This is set to be my first full calendar year in my new home state of Texas. After relocating to the Lone Star State in 2019 and finally pursuing my dream to own and operate my own company, I made the jump and became self employed. I started off in the later part of the year but am off to a great start. 3 out of every 5 new customers I perform services for are referrals from a previous client. The two best practices I can attribute this to are 1. Treat every customer and their home like they are family (the family you like), and 2. Dont be afraid to ask for a referral when they are satisfied with your work. People like to be treated fairly and when you charge a reasonable fee for the service they need as well as exceed their expectations it's hard for a client to say no to referring me to their friends and family. The easiest way to get a referral from your customer is to simply ask for it. You dont need to discount future services or give away free product or service, people are more then willing to praise you and your services from the rooftops if you have given them the opportunity to do so. My other best practice is to know your field, not just what you do and charge but what others in your field are doing and charging. I run a carpet cleaning company and I steam clean carpets (hot water extraction), but there is also bonnet cleaning, encapsulation cleaning, dry cleaning, and the list goes on and on. I not only know the ins and outside of the method I use but also the other methods that are available. This makes it easier to answer or address a clients concerns or questions about what method or combination of methods will suit them best, even if it means the best solution for a clients needs is another company. I would rather be honest then make a few bucks. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. Handing a customer off to my "competitor" does not mean a loss on my side. It's an opportunity to forge connections and network with others in my industry who can just as easily become allies as opposed to adversaries. Just because we are in the same field doesn't make us enemies, it can be very beneficial to have a strong support group amongst peers in your field. Who else are you going to be able to ask for help or advice when your problem isnt outlined in the training manual of your skill set or field? If you've read this much thank you for your time. I hope all of you are as successful and happy in 2020 as I plan on being. All great adventures start with a single step, keep your eye on the prize, and whatever other motivational quote lights a fire under your @as. Let's not let this be the year of hindsight but that of forward thinking. Jason Freeland Freeland Floor Care
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I totally agree with you. I understand that we are trying to secure jobs in the same field as other service providers but I have benefited more from befriending my industries other service providers. I have both given and received jobs when I was too busy. I have exchanged best business practices and newest cleaning techniques. I have even loaned out and borrowed equipment in times of need from my "competition". I think networking with in your field is far more beneficial then treating your "rival" companies as enemies.
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