To the SUN community,
This is a great place to meet others and get help, find missing skills, partners, etc. There has been no thread here because I wanted this all offline, didn`t want my business idea public yet. Well, the smoke is starting to clear and I have a developer and probably a copy-writer, all from the SUN community!
Now, my experience has been educational for me and I think would be greatly beneficial to others, especially you looking at starting a business. Everything you do regarding your contact with the public is critical. Even if you haven`t started your business yet, how you interact with others is being evaluated at some level.
I spoke with several people regarding my requirements and had a wide range of responses and experience. I share this one exchange (sans names) so that you may see how communications, even in this forum, are very important to building you business, image, reputation.
The final response I received to this seemed innoccuous, but it had a lost opportunity dollar value associated with it. Read on, and I`d love responses to this in the open forum.
I saw you had read my last reponse to the email below. And still no reply. I`m sending this to you as a courtesy because I believe that we`re all in the SUN community to help each other improve our businesses (or get them started).
Just so you`ll know, I`m about to sign a contract for $2000.00 in development costs and $50/month for active monitoring, management and enhancing the site as it is used.
I`ve been in business since 1983 and have learned the hard way on what to do or not to do. I know you haven`t asked, but if you will indulge me for a moment, I`d like to give you a couple of tips and feed-back on how you may improve your customer handling skills.
In your response below, you assumed that when I said I had no budget that I had no money. BIG difference between the two. I had no idea what to budget, but I did (do) have money for this. In my email, I used the term "blow off" or a derivative thereof. Maybe a little strong, but it is the feeling I got when I read your email. You didn`t take the time to investigate further what my needs and situation were. I was needing some information to figure out what the budget should have been.
I understand about small businesses needing cash-flow and there is only so much work that can be done "on the come".
Maybe $2000 is not that big a deal to you, but it is a lost income opportunity now.
Secondly, even if I didn`t have any money for this project, had you given me some concrete offer of assistance in locating some of the "free" help you suggested, my perception of your company would have been even higher and when I did have funds, your company would be the first place I would have turned to for my next project. Further, if I had any business colleagues that may have been needing your services, I would have given you referrals. I may not be your next meal ticket, but someone I know could have been.
And last, when I sent my response to your email below, you didn`t acknowledge that you`d read it.
All of this from your email below. Customer perceptions of reality trump your reality when it comes to your business.
I write all this in the spirit of cooperation on which this SUN community was formed.
I wish you well for your future business,
-- Previous Message --
Sent by : ************
Sent : Jun. 06, 2006 at 3:35pm
Looks well thought out, but will definitely take a lot of work. Since you have no budget, you might want to try and get a recent grad or someone trying to build their portfolio. If I hear of someone, I`ll send them your way!