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  • #967167
    Barb
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    Hi everyone,

    I’m writing this post to see how many other solo business owners have gone through the same roller coaster ride that I seem to be on.

    After being in business for 2 years, I have found that there have been many high’s and low’s. I’ve had some work – however not as much as I would like and a lot of positive feedback, but there have also been those dark moments when I wonder “why am I doing this?”, and “is this worth sticking at”. Does everyone in small business go through this?

    I am a very positive and persistant person, by nature, so I know it’s a matter of getting back on the bike, but at the end of the day, I have to make a living too.

    I’d be interested to know if there are other people out there that have been through (or going through) the same thing.

    Regards,

    #1024033
    Anonymous
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    Hey there Barb,

    That’s a tough one. I bet you’ll be surprised by the number of people who come out of the woodwork with their own similar stories – you’re definitely not alone there.

    What can we do to help? Is there any particular issue you’d like to chat about that might help put the spark back in your step?

    Sending positive vibes in your direction,
    Jayne

    #1024034
    Chris Bates
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    Hey Barb,

    I’m sure we all go through this – after all if we didn’t continually access where we are at in life, we probably would never have found the drive to start a business in the first place.

    What motivated you to fly solo? Maybe you need to rethink on that, and determine if it’s still relevant.

    For me, my motivation is having the freedom of choice. I hated working for a “boss”, and having to play by someone else’s rules (disdain of authority, haha). But it’s also about chasing that light at the end of the tunnel, financial freedom.

    So share with us, why did you decide to fly solo?

    Cheers,
    Chris

    #1024035
    Barb
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    Chris Bates, post: 28539 wrote:
    Hey Barb,

    I’m sure we all go through this – after all if we didn’t continually access where we are at in life, we probably would never have found the drive to start a business in the first place.

    What motivated you to fly solo? Maybe you need to rethink on that, and determine if it’s still relevant.

    For me, my motivation is having the freedom of choice. I hated working for a “boss”, and having to play by someone else’s rules (disdain of authority, haha). But it’s also about chasing that light at the end of the tunnel, financial freedom.

    So share with us, why did you decide to fly solo?

    Cheers,
    Chris

    Thanks Jayne & Chris for your responses…..

    To answer your question Chris, the main reason why I decided to start my own business was because I was at home with my daughter (who was a great sleeper) and I had quite a bit of spare time on my hands. I also found that I needed to keep my brain active, after many years in the workforce, it was hard for me to not have anything constructive to do with my thoughts. However, having said that, while I was still working for an employer, I had been thinking that I would love to one day have my own business as an “Office Angel” as I thought there must be a HUGE need for it……..I’m still looking for those people who need me!!

    I spoke to someone last week who said that I need to market myself to a more refined group, rather than trying to market myself to EVERYONE, I need to define my target and market specifically to them. My first target market is local draftsman, architects, engineers as I believe I have a “feel” for that type of industry (I worked in a similar industry and also my father was an engineer working from home, so I know what he experienced). The problem I face is that these people don’t necessarily know that they need my services and are also frugal with money, so now I take on the hard role of sales and trying to sell my services to them.

    My motivation is definately still there (most of the time!!) because I want to be flexible in my working hours for my children, and I don’t want to give up, but I am starting to look at the job classifieds a fair bit too……

    Someone once said that the amount of businesses that close after a short time in operation is astounding, I totally believe that now!!

    Thanks again for your positive thoughts and help, I really do appreciate it :)

    Regards,

    #1024036
    Chris Bates
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    Hey Barb,

    That someone is right, it’s going to help a lot if you have a niche defined. Because then you become THE specialist in that field.

    If the engineering industry is what you consider your speciality, then work with that. Wherever you go, you will have the joys of convincing them they need your services though.

    Having had experience in the field, can you name the top 3 mistakes people make in their offices? Make up an article or two, “top 7 time saving tips for your engineering office” and you can then use this as marketing material.

    #1024037
    Steven Hudson
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    Hello Barb

    Take Chris’s tip about the “top 7 time saving tips for your engineering office” make it into a small ebook as a give away on your web site. Then build a list from the ebook responses then send a new letter each month, it cheap, has high visibility and builds awareness to your brand.

    Cheers

    Steven

    #1024038
    Burgo
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    See what happens when you get called out on a job, you get intelligent answers from my friends.
    Most of us have these doubts from time to time, I still have them, but its only because you have allowed some negative thoughts to come in.
    The next phone call will be an exciting job.

    I spoke to someone last week who said that I need to market myself to a more refined group, rather than trying to market myself to EVERYONE, I need to define my target and market specifically to them. My first target market is local draftsman, architects, engineers as I believe I have a “feel” for that type of industry (I worked in a similar industry and also my father was an engineer working from home, so I know what he experienced). The problem I face is that these people don’t necessarily know that they need my services and are also frugal with money, so now I take on the hard role of sales and trying to sell my services to them.

    Now this seems to answer part of the question and it is spot on.

    Now do you have a brochure, that you can give, send to,.
    How many customers from each of these neich areas do you want, who are they, do you know any of them, have you visited their offices to see if they are the customer you want.

