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Looking for opinions!

C

cathmp

New Member
Hello everyone,

I'm doing research into marketing my business as it's been a very slow start so far (I'm trying to find suitable networking opportunities that fit round having two children, not v easy!) and I wanted to guage some opinions from those of you who are sole traders or working in v small businesses and how you cope with your admin jobs.

Essentially I'd like to find out what jobs business owners would be willing to delegate/outsource to others if the means were available and they were happy to do so. This would help me a great deal in my research into what my immediate target market is going to be!!

Many thanks!

Catherine :001_smile:
 

kmbookkeeping

New Member
Hi Catherine,

I'm a bit like yourself in that I am trying to run my business round two young kids (2 and 4),so I understand how hard it is to get to most networking meetings, although Business gateway do an evening one and it's free.

I outsource my call answering and some of my mailings and followup phone calls.

Kris
 
C

cathmp

New Member
Hi Kris, thank you for your reply - how do you manage juggling a business and two little ones? Are they at nursery? I have a six year old in school and a two year old at home and am in the Catch 22 situation of not nearly having things up and running enough yet for some part time childcare for the wee one but struggling to find time to plan and think up marketing strategies in the meantime!! Which is making me a bit despondent at the moment, but I'm sure things will turn around....

On a more positive note (I hope!) I have volunteered my services for the Scottish Mumpreneur Network to run meetings in Fife, which will be child friendly!

C :thumbup1:
 

kmbookkeeping

New Member
Hi Catherine,

It can be a bit of a struggle. Luckily my eldest is at nursery in the mornings and my partner works part time.

This is the main reason for outsourcing my call answering, I think it's really important that every single call is answered. I know if I call to buy something I generally have a list of 3 or 4 people to speak to, and if I get an answering machine I move to the next. I know I can't be the only one who does it, so an answering machine just wouldn't cut it for me.

The other great thing is that in my line of business it doesn't matter whether I work at 9am, or 7pm so I do a lot of my work in the evenings when my boys go to bed. Strangely they are the reason for me becoming self employed, I wanted a better work life balance. So while they're wee I can build the business slowly and spend time with them. I earn less than I did being employed but its worth it.

Kris
 
C

cathmp

New Member
Hi again Kris - it's good to speak to someone else who is trying to fit things around the wee 'uns! I just got some bumpf through the post today from Business Gateway and there was a note of their next networking meeting in Kirkcaldy in March, so I'm going to try and go along to that. Is networking how you get your business or is it mostly word of mouth and referrals?

If you are interested in coming along to a Mumpreneurs networking meeting, please let me know, I'll be trying to set something up in the not too distant future!

C :001_smile:
 

kmbookkeeping

New Member
Most of my business is coming from word of mouth, with a bit through my website and a bit from some regular mailshots and other advertising I do.

I had a look at the mumpreneurs website, but I think I'd get kicked out for being the wrong gender.

Kris
 

Virtuo

New Member
I can only recommend a call answering service from a fairly weighed viewpoint, but that was one of the reasons we set it up. I have a 1 year old myself and it can be difficult to manage time however we have the good fortune of him being in nursery 4 days a week.

be careful committing too much of your time to networking events. they can lead to you spending more time on recruiting and running the networking meeting rather than concentrating on growing your business. in saying that you need to network to a certain extent and advertise on gumtree and the likes to start to grow your business slowly. if bedtime is dictated to you by in the night garden then plan to do your work after that and make sales calls during afternoon naps etc.
 
C

cathmp

New Member
Kris, lol! This demonstrates how never to make assumptions about the unseen person you're talking to!

Interesting to hear more about call answering. If and when business picks up it would be something I'd consider outsourcing as I can't always answer calls (not that they're coming in yet!). Re networking it seems people in my line of work find most business this way so it'd be interesting to hear other opinions on this issue too!
 

kmbookkeeping

New Member
Hi Catherine,

I use answer.co.uk, they charge £1 per call and forward the details to your email address or text it to you (although texts are 15p extra I think). The great thing for me is there is no monthly fee or minimum spend, so if in 6 month they answer 20 of your calls because you've been in the office a lot, it's £20, then if the next month you get 50 calls in one month thats good too.

They also provide a 24/7 service which I didn't really bother with, but now I am sidelining into property letting its a godsend meaning tenants don't need my mobile number.

I know there are others, like your reception desk, which is scottish based.

Kris
 

Atomic Ads

New Member
I might be missing something, but I don't like the idea of outsourcing call answering. Big businesses do it successfully but the outsourcer is fully trained to answer every query/make the sale.

An answered call is better than a missed opportunity for sure, but if all you are getting is a message to call someone back when it's more convenient for YOU I would be wary. I make a lot of calls to businesses and I want my query answered first time, every time. If I am fobbed off I go elsewhere. I find the ones that say they'll call back rarely do, and even if they do I have spoken to others in the meantime.

One of the main (best) features of a small business is the operator/owner. If they only want to speak to a potential customer on their own terms they are missing a trick imo. I'd be trying every other option before I let anyone else answer my calls.

*That said I do not the inconvenience of children so am possibly less tolerant than others might be.
 

kmbookkeeping

New Member
As far as I am concerned, having my call answering outsourced is no different than hiring someone in to sit in my office and do it, other than being far more cost effective.

The call answering service have access to a lot of information about my business and can answer simple queries. The only alternative is to have me never move from my desk, or have voicemail and neither of these options are practical for me.

Kris
 
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