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Taking Care Of Business


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#1 sanity

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 12:28 AM

We've all heard the saying "the cobblers children have no shoes"... I'm interested in what happens in our industry.

I've just this week decided to set a day a week aside for our marketing. I did this a while ago and it was a huge success but as we got busier I found I stopped. Now I'm swamped with work and never seem to find the time to work on our stuff. So a day a week it is and I'll be interested to see how it goes.

So what about other business owners. How much time do you spend on your own marketing and how do you allocate the time?

#2 EGOL

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 03:08 AM

Swamped? No time for your own stuff? Time to raise the prices a bit.

I try not to work for others and that allows me to work on my own stuff as much as possible. It's great because I don't have to give quotes, don't have to educate, can do what I want, when I want.

However, I do have lots of people asking me to work for them. When that happens, I think... how much do I make per hour working on my own stuff... and when I work on my own stuff I earn money AND build equity simutaneously. That means I would have to charge them double what I make per hour for the lost opportunity of equity. So, I usually simply decline rather than give them a price.

Most of them have a business model that would probably not work (they think that they can get a website built and ranked for competitive terms for a couple thousand dollars. I ask them their terms and their anticipated budget to make a website competitive. They don't realize that the cost to compete in the areas that they are after is very high. If I can't do it for their budget then I tell them that I don't think that I can do what they need for an economical price.

The jobs that I have done are SEO related to physics and chemistry. These are specialized industries where the traffic is low, the competition is thin, but the value of acquiring one client is very very high. Plus the typical SEO would not understand the terminology well enough to figure out their keyword combinations and would be totally lost on getting them links. I like physics and chemistry so these jobs fit very well. I am getting these jobs from my accountant. He calls and asks if he can give my name to one of his clients.

Where am I going with this? Some clients have a greater ability to pay than others. Try raising your prices and working for the clients who have the highest potential. Then spend the rest of your time working on your own projects.

#3 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 04:13 AM

I can sympathise completely... never enough time to tend your own back garden :)

I think setting regular intervals is a smart move... even if it's only a day or two per month - it means you have 26+ days to plan you next move.

#4 rynert

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 05:25 AM

I try not to work for others and that allows me to work on my own stuff as much as possible. It's great because I don't have to give quotes, don't have to educate, can do what I want, when I want.

However, I do have lots of people asking me to work for them. When that happens, I think... how much do I make per hour working on my own stuff... and when I work on my own stuff I earn money AND build equity simutaneously. That means I would have to charge them double what I make per hour for the lost opportunity of equity. So, I usually simply decline rather than give them a price.


That is my situation as well - but then I don't have enough time to do what I want to do with my own stuff, which is just as frustrating!

#5 sanity

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 05:04 PM

What a great post EGOL - thanks.

We're raising our prices in the next few months and have started being more selective of who we work for. I love building websites for others and probably always will. having said that I have been thinking about doing more of our own project but don't really know where to start. That is probably a good topic of it's own.

Autocrat I figured it was a good place to start. I want to re-design our site, I have a bunch of content I want to create, I write regularly for an Australian business magazine. Setting a day aside a week should help me get through it. And then I can move onto my own projects. :)

#6 iamlost

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 06:21 PM

The others have given some good advice. I'll just add and extend a bit.

The hardest thing to do when you have your own business is 'stop'. There is always something that needs doing. Ask almost any small business owner from the corner grocery to the garage to the family practitioner the hours put in. Calculating one's 'hourly wage equivalent' can often yield a depressing result. :(

From your Women of Internet Marketing interview: "I'm a bit a.n.a.l ...". So I suggest is that you acknowledge your commitments, i.e. family, friends, business, and you. Make a list and check it twice.

Does the 'you time' include pampering, i.e. day spa? Does the 'cross-over business-you time' include professional development and networking? Does the 'business time' include domain development/maintenance/redevelopment?

You say you want/need a domain redo - treat ThinkProspect not as your business but as your client - block out the time and work accordingly. You say you have some personal domain development ideas - read previous sentence.

Swamped? No time for your own stuff? Time to raise the prices a bit.

I like that man's thinking. :)

Because I agree. My rule of thumb was always: for every consistent (note that word consistent) client booked ahead, raise rates 10%, i.e. if booked ahead or had to turn down (because of your workload, not just their preference) 3-new clients, raise rates 30%. If you do continuing work, i.e. site maintenace, SEO, etc. advise the clients that rates will be going up at contract end but that if they extend now/soon can lock-in up to a year at half the increase. Of course adjust to suit you and your market - but create a policy - and stick to it.

The key is to treat yourself and your business with the same respect that you extend to your clients.
You are, afterall, worth it. :cheers:



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