Shadows that Linger in Special Places
Holiday '08 Marketing Outlook

The Small Business Bible

Eyes_on_the_world Back in August (seems like forever ago), I attended a small blogging roundtable in NYC with a "select" group of business bloggers, at the invitation of USA Today.

At that event, I was privileged to meet Steven D. Strauss, the USAToday small business columnist  who is also known as Mr. Allbiz. (the event was sponsored by Brother printers...and we really liked the one they displayed, but - to Brother's credit, the printer was secondary to the conversation).

This post is about Steve's book, The Small Business Bible. And what a bible it is! As his press notes, this book is a "gold-mine" of information, with content on (but not limited to):

  • Writing a winning biz plan
  • Buying a "great" franchise
  • Hassle-free hiring
  • Creating a memorable brand

I'm not even half-way through this book and it's been tremendously helpful to me, especially we all struggle with this #@$%"#@$% upheaval in the economy.

Because this book really is like a bible, after all it's over 500 pages in length, I'll share bits and pieces of it as I go through it.Thesmallbusinessbiblebystevendstrau

For today, I thought the advice Strauss offers on page 102 might be useful to all the small business owners out there who are struggling, much like I am, to charge fair and reasonable prices, while not falling into charging by the hour. We left the whole "hourly rate" thing behind when we incorporated Windsor Media Enterprises, and I've never looked back.

That doesn't mean it's easy to figure out what "price" to put to a project, while still being fair to ourselves and to the new client. This is what Strauss says and I totally agree (see what you think, then share, please; you'll be helping many other small business owners):

"How to Get Customer to Pay More for Your Services...

  • Offer a flat fee. Customers like knowing exactly what the cost will be, and often they will pay more for that peace of mind.
  • Offer a free consultation. A free half-hour session builds rapport, and rapport means work. If you get the gig, you can always build that half hour back into your fee (or not).
  • Start small. Offer to do a smaller project first to build confidence. Once the customer likes you and your work, you can charge more.
  • Guarantee your work. Guarantees build confidence, and confidence means higher fees."

I agree with all of these and would add... Make sure your web presence is current and showcases you with testimonials. Clients and prospects are tuned more and more into the web - if you shine like polished silver online, your customers will know they are getting the best price, for the best service, and you will be worth a king's ransom.

BTW, I recommend this book for all small businesses. Not just start-ups. Get  a copy and read page 103...where Strauss explains "The Loss Leader." Very valuable.


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moncler shop

Nice, and thanks for sharing this info with us.Good Luck!

Yvonne DiVita

Aditya, this is marvelous! I will surely check out Deskaway and Zoho. Thank you for sharing with us. Do come back again!

Where is your blog?

Aditya Gholap

The small business bible sounds interesting. In my business, some tools are my bible. For communicating and hassle free hiring, my blog is my bible! For chatting with my employees and keeping them happy - Google apps is my bible. To automate revenue collection Zoho Invoice is my bible! And most importantly - Deskaway is my bible to collaborate with my team and make my business lean by meeting deadlines, identifying issues, simplifying teamwork. It also helps me analyse where we are heading. All these definitive internal aspects help make our brand that we try and share through social media! What do you think?

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