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copyright Susan Kirkland, 2005
How Creative Entrepreneurs Succeed
By: Susan Kirkland
|Susan Kirkland, veteran freelancer and author of Start and Run a Creative Services Business, shares the secrets to finding and keeping clients, negotiating with vendors, protecting yourself from scoundrels and scalawags--a valuable resource for students and seasoned pros. For additional information visit www.sdkirkland.com.
Wall Street predicts a 25% chance of recession in the next year and small
businesses are clamoring to ride out the next tide of a continuing soft
market. Many small businesses find the current Marketplace more competitive
as big fish dip lower into the food chain to overcome business losses.
Those little jobs they ignored (the jobs one person shops thrive on) are
being gobbled up to replace lost revenues from big accounts now in demise.
What can you do to protect yourself? Here are some tips to help you solidify
your client list:
Above all, stick to your weekly phishing schedule. Cold call new clients
whether you need them or not. Successful entrepreneurs always have a few
new clients ready to step in to replace those who step out. What's the
real key to success? Get up and get busy –- there's no time for sulking.
- Stay in touch with clients whether they have a job in house or not. A casual
lunch, a quick call or a less invasive email will renew and remind a good
client of available services without pressure. It's easier to maintain
a relationship than establish a new one.
- Call the vendors you've used most; they know who's buying and succeeding
even in a slow economy. Make friends at all levels of your industry. You
never know where your next job referral will come from.
- Maintain industry presence; even though things are slow, stay active in
professional affairs. Attend that monthly meeting, press the flesh, and
work for charity to show off your creative skills.
- Revamp your website, then send out email announcements about the eye candy
you've just displayed. Be excited about your work and that excitement will
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