With all the recent doom and gloom in the headlines recently, Wal-Mart stands out as a company that is showing a profit. What lessons can we learn from this retail giant that we can apply to our own freelance writing careers?
Lesson 1: Change your offerings as the market changes.
Wal-Mart is doing well because it has changes its product line in response to changing market conditions. The company knows what its customers wants….and responds accordingly.
Be flexible enough to adopt a new niche (or expand the one you are currently working in) if you find that the market for it is drying up.
Lesson 2: Make your client’s experience working with you a pleasant one.
Customers know that they will be able to find the products they want when they head over to Wal-Mart. The stores are neat and well-lit. A person greets them when they enter, which makes them feel welcome.
Your clients don’t want any surprises when they decide to hire you, either. The best way to build a thriving business is to not just meet, but exceed their expectations. Get the work turned in on time and in the format they client wants. If the project is a large one, check in from time to time and give your client a progress report. They will really appreciate it.
Likewise, if something comes up that means you need an extension, let the client know right away. Most people are very understanding if you are direct with them about what is going on and when you will be able to finish the work.
Lesson 3: Provide good value for the money.
Wal-Mart is known for giving its customers good value for the money they are spending in its stores. Freelancers need to do the same thing. (Notice I didn’t say work for rock-bottom rates.) As long as your clients feel they are getting a quality product for the money they are spending, they will be willing to pay the rates that freelancers are asking.
Don’t be afraid to ask for what your time and expertise are worth. Your plumber or doctor don’t give discounts because of economic conditions, and neither should you.