When starting a business, we normally accept all types of clients. I am no exception. It was while talking to a coach that I realized that it’s important to choose who we want to work with and what mandate we want to complete. I therefore took the time to do my research and I want to share my findings with you today.
As an entrepreneur, we are always looking for new customers. This does not mean however that we are meant to work with all types of people. For better collaboration, it is better to share the same values and affinities.
It is quite normal for a client to be demanding, but there is a limit.
The overly demanding client will surely cost more in the medium and long term. In addition, generally, this type of client will increase its requirements without agreeing to pay more. As a result, you will lose your money...and your time.
Focus on realistic clients who accept a budget relationship versus quality of service.
Do not accept contracts that go to against your values, you may regret it. Your clients must share your company’s values. Moreover, this could have a negative impact on your image. A dissatisfied client is often an opportunist. I will address this topic in another blog.
If a company is difficult to manage during the recruitment process, it will be even more difficult once it has paid its first bill. Usually, a prospect who takes time to respond to your emails, phone calls or other forms of communication will likely take the same attitude during your collaboration.
It’s important to take the time to study the personality of your future clients. Strong-willed people can become tiring but the opposite is also true of the client whose personality is too weak, as they can become frustrating. Learn to strike a balance.
As a human being, we all have expectations and your clients are no exception. From the start of the relationship, make sure you’re on the same page about the goals to be achieved, the deadlines to be met, and the work method. You will then be able to meet their expectations.
As a woman who likes challenges, I always make the effort to satisfy my clients. However, little by little I realize that life is too short to devote it to impossible clients!
I prefer to focus my time, energy and effort on those I am confident I can satisfy and who will become true ambassadors for my company.
President, Comptabilité sur mesure de l'Outaouais
Billing may possibly be an annoyance in your business life. How much do I charge? When do I send my bill to the customer? When do I need to remind my client of a late payment?
Determine your hourly rate
Start by establishing your ideal annual income. First, determine the number of hours you want to work per week and remember to add the number of hours you need to manage your business. Then multiply that by the number of weeks you want to work per year. Then divide your annual income by the result of your multiplication and you get your hourly rate. Important note to consider: your annual income must include your professional fees.
Your business management time
The time you spend managing your business is non-billable. In other words, your hours of prospecting, networking or sending emails, billing, etc. This is why it is recommended to double your hourly rate.
Request a deposit
If you have a larger mandate, we strongly suggest that you ask your client for one or more deposits. One of the most obvious reasons is to help you pay your bills. In addition, by asking for a deposit, you will get a preview of your client’s seriousness.
Bill as quickly as possible
Obviously, this really is not the most pleasant part of your profession, but it is important to bill as quickly as possible. Unless you have an agreement with your client (invoice every two weeks, monthly, etc.), send your invoice along with your work.
Keep track of your invoices
Do not hesitate to write “Payable upon receipt” on your invoices. This means that the client must pay you as soon as they receive your work. A 30-day delay is usually granted, the time your invoice goes to accounting. Suggest a bank transfer for the method of payment.
After 30 days past the billing date, it is best to gently remind your customer that you have not received their payment. Don’t jump to conclusions; it’s quite possible that there was an oversight. After all, to err is human.
Do you need help finding your way there? We can accompany you!
President, Comptabilité sur mesure de l'Outaouais
Business managers are known for being good leaders. However, being a manager does not necessarily mean being a good leader!
Being a leader means facing your decisions and accepting the consequences. It means staying in line with your responsibilities therefore allowing you to earn the respect not only of your team but also of your peers.
To be a good leader, you need to know yourself both personally and professionally. You must know your strengths and weaknesses.
The most common mistakes to avoid are the following:
- Focussing more on problems than solutions
- Thinking you know everything
- Not being available to your team
- Using employees as machines or tools
- Not listening
- Being self-centered
- Not delegating
These are the qualities of a good leader:
Share with your team your goals, your objectives. Explain your intentions in a positive way.
Learn to listen to others. Show interest in your team. Ask them what they think. Find out what’s on their mind. Be respectful of their opinions.
Seek their input
Don’t be afraid to ask them about you. Do not fear criticism. On the contrary, it will allow you to grow, to analyze your management skill. A good leader will know to surround himself with people who have an opinion, ideas, solutions.
