Jul 9, 2007

Are You a REAL Biz Owner or Do You Just Play One on TV?

Have you ever heard that line? It's sort of a joke used on TV shows from time to time. Someone will be in the middle of a medical crisis and a good looking man will come to help and someone will ask him, "Are you a doctor?" to which he'll reply, "No, but I play one on TV!" As if that made him a REAL doctor.

I see a lot of "business owners" around like that. They are playing "business", but not really BEING a business. For instance, there is one particular online store that probably has 15 nasty threads about it at Legume Land (2Peas). Time and time again people post to beware of this business. This owner ALLEGEDLY (I've never ordered from her) just runs a crappy, bad business with the worst communication and customer service ever. When customers don't get their products and she FINALLY responds to them, she always blames the mail system for losing the package or the customer for lying to her. How she is still in business is beyond me. She keeps churning up new blood who has never heard of all the problems. At a certain point, she'll run out of people to do "business" with. She's not a real business, she just plays one on the internet, I guess...

But, the ones that get me are the "Scrapbook Artists" who undercharge or forget to charge at all. To quote High School Musical, "Getcha' head in the game"!

One of the biggest challenges of women is that we are too nice at times. We agree to do things but forget to talk about the "sticky" subject of money. We don't want to really bring it up and just hope it all works out in the end. It doesn't make any sense to dance around pricing and then take on the project without a firm idea of what you'll make. Then I see them fretting about charging $200 for a 20 page album PLUS supplies. Well, you should have never taken on the project without a firm, signed agreement on price. If the client doesn't scrap, their idea of "fair" and your idea of "fair" may be miles apart. Then what are you going to do??? You'll probably cave when they freak out about $200 and say, "Ahh, just give me $100 and we'll be even." Honestly, you could have made t-shirts in a sweat shop for a week and made more money. You have to be fair to yourself and you have to ACT like you're in business - even if this is your very first client and they just fell into your lap. You must step up and charge what you're worth and not worry about the client thinking it's too much. But, this must be agreed upon before you even take one envelope of photos from them.

Don't play "business" like 5 year-olds play "house". Once you undervalue your services and talents, you will have a hard time playing catch up. Pretty soon, you are working for free and clients are getting great benefits from your work at unbelievably ridiculously low prices - and they are telling all their friends. ScrapBiz can help you set up your business LIKE a business - and teach you to take yourself seriously enough to reap the rewards of sharing your talents with the world!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree Kim! It is disheartening to hear clients tell me "well so-and-so will make my scrapbook for $5 a page." It's impossible to compete with a hobbyist that doesn't value herself as an artist. But then again, that customer is going to get exactly what she's paying for.

When you deal with a professional, you're going to get professional results. A contract is a MUST for any scrapbook artist. I can't imagine taking a box of photos from a client without a signed contract that protects me and my business from the liability of something happening to those photos on my drive home. :cringe:

Thanks for posting this. Maybe it'll help wake some people up to what a real business is all about.