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How Does a Small Internet Based Business Survive in Tough Economic Times?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Virtual Administrative Services (VAS)

By Being Flexible

(Offer discounted rates, create sweet ‘affordable' packages, bundle services, offer something free, implement meaningful referral bonuses)

I really don't want to use that worn out cliche ‘in these tough economic times' but... in these tough economic times it's not enough to say to a client or potential client "these are my prices - period!"   I believe we have to have some flexibility.

Think about it- I'm going to be perfectly honest here. I'm a Virtual Assistant and a lot of my clients are small business owners and independent professionals like Realtors and business consultants. Solo flyer's if you will. Folks who may not have a big operating budget in the first place and now, like everyone else, they're dealing with this economic crunch. They have to cut back wherever they can. They still need my services and I still need their business. So I have had to be a little creative and imaginative when my clients have been forced to tighten their business belts. What that client was able to afford 3 or 4 months ago is not what he can afford today.  So, instead of rigidly sticking to a price or fee that the client simply cannot manage right now, I've had to come up with some inventive plans and packages that will help to keep us both happy and in business until things start to turn around.

If I have a client who has been with me for a while and I want them to be around when things get better, I have to be flexible. I know it will come back to me. I'm really not worried about that.  It will all balance out.  When the client's business picks up so will mine and we'll return to our normal fee schedules.

Sometimes, in life and in business you have to meet people where they are and start from there.

There are those who are adamant about maintaining your fee no matter what. It's as though that  fee scale is part of our identity and integrity as professionals. And that's OK - it's all part of the formula. Everyone should be and should want to be paid for what she's worth. I'm no different, I'm just saying that ‘in these tough economic times' (there's that phrase again) perhaps we should be willing to offer our clients the flexibility that might make a small difference today but have a huge impact tomorrow.