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Meeting Potential Clients

29th April 2009

Well, here we are three days into the business. First impressions are, I am so much happier, I am more relaxed, I get a lot more done because it is for me and my family. I also feel engaged with my clients, I want their websites to succeed, I want someone to ring them or visit their shop because of what we made.

The drawbacks are the types of work you have to do. You might love coding and doing graphic design, but do you also love preparing proposals, walking the street, approaching people and being treated like a door to door salesman. I find myself doing all the admin stuff too, maintaining client contact details, status of proposals, server logins and passwords. A small business owner wears many caps.

Over the last three days I have gone live with our first website. I submitted it to google, asked three online businesses related to it to list their url, one has done so for us. Encouraged my clients to spam everyone about it and just general set up things for it.

I also submitted proposals for the next job. There are now 4 proposals outstanding, 3 declined. One person that did decline is in specialised retail, operating on thin margins. He equates a website to advertising and what we do as if it were nothing, the wind. He had been spending money with the local newspaper, magazines and billboards and they just took his money and ran. This was a little disheartening. I believe we can do something for any business, if only an online business card type site. But it is true you need to add value, even if your prices are low, you need to generate in excess of what you charge to cover their outlay. So, onto the next proposal.

People are very busy operating their businesses, you have to judge when is the best time to approach them. Also a well laid out proposal or logical points wont fly if they are not already considering a website. It takes a bit to educate people on the benefits, and sometimes if you attempt this education you come across as just another salesman. See, this is another role as a small business owner I know nothing about. I dont really want to be a salesman, I just want to explain how I think I can help someones business.

So what gets you through these times? I think remembering satisfied customers, balancing your work day so you can do some code, and remember why you are doing this in the first place.