A Year of PrimeBox: Getting work

Getting work in is perhaps one of the hardest parts of starting a new business. A new business seems to frequently be confused with someone new to the business/industry. It's apparently quite hard to get a potential client to understand that while you've only been in business yourself for a few months, you have over 3 years experience, approaching 4 years.

If the client can get past the idea that you've got the experience, you may then have a problem with your portfolio. I've had a few proposals I've written which the client has told me have been very professional and clearly state what work will be done for what price. But at the same time as being told that, being told you won't be getting the work because they've gone with someone with a larger portfolio, it leaves you wondering “How can I make my portfolio larger if people won't give me work I can add to it?!”

When work has been fairly scarce, I've done my best to make sure that I'm at least doing a lower budget website such as for a very small/starting up business, charity, club, or other. At least that way I can get more websites into my portfolio, and hopefully therefore get more work.

Getting a response

Another interesting issue has been actually getting a response from potential clients. There have been a couple of instances where I've gone to meetings which have been very positive and very productive, I've been asked to get a quote to the client so that they can make a decision and get back to me.

The problem is having clients get back to you. There are two or three clients who, months after providing them with a proposal after positive and productive meetings and phone calls, have still not got back to me. The occasional reminder email or attempt to get in touch by phone prove unsuccessful.

One particular client was surprised when they ended up speaking to me, as I called from a different number to the one they normally associate with me. In that phone call, I got an answer. But it really annoyed me.

Sending an email can take a matter of seconds these days. Especially when you can have templates for emails and send emails in bulk.

The same thing annoyed me when I was looking for jobs before deciding to go self employed. I find it amazing how hard it appears to be to get a response as to whether or not you have a job. The system appears to be built on the idea that you have to assume, after an unknown period of time, whether you have the job or not.

For a company who gets hundreds of applications for one position, I can't see them letting unsuccessful applicants know through a template email taking more than a few minutes. Therefore I can't see how a potential client can't spend just a few seconds, maybe a whole minute, sending an email saying “Thank you for your time, but no thank you”.

Get over it

Ultimately it's just a case of accepting that some people will never get back to you. I've built in a deadline for every proposal I send out. This allows me to plan in time to do the work should the client say yes, and also gives me a known date where I can free up that time to other work for other clients. If a client is very late getting back to me and does want the work done, their work can go to the back of the queue.

In a sense you're providing yourself with a solution to other businesses' failings. While it may seem harsh implying other businesses have failings, but as a new business, especially if you're just one person, you need to make sure you're keeping everything under control.

Posted by Ant on the 18th December 2013 at 11:09am. (0 comments)

Categories: Business

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