I moved house last week, although I'm glad to be back as I need a rest from all the packing, unpacking and trips to IKEA.
During the last few weeks I've been trying to get some jobs done on the new house and they need the touch of a professional; medium sized tasks like built in bookcases and large tasks like transforming a building into my new studio.
This exercise has reminded me how the simple things can make all the difference when it comes to try and make money from your Pro Tools rig - here are 3 ways your studio may be losing clients and here's how to fix it;
Not Returning Enquiries
You hear a lot how hard it is to make money as a small business owner, so if that's the case why do so few small business owners not immediately respond to enquiries offering them work? Granted the person may be busy... but the simple courtesy of a returned email or phone call may be the difference between the client taking you seriously when you need some new work.
Courtesy costs little time but it's the small things that put you ahead of the many other people offering the same services as you. You may have lost work in your studio simply because you did not respond to enquiries. Now you might be thinking that means loosing one job, but if a client is happy with work then they keep on returning for more, you may not only be loosing jobs but clients, if you want to put that into perspective one client I have, gave me a job 18 months ago for £350 - they have since spent over £30,000 with me.
Not Sending Quotes In A Timely Manner
Last Wednesday we had a carpenter and joiner come over to the house to quote for 3 separate jobs, I also showed him the space where the studio would be constructed and he indicated he had the men to be able to build it once I had the design and plans. My wife and I had looked at his website and like the look of his work, we also liked him, we felt he was the kind of person we would like to have working on our projects. Since visiting we've heard nothing since, in fact on Saturday I texted him to give him a gentle nudge about sending over the estimates, he replied "Unfortunately I haven't had a chance I will get them done early this coming week and get back to you. Cheers." (sic) Yesterday morning I posted a separate job online and within 10 minutes one guy had contacted me and said he would call me today to discuss the quote. He is likely to get some work from me. The moral of this story is you can have the best gear in the world, the best website and even a really great personality, but if you fail to follow up on work offered to you in a timely manner then don't expect to win new clients.
Not Caring About Quality
As a welcome respite from all the house moving stuff I drove to my local hand car wash to get my car cleaned. You know the kind I mean? A pile of guys that descend on your car like locust and three minutes later it looks like it just left the showroom. We have a lot around us and they charge very little for the job, around £5. Selling a service at this price requires fast turnaround of a lot of cars, my math thinks they need to clear a couple of hundred cars a day to really make a business from it. As my car was washed it was passed from one guy to another; one to prep, one to clean, one to rinse and one to dry. As I was reaching the end of the process and the guy had dried my car the boss came over to take my money. When he opened my door he saw some dirt on the door (a tiny amount) but on seeing it immediately called over the guy who had dried it, what ensued was (in Eastern European) him taking the guy around my car to check and clean it all again... for £5. He then took my £5 and asked if I had one of their loyalty cards, as I was new I didn't even know they had them, I said no and he handed me a card that meant after 9 washes I got the 10th one free. The card is an easy way to keep customer's loyalty, but I had already decided to come back after seeing how much care he took over getting my £5 wash right. We spend our lives in this industry seeing people boasting on forums or blogs about how much they know, but here's the real thing customers want to know how much you care not just how much you know.
Making Money From A Pro Tools Studio
You may have the best Pro Tools equipped studio in your area, but if you fail to take care of the fundamentals when trying to win and keep clients then you are wasting your time and theirs too.