A Second Client for Claire

A few weeks had passed since Claire had finished Stuart’s books.  She had expected to find her second client by now.  Surely someone had noticed all of those postcards she had put in the shops while out walking with Lucy?  Each day, while waiting for the phone to ring, Claire grew more and more worried.  Would she ever find another client?

Knowing that she would need to advertise, Claire called her local newspaper.  A small advert would cost her £80 a week.  It was quite a commitment for Claire, she had a young baby and her husband was working extra hours already to cover the bills.  She really had no choice.  She agreed to pay for 4 weeks.  Just 2 new clients would cover the cost.  Any clients.

As Claire sat at her desk, putting her head in her hands, the darkness washed over her.  The feeling of abject failure was in the pit of her stomach.  Would the phone ever ring?

She had a website that she had paid a designer almost £1,000 for when she started.  Having been convinced that this was going to be worth it in the long run, she never hesitated in handing over so much of her hard earned cash.  Everyone needs a website, right?  The website designer had provided enough information for Claire to know that people were visiting the site, but they were leaving quickly too.  Too quickly to have really read all of the words she had lovingly crafted.  Things were getting desperate.

Seeking salvation, Claire started to post on every facebook group she could find.  She aimed to get that elusive second client any way she could.  She had to.  She used the only lever that she had and advertised her prices at £10 per hour. Having already reduced them to that for Stuart it wasn’t a massive decision.  She convinced herself that as a new business she had to do what she had to do to get work.  She told herself that it wouldn’t always be like this. The one thing that Claire didn’t realise, though, was that buyers can smell desperation.  And it doesn’t smell nice.

Becoming so desperate, Claire didn’t think about the type of client that she wanted to attract.  She had cast her net wide and was ready to pull in anything that came close.  She had fallen into the same trap as many new bookkeepers.  With limited funds, Claire was trying to advertise to everyone but making herself attractive to no one.

When her second potential client came along, Claire grabbed them with both hands.  This particular client wasn’t a good fit for Claire’s business, but she didn’t care.  She had her second client, and another chance to prove that she could make this business work.

What advice would you give Claire at this point?  Have you been here yourself?  Leave a comment below.


Elaine B

I think the only answer here and it is very hard, with bills etc to pay, is to remember the magic, "where you focus your attention is where the magic happens", to quote Clare from the girls mean business. Do your very best ofr this second client, but think very hard, you your actual ideal customer is and start to focus on them. The customer doesnt care if you are bloke or desperate, they want quality and to know that you are an expert. Concentrate on the customer rather than yourself and don;t let them know you are desperate. If you have one client at £20 per hour its better than 2 at £10 per hour, as you know the client more. just my thoughts
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simone c

I want to know what happens next -)
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