Learn to go beyond technical details. Position yourself and take the time to get an overview of your business. This will allow you to make much more informed decisions.
Speak using US instead of I
Saying US instead of brings a feeling of belonging to your team. You become a whole, a group of people working in the same direction and having the same goals. Thus, you will have a much stronger business.
Organization is also part of the leader’s qualities. If you let the tasks bury you, your whole team will suffer.
Empathy is a very important quality. The time for rigid and cold bosses is over.
Being a good leader means taking into account the needs of y our team, their mood and accepting that there are days when your employees will be less productive.
Finally, are you a good leader?
We like to leave you with little tests. There is nothing scientific about them, but it gives us an idea of where we are.
This first test is by Phillip Carter and Ken Russell (available in French only):
Here is a second test (also only available in French):
Do you have doubts about your qualities as entrepreneurs? Do not hesitate to contact us so that we can direct you to a team that will be able to guide you!
Comptabilité sur mesure
Ten years ago, I lost my job and a friend of mine gave me the idea of starting my own business. Even though I had more than 15 years of experience in accounting, I was far from having the necessary experience to become an entrepreneur and especially to manage multi-enterprises as an accountant.
It is without knowing what I was getting into, without taking the time to think and do research that I jumped into the adventure with both feet and with my eyes closed. Being on employment insurance, I decided to take a Business Start-Up course. Excellent training, but it is far from preparing us for reality.
Following that training, a great lack of confidence in myself, I therefore decide to solicit the participation of a former colleague who would become my friend for the time of our association.
From the first few months, our company was a success. So successful that we became it’s victim. We were very quickly overwhelmed by the events. We were far from ready to face the storm that was our popularity. Our words were compelling and we were convinced when we met with our clients, but we were unable to deliver the work.
About five years later, we closed the company, our friendship ended, our finances were flat, and with my self-confidence already low to begin with, it was a total failure. It took me about three years to get back on my feet.
Following this adventure, I chose to return to work for an employer. I was far from wanting to go back into business one day. It was little by little that I realized that I was not happy as an employee. I wanted to be able to share my opinions, my ideas; and I took the company to heart, sometimes even a little too much. I came to understand that I had the entrepreneurial spirit but I had not previously taken the time to prepare before starting-up. It was 10 years later that I took the decision to come back as an entrepreneur but this time, by doing things right.
Therefore, before you start your own business, I suggest you think about the following points:
1. I am the boss
To be your own boss is to take full responsibility for the company on your shoulders, to take risks, to make your own decisions.
2. Feeling of Freedom
Becoming an entrepreneur requires a lot of time and energy. The first five years are synonym to hectic schedules. Fortunately, as the company grows, we become more organized.
At the beginning, being an entrepreneur, often means no money earned. It is common to see entrepreneurs who are not paid during one, two, even sometimes three years, until the company is viable. After this period, the return on investment begins again slowly.
4. I like what I do
One thing to remember is to do what you love. Seeing your project grow is a bit like watching your child leave the nest. Getting up every morning and telling yourself that you are happy to go to work despite the workload and responsibilities is very satisfying.
5. Grow as a Person
Creating your own business means opening up to the world, it means meeting incredible people, it means creating professional and personal qualities by stepping out of our comfort zone.
6. I won’t change the world but….
As an entrepreneur, we have an influence on the world; we can make things happen, we can offer solutions, we can make a difference in people’s lives either by creating jobs, or by offering a service or a product that will make a difference.
In closing, there is good in becoming your own boss but before you make that commitment, I propose you visit the Humaprise Group website: https://www.groupehumaprise.com/test-avez-vous-le-profil-entrepreneur/where you can take a little test entitled “Do you have the profile of an entrepreneur?”
After this test, if you have the profile of an entrepreneur and you feel confident to start the project of your life, here’s a very useful link: https://mongps.ca/service/lancement-dune-entreprise/
For financial support consult: https://www.quebec.ca/en/employment/support-self-employment/
You have questions, doubts, and certain anxieties in starting your own business? We will be happy to help you. Do not hesitate to contact us to make an appointment.
Comptabilité sur mesure