[Courses] chapter two: Running A Business- where do I get customers

Carla Schroder carla at bratgrrl.com
Wed Aug 14 11:11:26 EST 2002

This is the easy part. It does not have to be a horrible stressful thing. 
The #1 attribute a self-employed person needs, in fact this is true for 
success in any arena, is people skills. 

Ah, I see you shy people curling up like pillbugs- "NO! People scary and 
icky!" Well yes, that is why you devise ways to select your customers. You 
want to pick people you trust and are comfortable with. A bad customer is a 
zillion times worse than no customer.

Community involvement is the key. Join organizations that do things you are 
interested in. I hang out with an astronomy club and a disabled citizen's 
council. I also belong to LeTip, a networking organization designed to help 
members build their businesses. Chamber of Commerce can be good, and there 
are all kinds of business networking groups. The more low-pressure ways you 
find to meet and build relationships with people, the better. Do things you 
enjoy- everything will flow from this.

Every single interaction every day is an opportunity to meet people and 
promote yourself. Not hammering people with sales pitches, but building 
relationships. People do business with people they like and trust. The way 
you act at the grocery store, in traffic, in your neighborhood, all leave 
impressions on people.

When someone asks what you do, have a 30-second well-rehearsed answer. And 
for gosh sakes, have a little confidence! If you don't think you are good, no 
one else will. 

Homework: read "The Millionaire Mind" by Thomas J. Stanley. You don't have to 
aspire to being a millionaire to benefit from this book. I'll wager a lot of 
what he says will resonate with you, but you never really believed it because 
it is contrary to popular myths. Popular myths are stupid and destructive.

Homework part 2: In the US, the Small Business Administration offers 
trainloads of great free services for small business people. Use them. 
Wherever you live, investigate to see if there are similar services available.

Carla Schroder, Bratgrrl Computing
Plain English Spoken Here
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