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  • #971203
    Simtech PC Solutions
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    Hi all,

    I am hoping to gleam some advice regarding a question I have…

    I run a small sideline business doing PC repair & maintenance, custom PC builds, and the like. I have a website as the main point of contact (as well as any word of mouth from existing customers), but no where do I mention that this is a sideline business and that my time may be limited when it comes to supporting a customers needs.

    Should I be saying some where up front on my website that this is a sideline business? Or, should it just be part of the general conversation with the customer when negotiating on a time that suits both parties as to when the job is done?

    I am concerned about potentially misleading customers expectations and want to avoid doing this.

    Has anyone faced the same situation and what have you done?

    Thanks in advance.

    #1048404
    createdevelop
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    Should I be saying some where up front on my website that this is a sideline business?

    Well stating that is up to you. However wouldn’t it be better to say something like ” we are busy so sometimes a standard build may take x weeks”?

    Don’t feel like you are misleading customers. Negotiating a time frame that suits everyone is a huge part of pricing work that is “bespoke”. If someone came to you and said the ABSOLUTELY had to have the job done in a week, you could say, “well our normal price for this is x, but that is for 4 weeks, if you want it done in a week, it is x times 4” etc.

    What is the difference between this being a sideline for you, alongside your other job, and a HUGE company selling lots of services, and this is just one of them?

    #1048405
    AgentMail
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    I would definitely say no to announcing it as a sideline thing. It is your responsibility to manage your customers expectations, and ensure that you meet promised deadlines. Do you think that if you promise them something by x date, but don’t deliver they will go any easier on you because it is a sideline gig?

    Be professional, set realistic time frames and you will be fine.

    #1048406
    Simtech PC Solutions
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    Thanks for your replies.

    I agree with your points of view and can see how that would work rather well.

    Sometimes it is good to just have a bit of reassurance.

    #1048407
    peppie
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    My thoughts from past experience.

    Be honest with your customers about your available time, but I would not use words like “sideline business”. Reason? because you also need to show credibility and a word like “sideline” shouts part time/amateur and the like. I think you need to convey the idea of professionalism and also say something like this is part of what you do – maybe even state what else you do do, especially if it is in some way compatible sort of work and may even gain new contacts for it.

    Be very careful though what you do say to your clients and try to think about the way it might come across to you if YOU were the client. Years ago I got trapped a few times after commenting in conversation that I was finding this work a bit hard for me, or words to that affect. Much later I would wonder why I had not heard from that client only to find they thought from my comment I was not doing that sort of work any more. They had completely read their own meaning into my words!

    #1048408
    PhillipaKiripatea
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    I think that it is unnecessary to state that this is a sideline business or to even let clients know this is a sideline business.

    Of course you will need to let clients know when the job will be complete, and if it’s going to take you longer than a full-timer, all they need to know is that you’re in demand and are busy.

    Clients don’t need to know the inner-workings of your business, all they care about at the end of the day is that their work/project is complete to their liking.

    #1048409
    Jake@EmroyPrint
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    I don’t believe advertising as a sideline business is a good marketing tact – Letting your customers know what you expect is however a good thing.

    If you are unable to answer calls during the day, I would suggest looking into a VA to manage your calls when you are unable – This way your customer is still able to contact you and the VA can advise when they will receive a call back.

    – Jake

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