Another hard-earned lesson from one small biz owner to another.


Bonus Points if you know the film.Credit:
Bonus Points if you know the film.

In my first year of business I pretended my way into a few Joomla Template customization projects. Hard work, I wasn’t very good at it, but my customers knew even less than I did so I figured it out.

I eventually relented and incurred my first business expense and purchased a RocketTheme Premium membership so I could solicit for more projects on their excellent user forums. In my usual fashion, I dove headfirst into the forums and offered to help anyone customize their website template.


So I tweaked the copy of my pitch and did it again.

More silence.

In frustration, I started digging further into the forums and found Craig, a weapons dealer and auctioneer in Southern California who was asking for help and had only received a couple of responses from my competitors offering to customize his template for a fee. After studying their responses and his objections it became clear why they didn’t win his business.

He didn’t want what they were selling.

“I just want someone to teach me how to do this myself. Someone good at this stuff should be able to point me in the direction fairly quickly.”

My response was fairly short – don’t remember exactly what I said – probably something stupid and effective like “I can help you with that. Here’s my email address and cellphone number.”

Craig became my first training client, my first sale to a stranger, and eventually (via his other businesses and strong referrals) I earned nearly $30K in revenue!

I still slip up occasionally, but this small biz commandment is a strong reminder that by interacting with my clients like a human, my little business would continue to remain relevant in spite of violent shifts in the market.