The Choices You Have As A Business Owner
As a professional voice over actor, we have the glory of being the queen of our own kingdom! And as we get to make all the calls on how we run our small business, we have the luxury of deciding which of our values we reflect in the way that we choose to run our business. As solopreneurs, our choices and the we treat others gives our clients a glimpse into who we are and what matters to us. Therefore, it behooves is to put a lot of choice into all of these decisions. For me, I focus on several core values in my daily business practices:
Treat Everyone the Same
I consider the is to be the “Golden Rule” of voiceover! Whether a job is worth $200 or $2000, I treat every single client the same. If a new student books a single lesson or a five pack, they too are treated equally. First, I truly cherish each and every booking. Whether as a talent or as a voiceover coach, folks have a choice of who to work with. When casting, there are many who do what I do. Whether it is the conversational, millennial sound that I provide, or the fast turnaround, I am aware that I am not the only shop in town. Next, in terms of coaches, there are many wonderful VO coaches. Depending on your needs and what style you respond to, different coaches are better for different people. Again, I am aware that everyone has a choice. So, I treat every single booking as if it is my most important booking.
Value Others’ Time
One of my values is respect of everyone’s time. In the last year, I made a shift to using Calendly to book meetings and sessions. Automating bookings has been a huge improvement not just to my quality of life, but is also a giant nod of respect to my own time. There is no longer a repeated back and forth just ti schedule a 20 minute introductory zoom. Or when a student needs to book a session they have paid for, I no longer waste their time waiting for me to confirm a booking. It all happens seamlessly, which benefits everyone. Another way that I try to be respectful of everyone’s time, whether it is in a Clubhouse or a live session, is that I always am mindful of how much time has been booked. If an hour has been allotted, I try to work within the hour, and not run over. I always keep in mind everyone has a schedule.
Don’t be Penny Wise and Pound Foolish
Try to be giving when you work with clients. Don’t nickel and dime them, try to think of the big picture. When you go out to eat, and you ask for extra of something, how do you feel when the waitress immediately snaps about extra charges? Even if there are extra fees, there are pleasant way to introduce them, and then there is a tone that makes you seem like an anxious money grubber. Recently the traversing rod in my bedroom broke. I had to reach out to the local upholstery man, John, who had made them to come back and repair them. I had no idea how much he was going to charge and I had to call him repeatedly to beg him to do the work. I was worried that with each pleading call the price would go up. Instead, when he came to do the work, he charged me less than I expected. In this scenario, I was delighted by the quality of his work, his turnaround, and hsi fair price. This is how I want clients to feel every time they work with me.
Be a Mensch
Make it easy for clients to get what they need. Once you have a booking, turn that booking into a repeat client by making it is easy as possible for your customer to get exactly what they need by being genuinely helpful and kind. For example, I happen to have a lot of international clients. Often, the scripts were clearly not written by a native English speaker, and they need revision. I offer Copy Writing. If the changes are minimal, I do not charge. If the changes are quite involved, I send a helpful and caring note and suggest my usual hourly rate for this before I move forward.
It’s YOUR business, so at the end of the day you make the call on what feels right to you. Each interaction, each conversation, each policy reflects your values. Think about what you want to reveal and how you want to make clients feel as your work together.