By Diana Ennen
WORD PROCESSING DO’S AND DON’TS
Following are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.
DO -- Decide on a targeted market and initially focus your marketing efforts in that area. By developing a “niche” in your field, your reputation spreads quickly and soon you become a recognized expert. Several specialties include: medical, legal or business transcription, resume writing and composing, desktop publishing, manuscript preparing, academic typing, computer tutoring, etc.
DO -- Be creative about where you can find business. When I started my business, I went through the entire Yellow Pages looking for businesses who might use my services. Then I sent a letter to ALL those who I felt did. Actively network and write a complete plan of action for your marketing. For example, I plan to -- 1) stop by local businesses in the area and drop off my card (printers, attorneys, etc.) 2) advertise in my local weekly paper and yellow pages, 3) send a marketing letter to my targeted group, 4) stop by campuses and place flyers, 5) Etc.
Find where there might be a need -- and go fill it! (For a free booklet on how to obtain clients, e-mail me directly at DeeEnnen@aol.com).
DO -- Provide your clients with more than they ask for. When clients leave your office and get more than they expected, they come back. And best of all, they refer others! This is how businesses grow!!
DO -- Develop promotional material that looks sensational! Your business card alone is often the only connection a potential client has with your services. It should have the POWER to draw them to you! Spend the time to review cards that have caught your interest in the past and then design yours with that in mind. With your letterhead, brochures, flyers, etc., add color and style by purchasing specialty paper at places such as Office Depot, Office Max or specialty paper stores. Occasionally change your letterhead & cards as you develop your business. With a few years experience under your belt, you can develop a much more professional marketing tool that emphasizes your current word processing capabilities and added strengths.
DO -- Enjoy!! There’s no greater feeling than landing that first client or finishing your first big project. Plus, wait until you get the opportunity to tell someone you own and operate your own word processing business. IT IS THE BEST— It sure beats I’m a secretary at . . . Enjoy!!
DON'T -- Under price your services. The average WP today makes $20-$35/hr., depending upon location, specialty, and years in business. (Some a lot more, but for start-ups, this is a good average). Don’t make the mistake of assuming if you charge the lowest prices, you’ll get the most work. You won’t!! Instead, you’ll end up working outrageous hours for peanuts!! Clients will pay more for professional services. When a potential client discovers you’re charging a lower rate than standard, they often feel they will receive a quality of services that is also lower. You are a professional service and you want to charge accordingly!
DON'T -- Get discouraged!! It takes time to get a business going. Plan ahead and have money saved in reserve. Don’t buy items until you have found the best possible price and there is an absolute need. This advance planning takes the pressure off of having to make money NOW!! If things are slow & the phone just isn’t ringing ... MAKE IT RING!! There’s plenty of work out there, you just need to aggressively pursue it.
Finally, the most important ingredient for success is your belief in yourself. If you believe that with your skills and experience, you can own your own business, then there’s nothing stopping you!! DREAMS DO COME TRUE!! SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO MAKE THEM HAPPEN.
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