    Basically you need to do a bit of market research of the market you want to tap into. Is there overload work from these neich markets, do you have the name of the person that makes the decissions.

    Remember to be a good sales person you need to relax and be your self, and you have a product they may need. So you get a few no’s and you may even be surprised at how many yeses are in those no’s.

    Think possitive get rid of negativity, get out there and be your georgeous self…knock’em dead

    #1024039
    Barb
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    @ Chris – I reckon I could name at least 3 mistakes or obstacles my target market encounter and I love the idea of an article with tips to overcome these.

    @ Steven – the ebook is a great idea as well, and I’ll look into doing something along these lines.

    @ Burgo – You know, I made 5 phone calls today to potential clients in my target market and 3 of those phone numbers were dis-connected, 1 was a fax machine and 1 business had retired. So not a very fruitful day – but it hasn’t taken the wind out of my sails. I’ve created a basic flyer or leaflet explaining my business, which is yet to be printed. I’ve also created a sales letter that I will send out with the leaflet. I have learnt after a couple of years, that it doesn’t pay to try too hard and it’s important to relax and be myself.

    How many customers from each of these neich areas do you want? All of them!!
    Who are they? I’m still doing my research on that.
    Do you know any of them? No, I don’t know any of them – yet
    Have you visited their offices to see if they are the customer you want? No, my plan of attack is now to make my initial contact by phone to get the right contact person, then to send them my sales letter with leaflet and to try to gain a meeting.

    Thanks Burgo for your positivity – it’s much appreciated!!

    And thanks everyone!!

    #1024040
    strategictelemarketer
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    I understand how it felt being a small business owner myself, been to some ‘highs’ but most of the time ‘lows’ in my entire business career. But like you, I never gave up. I think it’s more of willpower that’s important than anything else. :)

    #1024041
    Steven Hudson
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    Hello Barb

    5 calls is great, try tommorrow 20 conversations, but make sure you have a good prospect list to work from i.e. it has all the info you need to make the call.

    Have a objective for the call, maybe this call you can get the name of the deicision maker or/and maybe his/her email address.

    Pick a time during the day when you think you have the best opportunity to make several calls with out interprution. Set some targets for rest periods like 5 conversations and a piece of fruit. I usually like a quick round of freecell its just the way I am but it is a reward system, and they work.

    Remember it is the number of conversations

    cheers

    Steven

    #1024042
    Barb
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    • Total posts: 144
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    Steven Hudson, post: 28615 wrote:
    Hello Barb

    5 calls is great, try tommorrow 20 conversations, but make sure you have a good prospect list to work from i.e. it has all the info you need to make the call.

    Have a objective for the call, maybe this call you can get the name of the deicision maker or/and maybe his/her email address.

    Pick a time during the day when you think you have the best opportunity to make several calls with out interprution. Set some targets for rest periods like 5 conversations and a piece of fruit. I usually like a quick round of freecell its just the way I am but it is a reward system, and they work.

    Remember it is the number of conversations

    cheers

    Steven

    Hi Steven,

    I like your way of thinking…set a target and then reward – can it be chocolate?

    Tomorrow is a new day, and even if I get 1 conversation done (with 2 little girls running around, it can be difficult) then that’s a positive step.

    Thanks for your feedback!!

    Regards,

    #1024043
    wordmistress
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    Barb, post: 28623 wrote:
    Hi Steven,

    I like your way of thinking…set a target and then reward – can it be chocolate?

    Somehow I sniffed out a thread containing the word ‘chocolate’! Yes! It can be chocolate and yes, you can do it.

    Whenever I feel as though business is not moving along as fast as I’d like it to, I do one of two things: take a nap, or race full steam ahead.

    Seriously, the nap sometimes gives me the chance to shut down and re-set, but as I’m dozing off, I contemplate what I could be doing to be more successful. And sometimes, just the fact that I’m not in front of the computer, on the phone or driving around, gives me the chance to think more clearly and before I know it, the nap’s forgotten about and the energy has returned with a vengeance. Considering I sometimes work until midnight, I don’t begrudge myself a catch-up snooze.

    Aside from the nap, I vow to get stuck into things and set myself a two hour goal to make something happen. It might be 10am so I decide that before I stop to eat lunch, I have to have made 5 calls, written some Flying Solo posts, sent some pitch emails or done something else that will result in business, whether mid- or short-term.

    And now that you mentioned chocolate, the Maltesers I was saving for tomorrow are open and disappearing fast!

    #1024044
    Chris Bates
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    Haha glad to see your FS posting is part of your daily ambitions! :D

    #1024045
    wordmistress
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    Chris Bates, post: 28647 wrote:
    Haha glad to see your FS posting is part of your daily ambitions! :D

    It is actually :). In the short time that I’ve been visiting the forum, Flying Solo has been very good to and for me. I’ve gained a couple of clients, learned a heap of new things, made an in-person friend, become online friends with others, gained plenty of exposure and I feel I’ve also been able to help others. It’s like “Chicken Soup for the Small Business Owner’s Soul”. There! lol

    #1024046
    Chris Bates
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    Haha, chicken soup – or in your case, alphabet soup! OK, a lame joke I know… :(

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