[Courses] chapter seven: Running A Business- $$Making Money$$

Carla Schroder carla at bratgrrl.com
Sun Aug 25 12:26:02 EST 2002

Attitude is everything. People have very mixed-up attitudes towards money. 
Only in an affluent society do people have the luxury of discussing if money 
is 'good' or 'bad'!

It is OK to make money. It is OK to make a lot of money. It is OK to spend it 
on nice things and have fun. Many people think they want 
to work for little or nothing, and serve others. In truth, they want to make 
a decent living and not be poor, so they when they achieve their goal of 
poverty, they feel used and resentful. It is important to be clear on what 
your own values are before you launch a business venture. 

Pricing your services can be tricky. Too low, customers won't think you are 
worth much, and you'll burn out fast from working too cheaply. Too high, you 
won't have customers. In truth, you are worth what you are successfully able 
to charge. Perception is everything- customers don't care about a laundry 
list of credentials as much as they are influenced by your personal 
presentation and interactions with them. Managing expectations is everything- 
'under-promise and over-deliver'. Top-notch customer service always pays off.

A wonderful free education can be had simply by calling other people in the 
same field as yours and pretend to be a prospective customer. Inquire about 
services and pricing. How do they make you feel? How long do they take to 
call you back? Do they listen to you? Do they tell you useful things, or just 
blab salesdroid phrases? Learn from them- the good and the bad. Imitate the 
good only. ;-)

I do a combination of flat rates and hourly. For something new that I'm not 
very experienced with, I'll charge a flat fee. Then it doesn't matter if I'm 
extra slow and careful. For onsite jobs, I have a one- to three-hour minimum, 
depending on how far I have to travel. Travel time will kill you, if you 
don't find a way to charge for it. 

Again I emphasize putting everything in writing: use work orders and 
contracts. Don't use boilerplate contracts or legal software, use a real 
business lawyer and CPA. 

Next chapter: getting started

Carla Schroder, Bratgrrl Computing
Plain English Spoken Here
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