Why do you work from home? Hopefully, you enjoy what you do and want to enjoy the lifestyle being at home can offer you, however is it because you want to make money so that you can have, be and do more in your life? When you work from home you have so many advantages over many traditional businesses. You have more flexibility so when you do have to put in the extra hours, at least you’re at home and don’t have to spend long hours off-site.
However, just because you work from home doesn’t mean you shelter yourself from doing what any successful business owner would do. They recognise that their customers feed them.
Who pays you? Your clients do and never forget that. Unfortunately many people do. They take your money and then vanish off the face of the earth. And if you do hear from them you know they are only trying to sell something or business is not going well. The silly thing is, if you look after the hand that feeds you, they will look after you.
Keep in regular contact with your clients, particularly the top 20% (both current and past) who have provided you with the most income.
Still keep in touch with the others via newsletters etc. However the top 20% of very special clients need extra attention.
A monthly “how’s things?” call. Find out how life is treating them, without expecting to sell anything.
Send the occasional gift …a book, tape, movie tickets. Thank them for their business. When special times of the year occur send them a Christmas Hamper, New Year’s Calendar, Easter eggs at Easter. Little things which show you care.
When you get referrals, reward the referee with a thank you card or gift.
Do what most people in business don’t do. You will be amazed that if you consistently (that is the key word here) make the extra effort, you will continue to get repeat business or more referrals.
For the past two years, I had engaged the services of two separate property managers to look after our investment properties. The property manager of company no. 1 was never pro-active. The only time he spoke with me was when I initiated contact because I had a query or was unhappy about their services. Company no. 2 was exactly the same except that they kept in touch via a newsletter which really was of no use to me as it didn’t mention anything about property management. Mostly the information was about properties being sold.
It was very interesting that both property managers contacted me only when they had been notified by my new property management company that their services were no longer required. In fact, both of them were very upset. They were upset? I’m the one who was paying them, not the other way around. They both wanted to know why I was changing and I certainly told them.
When the new property manager did an inspection on one of the properties, the tenants were home. They told my new property manager that the old company provided very poor service and they were very slow following up any problems they had. I told that to the old company and the manager replied “tenants always say that”.
Anyhow the point of this story is to spell out that because people don’t say anything, doesn’t mean they are happy with your services. Also as a business person you need to be on the ball. Be pro-active, not re-active.
And to do all of this you need to learn how to get organised, manage your time and yourself as effectively as possible. These are not skills most people are born with. They need to be learned. When you work from home it is vital that you circulate in the real world and grow your mind.
There is plenty of business around, however most people spend heaps of time chasing it, take the money and run off to the next person. Yet it would be so much easier to look after what you already have. (And the same applies to your personal life.)