regular rate. I'm sure I'll have some great ideas that we can work on together"

    Of course it takes confidence in yourself to come back with that kind of a reply. Jenni is only going to have that kind of confidence in herself by knowing her competition, what they charge, and that fact that she is as good, or better, than they are.

    So here's the key to not giving away the farm:

    Know your competition and the commonly established rates for your service.

    If you are competent, confident and know you have as much skill and talent as your competitors, there is no reason why you should be charging any less than they do. In fact, some people believe if you charge more it's a sign that you must really be good!

    But let's not get carried away, the point isn't to see how much you can charge before you run yourself out of business. The point is, "Don't sell yourself short"

    One great way to measure your competition is to call and try them out. I personally did this not long ago when I was thinking about opening a software consultation / training business. I found a small business specializing in software training and had them send out an employee for two hours of Microsoft Access training. The friendly lady who arrived spent two hours reading the 'help' screens (to herself) and flipping though the paperback user's manual trying to figure out how to show me some rather simple tasks I had questioned her about. Hardly what I would call expert training. However, it served its purpose - I knew I could do a better job.

    Do your research and provide an efficient, professional service. Show them that you're worth every penny. If you build that kind of reputation, price will not be much of an issue. Your customers will admire your confidence and work ethic and be happy they're doing business with you.

    Oh, and keep the deed to the farm in your drawer where it belongs.

    About The Author

    David James is the editor of "Home Income Digest", a publication updated quarterly which presents more than 40 of the best home-based businesses currently available in the country. Located at http://www.homeincomedigest.com, Home Income Digest includes only well-researched, established, small business opportunities. For more information about the author, visit http://www.homeincomedigest.com/aboutus.htm

    dave@homeincomedigest.com

    In The News:

  • How to Remove Stress from Owning a Business... Forever!

    I meet and talk to hundreds and hundreds of business... Read More

    Implementing an Internship Program

    CONSIDERING COMPANY NEEDS: In identifying your needs for the internship,... Read More

    Asking the RIGHT Questions

    Which questions do you need to ask to even get... Read More

    Eight Key Steps to Selling Your Business and Cashing In

    This year, some 700,000 American businesses will be sold. Most... Read More

    Is Your Business Making Money?

    Is your business making money? Would you know?Figuring out whether... Read More

    10 Ways to Start a Business on a Budget

    If you've been thinking about starting a business, but are... Read More

    Work is a Four Letter Word

    I love work, I can watch it all day.I am... Read More

    The Greatest Challenges the Internet Consultant Faces!

    While there are few career paths that some would call... Read More

    Nevada Incorporation: The Advantages of Incorporating in Nevada

    Incorporation in Nevada has become an attractive option for savvy... Read More

    Franchises: How to Find the Best Franchise Opportunity for You

    If you are looking for a franchise opportunity, the choice... Read More

    Franchise Companies Come and Go

    Each day we hear of companies entering the franchising industry.... Read More

    Getting Grant Funding For Your Nonprofit Organization

    Do you need grant funding for your nonprofit organization? If... Read More

    Everything I Need to Know About Business I Learned From My Nametag

    So there I was ? sitting in the audience of... Read More

    Building Marketing Momentum For Your Small Business

    The success of your business depends on your ability to... Read More

    Restaurant Operators - What Skills do you Need

    A tongue-in-cheek look at the skills required to operate a... Read More

    Corporate Shells

    A corporate shell could be liken to a house that... Read More

    The Business Failed, But Did You?

    Q: After years of dreaming about starting my own business,... Read More

    Where to Find a Cash Windfall of $10,000 to $1,000,000 -- You Never Knew You Had

    There is a rather famous true story called "Acres of... Read More

    Small Business Newsletter Dilemma: Which Day Do I Send?

    If you're just ramping up your small business email newsletter,... Read More

    Why Do Most Online Small Businesses Fail?

    Search Engines account for almost 90% of all web traffic!In... Read More

    Operating Your Small Business ? Everything Really Is a Project

    Do you operate your business as a series of projects,... Read More

    4 Areas Where Your Business is Losing Money

    In my 18 years of consulting I have heard it... Read More

    Start a Resume Writing Service for Profit

    The resume writing service serves an important role in the... Read More

    How to Integrate Yourself in Someone Elses Business

    When do you need to get more involved with the... Read More

    Banking and Company Credit Card Policies for Small Business

    Does your small business have a banking and credit card... Read More

    led par 38 bulbs street lights sodium Pete's produce ..
    led par 38 bulbs street lights sodium Pete's produce ..