Obviously, when starting a business from scratch, it is prudent to operate as economically as possible but don’t let your quest for economy dictate as to what you need to do as a business investment so strongly that it creates a negative image for you.
Appearing too small or like too much of a start-up can make people uncomfortable. The appearance of being too small may create an environment in which the potential customer lacks confidence in your ability to service them after the sale.
You may be the only technician for your business and get grubby and dirty by the end of every day. That is why it would be a good idea to schedule appointments at the beginning of the day, when you are wearing a fresh uniform. It’s ok for your potential client to know you are a technician but they do not need to know you are the only technician!
Always present professional estimates and/or proposals. Start-up should not mean notes jotted on a piece of paper. Invest in software or outsource the creation of professional proposals so you can easily present it to a potential client.
Have a professional meeting place available to use when needed. If you work from home and your business has the need to have client meetings, always offer to go to the client’s site. If that is not possible, know where you can rent space (an office or conference room) by the hour to have a meeting. You are investing time in the presentation; it is worth the investment of money to create the professional environment to enhance your presentation. Only meet in a coffee shop when you are having a conversational meeting … and that may not be appropriate depending on the conversation. A coffee shop is a public place!
Investigate the cost and seriously consider having some hand-outs to leave behind. A pen or a small tablet can be a simple ‘thank you for your time’ that will encourage people not to forget you.
Spend some time thinking about your past experiences and what a business may do that makes you feel comfortable and confident with their company … and then do it. It could be simple - it may be that you like the way someone ends their phone calls – or it could be more complex, like the process they have for a service call and follow-up. Establish your own technique for doing business and the people that work for you will follow right along. Your company and its processes will be sustainable!