For Fathers Day, one of my daughters described on social media how I’d given her life skills as she grew up; I’ve worked for myself for the past 30 years and it occurred to me that maybe there was some stuff I could pass on. So here’s your starter for 10.

1  Your client is your link to the food chain.

There are times in life when you have to remember this, and it’s usually in a more gritty, less beatific moment. If you’ve chosen to provide a service or market some skill or product, you don’t deserve clients…..you win them. They are sometimes going to be hard fought, depending on your product and market sector, but in any case, you deserve nothing in the first instance. There are (usually) many others out there doing what you’re doing, and most may have been doing it for far longer than you. So whatever it is that you’re bringing to the market that you think adds value, you need to remember that you have to win your clients over; you want them to see your product, your difference as being what they need……so realise they are your link to your food chain. They’re going to invest in you, so give them their money’s worth of your time, your attention, your interest; you want them to know they are going to be better with you than the rest, so you have to convey that. I’ll give you an example of what I mean.

Many years ago, I returned from working a Saturday morning to find a message asking me to call someone; these were the days before cell phones! I didn’t really feel that responsive; these were also the days of lots of work and people calling me regularly. I made the call, only to be told that the person was there now and would be leaving Filey in the next half hour, so I had a quick decision to make. Did I go immediately, or fix an alternative date and risk losing them to someone else. I went immediately……and undertook their decorating work for the next 20 years until they sold the property. They became a valued client and one of those who after seeing my work would just call to give me the next project without asking for an estimate; they’re the best kind!

Look after them and they will remain with you in some cases for many years…….keeping your food chain healthy.