So you have a web site, and the web site has a nice Contact Us page, and maybe you have even done some extensive A/B version testing to see what layout will get the most enquiries. That’s all great, but….
Last week, my business made £1,180 from a customer without doing any work. All it took was for this particular customer to pay their invoices late. This one customer was over 80 days late in their payment, and the amount was large.
In my house, we have a wooden plaque with our coat of arms – a merged coat of arms created from my wife’s family crest and my own (with a few whimsical touches thrown in for good measure to make it “us”). On this plaque there are two phrases included which are our family mottos (me and my wife – not our historical family’s).
Every so often, my 10 year old daughter looks at the plaque, runs her fingers over the crest and words, and repeats the phrases to herself – fascinated by their meaning (which we explained when she was very little).
When I produce estimates or quotations for customers, I generally produce them quickly and easily using the tools available to me in FreeAgent (the on-line accounts system). This works for the majority of quotations as I can use the price list system to easily apply standard items, and the quotations are emailed to my customers using my pre-defined template layout.
However, now and again I have to produce more detailed proposals – with lots of text, examples, concepts, terms and payment profiles. The sort of quotations we all have to produce now and again – the multi page proposals for those ‘larger’ projects.
Recently, I have come across two new cloud based applications which could make the process of quotation generation that little bit easier. Especially where the quotations are repetitive in nature (where the same text is used over and over again).
PostHeaderIcon Can you upgrade your customers to win more business in the future?
PostDateIcon October 28th, 2011 | PostEditIcon Edit
Last month, I went on holiday to China. It was a good holiday. It was a great holiday. But I was puzzled about the flights to and from China.
I flew with British Airways both ways, and noticed that the plane was 25% empty. Economy was packed – not a free seat to be had, but premium, business and first class were practically empty. Not surprising I guess, seeing we are teetering on the brink of another recession and people are cutting back.
PostHeaderIcon In business? Want to grow it? Then you need the Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book
PostDateIcon August 8th, 2011 | PostEditIcon Edit
I have just finished reading the Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book by Dee Blick. Actually, that’s not true. The fact is, I have just finished reading the Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book for the third time – and I only got the book a couple of weeks ago.
My method of reading a business book is that as I read the book, if there are tips and advice I think I can apply to my business, I turn a page corner over. Then when I am done – I go through the turned page and turn them into ToDo tasks which I action over the course of a few months or weeks. However, when I got to the end of Dee Blicks book, I found that the majority of pages were turned over. So I re-read it, trying to find the key elements which I can apply. You know what? I didn’t know where to start, there were that many.
Imagine you were stopped in the street and were offered a Rolex. It’s in a nice box, the box says Rolex, and the watch says Rolex. It’s all sparkly, gold plated, and looks very nice. There in the box is the printed Rolex guarantee. Everything looks good.Now imagine the person offers you the Rolex for £50 – what is your first thought?!? Would you think it’s a real Rolex? Is it genuine? Or is it a knock off from China that will fall apart after 2 days?
Having just (foolishly) paid for an extended warranty on a washing machine that already has a 10 year guarantee (doh), warranties and guarantees have been on my mind recently. In business, it’s hard to imagine any company that should not offer some form of warranty. But if you don’t specify the specific terms, the customers can only guess what is reasonable.
As the saying goes, Business is Business. However, different businesses have different ways of doing business.What is typical for one company may be completely different for another. These differences can be exaggerated and highlighted when a freelancer or small business works with a larger company. Whilst a large business may be stuck in procedures, committees and rules, being a smaller more dynamic company means that we can make decisions and change direction in an instant.
Over a coffee (Tea in my case), I was speaking to a freelancer the other day about a project which had just been cancelled on him. In fact, it wasn’t just cancelled – he had delivered it after weeks of work to be told the five worst words we all dread to hear – “We want our Money Back”. Apparently, everything that could be wrong with the delivery was wrong. The client would not even speak with this poor chap.