Early in January 2015, I was approached by a course organiser, to design and run a course for a group of self-employed people to build their self-confidence and feel empowered in their business.
I spent some time designing it and came up with this title: ‘Empowerment, Self-confidence and Running your Business.’ I showed the course organiser and she immediately accepted the title and the idea of the course based on practical tools. I successfully delivered the course today and received tremendous positive feedback. This motivated me to write this post, in the hope that other self-employed people can benefit too.
Lengthy posts are not always read right through to the end, as LinkedIn advises ‘publish shorter post, more often’. So, in this post I will write about the first point that I covered in the course, that is, ‘about customer profile’. Then, I hope to write 2 or 3 posts and share other important things that can help self-employed people.
Sometimes, self-employed people feel over-whelmed by the number of things they have to do. Running their business, looking after customers/clients, chasing paper work, complying with rules and regulations, the list goes on. Furthermore, business women who are self-employed also feel ‘burdened’ because they have to look after family, children and care for their elderly parents as well.
It is important for a self-employed person or a sole trader to think positively about themselves and not think they are just self-employed, small traders. They need to think about the product they make or the service they provide, equally as important as any large business or company. They need to be thinking and planning on ‘How to deliver Quality and Customer Satisfaction’?
Of course, customers are the life line of any business. So, it is vital to know as much as possible about customers.
How well do you know your customers? Big companies are continuously striving to do that. You know the way sometimes you get a phone call, which can be annoying, asking you questions about things that you use, things that you like, or you do not like, this is all part of customer profiling and survey. There are companies who employ people to make phone calls to find out about the habits of customers in order to create ‘customer’ profile or make their current ‘customer’ profile better.
If you are a self-employed person or a sole trader, you may not have enough budget to hire people to do that. So, you probably have to do this yourself.
Do you really know your customers? Have you ever asked these questions about your customers?
If you never created a ‘customer profile’, here are four important points that you need to think about your customers which will help you begin to create a ‘customer profile’.
Do this simple exercise and write your answers.
What is the age range of your customers?
What gender are they?
Where do they live?
What profession are they in?
You may be surprised how these simple four questions can make you discover more about your customers and give you the possibility of seeking and reaching out to ‘new’ customers. This also helps you to target your product or service accordingly.
Some feedback from today’s course, date: 21 February, 2015
“The course made me reflect on what I needed to do to move my business forward”. Margaret Douglas.
“Well laid out, clearly communicated. Valuable tools that I can use to improve my business as well as my personal life”. Connie Mercer.
“I enjoyed the course because it was down to earth in meeting the needs of the people in the room being able to relate to how the structure of your business being a sole trader is so similar to the corporate business”. Nuala O’Hare.
© Copyright Dr Rozana Ahmad Huq. February, 2015.
Thank you for reading, until the next Huq Post ….
Dr Rozana Huq
Motivational Speaker, Leadership Educator, Management Author, Life Coach.
1-1 online sessions available with Dr Rozana Huq
Book written by Dr Rozana Huq.
“Employee Empowerment the rhetoric & reality” a useful tool for managers, leaders and EFQM trainers. It helps to open up discussion regarding issues between management and non-management. In this book, the author also describes the kind of leadership style employees want in an empowered organisation.