The joys of a micro-business

It’s time to give Rathergate a rest, and get back to business as usual…

Lloyd Lemons has captured in a few words what I have been trying to say for months.

He is still developing the idea, but his September 16th post offers a tantalizing glimpse of the rewards that comes from creating your own micro-business.

Because it is so short, I am taking the liberty of reproducing it in its entirety.

What a micro-business should be about…

1. It should be about bending the world a little, to fit your purpose, by doing something you truly enjoy doing.

2. It’s about being a catalyst for your own ideas, and not a facilitator for someone else’s.

3. It’s about personal freedom, largely brought about the integration of working and living.

more to come…

Lloyd hasn’t been posting much recently, probably because he has been dodging hurricanes, but his thoughts on writing, branding, and micro-businesses are well worth reading. This post reflects what my wife and I are experiencing as we continue to develop an integrated model for working and enjoying life to the fullest.

Gretchen and I are currently dealing with a micro-business tornado of our own making. We have become the customer interface for a tree care business and our particular skill sets have allowed us to manage customer relationships in a way that allows the company to do more business, at higher levels of profitablity, with less upset and confusion than ever before.  It has been incredibly satisfying, even though the phones often ring late into the night.

This business relies heavily on word of mouth referrals. Enhancing the customer experience produces immediate results to the bottom line and it can virtually lock out competition when there are no competitors able to provide the same customer care.

I think the hands-on approach to managing customer relationships is the greatest advantage that a micro-business has over larger businesses. Dealing with the customer as a person, not as an order to be filled, grants importance to the person and to their needs.

At the same time, we bring certainty to every phase of our dealings with these customers because we have eighty years of professional experience that we can bring to bear on every aspect of the sales and delivery cycle. In that respect, we are typical of the new generation of older entrepreneurs.

We know the importance of keeping ethics in on every aspect of our business transactions, because we have had to deal with the results of unethical corporate actions over the course of our careers. Efforts to cut corners or to avoid delivering what was promised almost always end up badly in the long run.

When you know you are behaving ethically, it gives you the ability to confidently propose solutions and estimate costs that are easily accepted by customers. When you make sure the company does business ethically, it becomes easy to handle upsets from miscommunications or errors.

Behaving ethically in a business is mostly about ensuring that you set the customer’s expectations properly and the customer gets a fair exchange for his money.  When you consistently operate this way, you have a certainty about you that communicates more to your customers than anything you say.

In a very real sense, this confidence allows you to charge more for your superior brand of services. It sounds almost too simple, but it is a key to prosperity.

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