Melissa GaltMarketing Coach|Small Business Growth Strategist

Founder & Chief Opportunity Officer for Prosper by Design, Marketing Coach, Specialist in Small Business Growth. Recognized by Forbes in Top 20 Women of Influence on Twitter for Entrepreneurs to Follow.

Welcome the sticky challenges in business including how to get more ideal clients (lead generation), how to create unforgettable client experiences (packaging your services) and how to price to make a great living (pricing.)

Recent Answers

Stop selling and build relationships. Be authentic, transparent, and genuine. When you build your "know, like, and trust" factor, the sale becomes a foregone conclusion.

You are your greatest competitive advantage, be human, be social, and ditch the pitch, skip the sell, and find out what your buyer really wants (and needs).

Needs are budgets, wants are investments.

Yes, it makes sense, the 5% is for lead generation, the 15% is for lead generation and closing the sale. The issue is that when strictly on commission you may get some very pushy sales people, unless your product is just part of an array of products they offer.

Have you researched your competitors to see how they compensate? And what level of sales pro are you seeking, seasoned or newbie?

If you get sales pros with clients at their fingertips they may be able to make faster sales and deserve to be paid a base + commission. Alternatively you can do a draw against commission, whereby they are paid a salary but that is paid back by their early commissions. It does ensure they don't go hungry.

I've worked draw against commission in the past, was uncomfortable with straight commission until I was an expert in the industry.

You may also want to do something obvious and ask them how they want to be compensated and see what you hear. I am an advocate of asking the market instead of guessing.

Consulting and Coaching (not requiring certification) can both provide fast paths to cash, if you have skillsets that make that possible.

Ebay auctions and other online auction portals can also offer an opportunity if you have inventory on hand to sell.

Can you hold an estate sale? Do you have goods on hand that have value that you don't mind relinquishing to free up cash flow. (Garage sales don't make nearly as much money.)

Consignment is another opportunity and takes very little effort. (Note, this isn't Craig's List, they want it for free.)

The key here is to know how much money you need to make and for how long. There is a difference between what you'd need to do and the skillset you need to have for $10/hour vs. $200/hour. I've worked at both ends.

A site like this one allows you great flexibility while allowing you to charge what you deem appropriate, leads can be uneven and the best way to generate is to get active with questions and drive business from other sources, like social media, and online forums.

Knowing a bit more I can make more targeted recommendations. Coaching and consulting require the least amount of effort and offer great flexibility.

Find a mentor who has been down that path and may be able to connect you with valued partners, resources, and buyers.

Hire a freelance web developer, preferably one recommended, and be sure they sign an non-disclosure agreement.

Watch "Shark Tank!"

The key is to find both an online and offline circle of support. Often creating or joining a mastermind with like minded colleagues provides awesome support. While being an entrepreneur is often being a "lone ranger," you can create your own support network and grow your business at the same time. Consider online forums, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Groups as well as Chambers of Commerce, Rotary, Lions Clubs, Optimist and more IRT.

Outsourcing isn't about the location but about the actual service provider, whether you look at India, The Philippines, Eastern Europe, or even the US (you can find cost effective providers in the US, often doing it as a side job.) Focus on the quality of the work, not the location.

I started my business unexpectedly in 1994 when I found myself out of a job with $70K in debt. While it took me 90 days to land my first client, I picked up a job supervising a catering kitchen, and also went to teach evening education classes at three local universities in Atlanta. It is often better to have a deadline or be forced or you won't make the jump. It takes everyone a different amount of time. I was debt free and earning six figures in 18 months.

While it may be typical of creatives that doesn't preclude it from being an unprofessional practice and more importantly one that will stall out success. Purpose and passion are great, they are ineffective without a solid plan, a clear business model, and strong strategies. That being said, their plan may not look "typical," that's fine as long as it creates focus and structure around their big vision and big goals. A plan creates milestone and metrics for achievement so you know you are moving forward and where you need to improve.

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