This is Part II of my list of Ferengi Rules of Acquisition for our profession.
In the fictional universe of Star Trek, there exists a profit-driven entrepreneurial race! They are the Ferengi. You can read more about them at Star Trek and in my Part I post. Some colleagues would classify some language service agencies as Ferengi. Although freelancers should not adopt all the ways of this quite greedy species, their expertise in some choice matters can teach us how to earn a good living.
44. Never Confuse Wisdom with Luck. You work hard, gain experience, and are prepared when the opportunity arises. That isn’t luck; if you hadn’t done those three things, you probably would have missed the chance.
45. Expand or Die. Sure you might be busy right now. However, if you aren’t constantly prospecting for new clients, even when busy, you just might discover that work can dry up quickly. Continue feeding your potential client pipeline.
57. Good Customers Are as Rare as Latinum – Treasure Them! It takes considerable effort and cost to find a good client. It is by far better to care for and maintain a great business relationship.
59. Free advice is seldom cheap. In other words, invest in expert advice to earn business and expand profit. Beware of social media; you may find some good advice and probably a lot of really bad personal opinions.
79. Beware of the Vulcan Greed for Knowledge. Being knowledgeable is always a great advantage in business. Position yourself as the expert.
82. The Flimsier the Product, The Higher the Price. Quality products often cost more but are durable and result in long-term savings. The same applies to language services. Cheap services can come at a great cost while quality is better in the long run. Which type of service do you offer?
125. You can’t make a deal if you’re dead. Please take care of yourself!
162. Even in the Worst of Times, Someone Turns a Profit. For every circumstance, there is a business deal. Keep your eyes peeled.
194. It is Always Good Business to Know about New Customers before They Walk in the Door. A little homework on your part about potential clients can be very helpful. Peruse their website, examine their reputation, and ascertain what they might need. This knowledge can impress them and the lack thereof can turn them off.
214. Never begin a negotiation on an empty stomach. I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry, I get irritable and emotional. Remember that negotiation is part of business; leave emotions checked at the door.
Which three of the ten Rules of Acquisition will you implement within the next three months? What say you about this alien code? Please let me know; I’m thrilled to share some more!