Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Closing Time? What Closing Time?

According to the Enterprise Council a whopping 71% of small businesses say they forward or accept calls to their homes or mobile phones when they're not in the office. Most entrepreneurs I know, (including myself) are accessible when ever a client needs them.

When the public at large thinks about "being their own boss," I'll bet they aren't thinking about taking the job home with them 24/7. One reason I can't leave my business behind at 5 o'clock is because, many of my clients are in other time zones. The other reason is I want my clients to have the peace of mind they desire, when a question or idea surfaces and they'd like to address it on their schedule. From my brand's perspective it's all about them - NOT ME.

What is your take on this issue? Can you leave it all behind at the end of the day? I don't know how any independent business person can. I have yet to meet one actually.


Brandi Grays said...

Ed, this is so true and every business owner that I know takes calls after they leave the office. I think that in today's business world, you have to be more accessible than less. When competition is fierce, being available to your customers can be the edge that gets you the work over someone else.

JohnJAdams said...

Ed, this is one of my hot topics lately (yeh it heats me up when I think of it). In all my previous businesses I had to be accessible literally 24 hours a day but it just did not fit my lifestyle whatsoever. I actually wrote a blog post about it here: http://basicriches.blogspot.com/2009/04/be-yourself-in-business-be-successful.html
In it I comment about being sure not to start a business that does not fit your lifestyle. In my case I would rather deal with clients via email on my own time and can easily do that now.

Ed Roach said...

Brandi, John:

Thanks for the comments. Your preference for email John, got me to thinking... most of my client contact today is by email. The phone rings alot less than it used to.

How about you both?

JohnJAdams said...

Ed, I am now 99% phone free. It serves no purpose now that I have gone to almost all Internet Marketing. I still have a few offline clients but ALL through email. Occasionally they just want to know there is a real person on the other end of the business equation but it is for minutes. I can't remember the last time my cell rang where before I would get upwards of 200 calls/mn in peak times. The reason I like email is its asynchronous form where before I never knew what to do when I was with a client and would receive 2 or 3 calls in the middle of it. I just didn't like to be interrupted but if I didn't take those calls I would be throwing money away.

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