This is my 2nd part in my series for the start-up for small business
- Develop an image, a brand to communicate to your customers: Logo, stationary, colors, brochures, signs, websites they all have to be on the same wavelength.
- Even if working from home, have a separate phone line and fax line
- Make sure your are efficient in using windows even of you have to take classes, some community colleges offer these classes: Word (Letters), Excel (tables), Power point (Presentations), Access (Database), Publisher (Brochures) etc…
- Document properly your expenses, income, assets; you can use some software like QuickBooks easy to use.
- Have a laptop rather than a desktop if you move a lot or you visit your customers.
- Have a remote voicemail, where the calls can reach you no matter where you are rather than having an answering machine
- Have a professional greeting on your voicemail, mention your name, company name and ask the caller to leave a message
- When you return a call, speak slowly and clearly, leave your phone number again and the time you want them to reach you
- Learn digital technology, have an e-newsletter monthly or quarterly sent to your mailing list, make sure to have an opt-out option. Always mention your website, contacts, may be your blog on the newsletter, offer valuable information, and some promotions
- Keep in touch with your customers by Emails, phone calls. Remember their birthdays; send a card for Christmas, Easter, Passover, and Hanukkah…
- Neglect to look for a suitable phone, Cell phone plan that does not serve your goals or are very expensive
- Choose a long term contract (Like 2 years) with a big penalty to break it for your phone & Mobiles
- Neglect the importance of a toll free number
- Neglect the importance of having a website, with contacts and a form for your customers to submit if needed.
- Not have a brand or an image, your communication will confuse the customers
- Not having knowledge about basic computer software
- Not thinking that Emails and responding on time is important
- Not having backup for your computer system just in case
- Not considering the Internet as an important business tool.
- Purchase more equipment than you need or fail to return them within the return time limits policies