At the beginning of my entrepreneural journey, Tolu, one of my first few clients, told me he couldn’t afford the exact amount I gave in his quote, so I agreed to negotiate with him although I already made up my mind that I would do his job excellently irrespective of the amount he’s paying. As of today, through Tolu, I have met five different clients that have paid me more than triple the initial amount I charged him, and I still have very good relationships with all these people.
Through these years, I’ve learnt the rule of bowing to enter a house with a low door frame. The rule is quite simple: you are a newbie, it will take some time for people to start trusting you, so you can’t always charge the same amount as those who have been doing the same business for years. You have to keep it low and subsequently raise your charges as you grow.
Every Customer is Unique
There are some customers that won’t pay you what everyone pays, no matter how long you’ve been in business. There are some customers you have to give special treatments to and some you may not make much money from but will still deliver an excellent job to because you want to build a relationship with them and you wouldn’t want money to stop you from achieving that. A business that will succeed needs very good referrals, which is as a result of good relationships.
Pick Up a Side Hustle
Sometimes, you also have to do some side hustles to keep your business going. So many entrepreneurs don’t understand that sometimes they need extra source of income to keep their business moving, especially when they are just starting or expanding.
For instance, if you have a fashion business and you already made up your mind not to run a fashion school with it, some people will naturally ask you to teach them simply because they have seen your works and they want to learn from you. When such opportunities comes, grab them. These are the side hustles that can earn you extra cash to keep your business moving and having one or two apprentices around you won’t hurt. They may even be of great help to you, especially when you have overwhelming jobs to deliver on time.
Generalise, Then Specialise
Consider being a general merchant before becoming a specialist. At the start of your business, don’t focus on just one aspect of your field. It may work for others, but may not work for you just yet. One of the things that can quickly run down your business is sticking with just one source of income.
For instance, if you want to be a lifestyle photographer, at the beginning of your business you may have to do all sort of photography works from wedding to naming to burial to photoshoots to church programs, government events, corporate events, etc. While you do this, you are gaining two things: first is the experience, second is the clientele. By the time you’re ready to go fully into lifestyle photography, you’d have gathered a lot of experiences and connections.
If you start out as just a lifestyle photographer and you have no connections, life may be quite difficult and you may be frustrated out of business in a very short time.
There are fundamental laws of doing business but there are no strict ways to making money from your business. You as a business person, must find your own way of getting and keeping your customers while still respecting your business values.