In 1993, when single mom Rochelle Balch was downsized, she moved to Phoenix and, without a single business contact, started a homebased computer consulting company. Last year, RB Balch & Associates Inc. grossed more than $2.4 million. How'd she do it? Balch, author of C-E-O & M-O-M, Same Time, Same Place (RB Balch & Associates, $9.95, 800-922-5249), offers tips for homebased entrepreneurs with more moxie than money:
- Give it away. Balch offers free consulting services as prizes at raffles, auctions and meetings. "It's great free advertising," says Balch, "and several winners have become clients."
- Act confident, be assertive and look successful. If someone says "no," reassess the situation and ask another way. "When I was turned down for a line of credit at the bank, I insisted they sit down with me, review my business plan and learn about my business," Balch says. "After they met with me, I got a small line of credit, which has since increased."
- Modify your product or service as needed. For the first three years, Balch literally gave away tech support business. When demand for small-office support increased, she started seeking out this business in addition to her core product, contract programming.
Lynn H. Colwell is a business writer in Post Falls, Idaho.
RB Balch & Associates Inc., (602) 561-9366, email@example.com
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