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Discussion Starter #1
Saying that there is a tremendous amount of knowledge being shared on this site is an understatement. So it is here I come with my curiousity. I assume that when a majority of you guys/gals started your own business you still were currently employed with another company & you were just "moonlighting". My questions is what were your initial forms of marketing in the beginning? Yellow Pages? Internet? Word of Mouth? Door to door flyers? And if you were employed with another company when you began, then at what point did you decide that you had to go at it full time & kiss your 9 to 5 goodbye? Just lookin moreso for not only success stories, but for those still getting from "A" to "B". How did you do what you do?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK....now that the jokers have said their piece, who really has some insight? I would love to hear it, thanks.
 

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DavidC
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Could be a good question.

I started to keep the rent paid while I looked for another job. The employment arena wasn't much to hope on during a recession in the dinosaur age, but people still needed roof repairs and redos. That is the where and how I started.

It is possible that I did or was the things I rail most against these days. I worked more on the trades side than the business side most of my career. Most of what I've been through I would advise against. Being the world's greatest tradesman will not insure success at any level, and you can still starve.

By operating a viable business responsibly, a mediocor tradesman can realize any level of success they set their mind to.

Great tradesmen can be gainfully employed by good businessmen and each assists the other in their respective success'. It is not as simple as that because each must do their part to make it work, and some are able to pull off both at once.

A respected contributor on another forum uses the handle "always-learning". That is really the best mindset. I've learned some good lessons late, but not too late. But some days I wish Al Gore was born sooner so the internet would have been there earlier. :>)

Good Luck
Dave
 

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My best advise to you is to learn your true cost of doing business. It does not matter what others are charging. They may not know that they are loosing money on each sale. Do you want to work and lose money?

Your business needs money to operate and to grow.

Someone I know says something like "Some prefer to eat hot dogs, I prefer steak."
 

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Someone I know says something like "Some prefer to eat hot dogs, I prefer steak."
Nothing wrong with a hot dog appetizer with your steak dinner followed by a slice of ham for desert.


.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My best advise to you is to learn your true cost of doing business. It does not matter what others are charging. They may not know that they are loosing money on each sale. Do you want to work and lose money?

Your business needs money to operate and to grow.

"
Yes, you are correct. I see that this is where the business acumen comes into play.
 

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I started my business about 2 years ago. I recommend not spending to much on yellowpage advertising. Each year I spend less and less there and spend more on flyers, post cards and lead sites. I also recommend joining your local chamber of commerce it helps with networking with businesses.

Go meet your potential customer base. I spend days targeting certain prospects. I would bring a business card and a brochure. No what your going to say before you go. At first make it simple like "Hi My name is Nathan I with superior eagle communications", say a little bit about your company then say you would like to meet with him when he has time to talk about his company and its operation. Don't waste their time nor yours not knowing what to say. You gotta be a salesman, that to me is the extremely important. Make them feel important becasue they are. You need to get your foot through the doors. But then you better deliver, what ever it takes and I mean what ever.

Also make sure you keep your books straight! I know when starting out your income is limited, but if you can or have someone that can help you keep your taxes paid and books straight. I tried to do it myself when i first started and I didnt keep up on them and what a mess. I have since recovered have a secretary and accountant and everything is running smooth.

I wish I knew then what im telling you now, it would of been easier for me in the beginning. One of my friends dad owns a sucessful cleaning company, its been in business for probably 20 years and wanted to talk to me when he heard I was starting my business. For what ever reason none specific or of enough importance not to talk to him I never did and I wish I would of. He has there before (starting a business) and probably would of gave me a lot of info of do's and don'ts that could of save me a lot of wasted time and money.

Good Luck

and remember listen to your customer's without them your nothinh!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Nathan, I am afraid I had to copy & paste your post to a notepad file & save it. I know I will come back to it & back to it. Thank you for the reply & advice.
 

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In regard “if you were employed with another company when you began, then at what point did you decide that you had to go at it full time”

Myself I done it, I think I was smart or maybe just too scare care doing it earlier with 2 babies at that time, but I made sure I had enough money aside to support my business and family for 6 month and already build apex 50% of my monthly expenses before I made the switch to full time self employee.


Good luck to you
 

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Low Voltage Contractor
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My best advise to you is to learn your true cost of doing business. It does not matter what others are charging. They may not know that they are loosing money on each sale. Do you want to work and lose money?

Your business needs money to operate and to grow.

Someone I know says something like "Some prefer to eat hot dogs, I prefer steak."
I agree, and take it a step further. Of course know your costs, they should always be more than covered or you won't be in business long. There's also business strategy. Do you want to be right there with all of your competitors? Do you want to undercut them? Do you want to set your prices well above theirs? There's nothing wrong with setting your prices high, assuming your work complements it. And it does have to complement it. Those people will tell their friends, "look what I got." There are people that would rather pay exuberant prices than look for the best bargain.
 

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I started with flyers in combination with working for friends and family. Then moved to the phone books. Word of mouth from friends, family and customers is the best advertisement you can get. A good job gets you return customers.
 

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Do quality work with an appropriate price, be nice easy to deal with and get things done on schedule. One job well done leads to several referals and on and on. If you arn't getting referals then reflect on the past work you have done and determine your shortcommings.

Advertising can help, but in ads everyone claims they are the best, they will only get you so far.
 
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