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Mary Ellen Bates
Bates Information Services, Inc.
8494 Boulder Hills Dr.
Niwot, Colorado 80503 USA
Tel: 303.772.7095
[email protected]
Skype: Mary.Ellen.Bates
by Mary Ellen Bates
Bates Information Services
What I Wish I'd Known...

I'm often asked by my coaching clients what I wish I had known when I launched my business. Of the numerous lessons I learned the hard way, these are the 10 that I see as key:

  • Make all your decisions with the assumption that you will still be in business in five years. Knowing that you'll live with the long-term results of your choices ensures that you will make wise decisions.

  • It's always about the client's needs; it is never about your qualifications. Never pitch a service until you know why your client would want it.

  • Create what Alan Weiss calls "marketing gravity" -- you want to attract clients, not chase after them.

  • Your clients are paying for insights, not information. Focus on what differentiates your from the $15/hour "research" services on the web.

  • You have to initiate discussions about money and payment with your clients; remember that it's business, not personal.

  • Volunteering is a tremendously effective way to market yourself, provided you are member-facing and you highlight your professionalism.

  • Until a prospective client is willing to commit to a project, you're not talking to a client.

  • Your clients will be the source of your ideas for new products or services. Listen to them when they say, "I don't know if you do this, but could you...?"

  • Time management is critical. Can you stay focused and productive without an office structure or looming deadline?

  • You will find this an even more rewarding job than you expected!

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