2 Early Lessons I’ve Never Forgotten

If nothing else, starting a business is starting a journey of learning.  In my case, that was a good thing!  I love to learn – always have and always will.  Here are two things I learned early on that have served me well for more than 20 years.

If a client is concerned about the cost, change the scope of the proposed project but not your rate.  Nothing shows a lack of confidence in your own skills faster than lowering the rate as soon as the customer flinches.  It’s much better to counter propose with a smaller amount of work that fits in their budget and leave the opportunity for future work. 

I later learned that a good test of your rates is based on the pushback percentage.  About 20% of your prospects should complain.  If no one is complaining, you are charging too little.  If more than 20% are complaining you are priced to high for the market you are reaching – change your price to meet the market or find a better market. 

Not every prospect is a true client prospect.  I can organize anything or anyone, but that’s not what I am best at doing.  Resdiential organizing projects are not in my market. While I have done projects for Fortune 100 companies, I find working directly with an owner to be more satisfiying and I use a wider range of my skills.  Small businesses that are under financed are not my market because they can’t afford my services.  Prospects that are not yet ready to change are not in my market regardless of how much they might need me. 

What qualities does your true client prospect have?

1 comment

  1. Sean Harry says:

    You write, “not every prospect is a true client prospect” — SO TRUE. this is perhaps one of the most difficult things I have had to learn as a small business person. Partly because I WANT to help everyone. The truth is, not everyone wants (or needs) my help.

    Thanks for the reminder, Susan

    Sean Harry