It can be both exciting and terrifying to make the decision to start your own business. I was attracted to the idea because of my dream of being my own boss, having my own hours, and not being told what to do. It’s a different story; however, to keep that sweet dream alive is another story.
First Mistake: letting my business run me instead of me running it
This was a mistake that I made. I hope this article helps you to avoid it.
After obtaining my Certified Professional Resume Writer certification (CPRW), I decided to open my business. I wanted to start a home-based business that would allow me to raise my family. My company won, and I was able to have all three of my children in full-time childcare before I realized it.
I was able to attend (and still attend!) all their school events. However, I was constantly thinking about work, and I went to bed many nights after working late hours.
Family first. It doesn’t matter if it is true or false.
It’s incredible how fast time goes. I can attest to that…
Your day should be planned and followed. Only work on client projects. You must set boundaries for your work hours.
Make sure your clients are familiar with your company policies and respect your time.
Treat your clients the same way you would want them to treat you.
Mistake: You should not take on any resume project
Any resume writing job sounds excellent when you’re just starting out because it means that money is being made. It was money coming in, and it was a way to gain experience in different career fields and industries. A year later, however, I was finding myself writing for sectors that weren’t interesting or challenging me enough.
My excitement when I started my business was stifled by not being challenged or being interested in specific industries. This was not good. So I decided to focus on my company and target a particular audience. It made a huge difference!
Many writers believe that if they narrow their industries, it will reduce the amount of money that they can make. It is not valid. It can even do the opposite!
Let’s say that you have heart problems and surgery is possible. Which would you prefer to have your appointments with? A general practitioner and a surgeon can perform the surgery if necessary. Or would you like to see a specialist and a surgeon for heart problems?
Let’s now apply the same principle to our resume business. What do you think are the best people to check out if an executive manager or IT person is looking for a resume service?
Do not settle for a resume that is just good enough to make a living.
Let your brand message include the phrase “Specialize.”
Find out which industry and/or career field you are most passionate about writing and what gives you the most excellent satisfaction.
Mistake: I’m willing to negotiate my fees just to make the sale
When it comes to how much money we make each month, the resume industry can go through seasons of droughts and floods. You’re not the only one! It was something I personally experienced. I am sure that many of my colleagues (resume writers, career coaches) have had good and bad months. I know I did. I even closed one sale in the month.
The person who is looking for your services will not be intimidated by your fees. Stand firm, and let them go, if necessary.
Negotiating your fees is a way to show that you are asking yourself if the price you charge is worth it. Why would anyone believe that you are worth what you have to offer?
When it was difficult to find resume projects, in the beginning, I let clients negotiate my fees. It was cheaper than nothing, and I could afford the money.
When I was able to negotiate my fee with an executive client, the lightbulb went on for me. I accepted his project. During our conversation, he explained to me his thoughts and asked me to write his resume. He also told me that he wanted me to do his job because that’s what he paid me.
The remark of my client set me on fire. That particular experience in my early days of business was what led me to decide never to negotiate my fees again. This led me to reevaluate the entire operation of my business. This girl was much more than a “little resume writer.” I made sure this message got across clearly.
Get a complete understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as the services you provide to clients.
You should be able to clearly communicate to potential clients what you can do for them as a career consultant and resume writer. This will make it impossible for them to think that your fees are negotiable.
Let potential clients know that your fee is fixed if they want to negotiate. You shouldn’t be afraid of letting them go.
Keep your feet on the ground. This shows that you are a firm believer in your clients’ value and can attest to the quality of the work and services your company provides.