by Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing and author of “Virtual Assistant, The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA“
Running your business definitely has its challenges. It’s how you deal with them that makes the difference.
Here are a few tips to overcome your business challenges:
Letting others know your value.
So many business owners just don’t understand fully what all you do because they aren’t doing the work. You need to let them know. It’s not bragging, it’s good business sense. For example, with PR and marketing, it’s important to be able to explain to clients exactly what they are getting. Let’s say you land them in major media. Not only should you let them know that it happened, but also provide the stats on that site so they see how great it is and what they can expect. Also, to get more out of each media mention, provide additional information on how they can utilize their social media (people they already know them) to showcase this media attention. So whatever your business, find ways to do the follow-up showing all you accomplish for your clients and why it benefits them.
Keeping consistent income.
Here again, many business owners suffer from this and the feast or famine of their business. One month you are rock’n and can barely keep up, and then the next month crickets. You often crave the stability of a regular paycheck. Well, you can make that happen. One way is to offer retainer services whereby every month clients will retain your services. Even though it’s at a slight lower rate, depending on how many hours they secure, it’s beneficial as it provides regular income. Another method might be to offer programs that are set up on a monthly basis. This differs for so many businesses and how they can set it up, but the bottom line remains the same – keep income coming in regularly.
Overcoming a Bad Experience.
Have you ever had something happen in your business that well didn’t go according to plan? Say you spoke and no one ended up buying your book or becoming clients. Your new program that you spent months on, didn’t fly. Perhaps a client wasn’t 100% satisfied with your services. Believe it or not, this happens to most of us at one time or another. Yes, you could sit back and never speak again, or mope and settle for less income by not going after new clients, or you can reboot and start fresh. That’s the one to go with. We know that loss of confidence can really hurt. However, the real pros know to move on. First, take a few minutes and examine your role. Could you have done something different? If so, next time do it. (That was easy!). Next build your confidence back. Read your client testimonials or talk with associates. Do anything and everything to rebuild your confidence because honestly even saying it doesn’t bother you, more than likely it does. Then get back on the horse again only this time with renewed confidence and perhaps a few changes in how you do things. Will you fall again? Of course you will at some time. But will you always grow learning from your experiences, absolutely!
Not Pricing Correctly.
If I had a nickel for every time that I did this, well I could make up for my pricing mistakes. Seriously though, this happens. You underbid on a project finding out it takes five times longer than you anticipated. You price a course and then realize that you are giving away the farm. Or you simply discover your hourly rate is way below what it should be. Not to fear. It’s fixable. The most important thing you can do is to learn from this and correct the situation. You might not be able to up your rate with the current client, just you can learn from your mistake and never do it again. Also, don’t disregard talking with your client about it. Sometimes they understand. However, know that if its your mistake, you shouldn’t make them pay unless they are willing to.
Pricing mistakes often are made because you didn’t realize the time involvement. So get used to timing yourself. Yes, get the timer out and work for a specific amount of time on that task and see how long it takes. Simple! Also, get a day planner and write down your day for a week or two (or forever!) or get used to using some of the many valuable time management programs available today. Time is money and if you are not keeping track of it and utilizing your time in the best possible way, well there it goes, clunk clunk … down the drain.
Business challenges are a part of business. So get used to dealing with them and also get used to learning methods of rising above them. Be great at what you do, do what you are passionate about, and finally seek help when needed. Your business thrives when you do.
Diana Ennen is the President of Virtual Word Publishing, offering PR and marketing services. She hosts PR classes through www.prsuccessseries.com, and is also the author of six books on starting your own business including the best-selling”Virtual Assistant, The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA“, Contact her at Diana@virtualwordpublishing.com or @dianaennen for a free PR Informational Package.