So if you follow me on Twitter, then you often hear me mention Professional By Design NOLA.
That is my business.
Now, I called this post “Being a Business(woman) IS Hard” because it is. And why write it as “Business(woman” and not “businesswoman”? Simple. I am my business first (it’s just me). I just happen to be a woman. But that’s not what this post is about. It really is about my frustrations with being a Business(woman) with a particular type of company.
Professional By Design NOLA is a personal development company that happens to focus on the professional development aspect of securing a job. My approach has always been to get people to see themselves differently and equip them with a mindset AND a resume/cover letter so that they are better prepared for applying to jobs, doing well in all of the interviews and fielding multiple offers.
It works. I’m awesome at what I do. I can point you to testimonials of this.
But there are a few “issues” that I continue to run into.
FIRST: “Oh you do resumes? Can YOU call me so YOU can tell me what I need to do differently?”
Wait. What? You mean to tell me you have a question about my services and rather than ask the question via the form of communication you chose to contact me, you want me to call you and have a conversation with you. You know what that’s called? A consultation. You schedule consultations. You do not do consultations on a whim.
SECOND: Friends who say: “Hey Court! Can you look at my resume and give me feedback?”
You mean…for free? Like you know I have a business and that’s what I do for my business and I’m supposed to do that for free? Wait…before I tell you why that’s wrong, I’ll let the Joker (courtesy of Heath Ledger do it):
Like, if you take nothing else from this post, take this: It is offensive to ask your friends to do something for free that they charge for ESPECIALLY when you won’t agree to make it beneficial for them. Period.
THIRD: “Can you negotiate on your price?”
I love people and I understand that there are some instances where money is TIGHT! But this one is potentially the most hurtful. Economically, business people set prices so that they are (1) attractive to buyers and (2) meet the bottom line. In the first couple of years, a business like mine (one which offers a service and does not sell a physical product like shampoo) struggles a little more. We barely make enough to cover the costs that go into the business (advertising, outreach, etc.), so it is hurtful when someone approaches a conversation about our services on some “I’m going to try to get a discount” ESPECIALLY if you are inquiring about a sale or special promo.
FOURTH (and final): People who you’ve helped in the past trying to get free advice out of you every other time they talk to you.
Again, I understand that money can be tight. I get that. But do you go to the grocery store and expect to walk out with a dozen eggs because you paid for eggs that one time you went to the store? No. You wouldn’t even approach a grocery store like that. One – you consider that a need. Two – you respect the authority and the business. Three – it’s just dumb to do otherwise.
Basically, I just wanted to come and share a few things that have been bothering me.
If you have a small business or a product/service you sell, can you share how you handle these things without rubbing people the wrong way?
I would appreciate it.
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