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Business Tips – Being your own boss – Part 8

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Passion will fly out the window if everything that you try to do becomes a nightmare. One of the ways to minimize stress is to plan for the things that you can plan for and budget for the things that can be budgeted for.

When you start, I am sure that you will not have a great deal of spare cash or even access to spare cash. So be careful about what you spend and what you spend it on. Of course, that said, you still need to brand yourself properly and get your idea or your product or service out there.

When getting prices on products such as business cards etc, be very clear about what it is that you want. To get the best price, it will be necessary to request quotes from various suppliers – remember . . . no-where is it written that you have to take the first quote that you get.

Make sure of the following:

1. That the supplier understands what it is that you want – if possible send some sort of drawing (even if it is a rough hand drawn stick insect type drawing – for your business cards) – better yet, if you are able to produce a model of sorts that would be great.

2. Do the research – get yourself a list of suppliers. Make sure that you know where you found them. You can look on the internet, or get referrals from friends and associates, or check out the telephone directories and chambers.

3. Make some sort of spread sheet with all the supplier information on it – a column for what it is that you required, be as specific as you can, a third column for the date that you requested the information, who you spoke to etc and a fourth column for who came back to you and with what price etc.

4. Send out your request for a quote to two or three companies – just to test the waters, so to speak. Be as specific as you can about what it is that you want. When you get the replies, add any queries that they had (and your replies) to your original spread sheet specifications. Then send your request out to the next two or three more suppliers, including the additional information. As you go along, your knowledge on the information required should increase and this will give the supplier the perception that you know exactly what it is that you are wanting. If they think that you are knowledgeable on the subject, they are less likely to try and over charge you.

5. Once you have received all the information back, talk it over with a friend or trusted colleague. This will ensure that you keep your emotions at bay and that you look over the information objectively.

6. Negotiate with the two or three top manufacturers or suppliers. This is a business relationship that you are starting – don’t try and do business with someone that you either don’t particularly like or trust, especially if you are going to be doing business with them on a regular basis. Rather find someone else if you are not sure about doing business with someone.

Remember that your credibility and integrity is also on the line here, you need to find the best value for money, especially if it is a product that you are going to be reselling, as your clients will also be looking for value for money. Cheapest isn’t always cost effective and most expensive is not always value for money.