View Full Version : Walk-Ins

Sarah Gartin
02-05-2012, 6:32 PM
I was wondering how walk-ins (or customers that need to drop off items or look at catalogs etc..) are handled in your home based business setting. Do you meet them else where or let them know that they will be meeting at your residence. How it that handled without the customers feeling strange about entering your home. Thanks!

Joe Pelonio
02-05-2012, 7:48 PM
Funny, I just got one yesterday wanting a wood business card holder engraved. I actually don't enourage those minimum charge one-offs but when someone contacts me I like to help them. If time permits they can mail it to me,
or they can drop it off on the from porch (fairly secure) or I will meet them. If it's somewhere I might pass by anyway I can pick up and deliver but not if it's going to cost gas money. One woman wanting a leather journal engraved met me in a supermarket parking lot. Most such meetings, if we need to discuss it, will be at a coffee shop like Starbucks. During the day our local one is full of business meetings as we have several hundred home based businesses in our little city.

Doug Novic
02-11-2012, 8:26 AM
I have two customers coming this afternoon. I do this ONLY with appointments in advance. Although we are home based our shop is in an out building but I am thinking about moving it into the lower level of the house for ease of heating. I tell them I am in the barn. If they still show up I do my best to accomodate them. One gentleman needed a piece of acrylic engraved. I charged him $5.00. A month later he brought me an order for over $300.00 worth of plaques. You never know where that walk in will lead your business.

Rodne Gold
02-11-2012, 9:22 AM
Maybe set up a small showroom area.. a chair , a tanle , a bit of office partioning to screen off other areas and provide space to hang.pin your stuff.
Remember that a walk in , unless on a busy high street , is someone who has taken the trouble to come to you - they WANT to spend and at the very least are "live" cutomers. If its a walk in with a small item , we help em and write it off to goodwill.
I view email and tele enquiries the same , someone has taken the trouble to look you up but the percentage of "this could be trouble and I'm making zilch off it" is much higher via phone/mail. Sometimes it's better to politely refuse and then refer them to the engraver down the road , who is your competitor and tie EM up with the mickey mouse job.
The other engraver thanks you for sending him a customer and you continue with your scheduled and profitable jobs.
At any rate , in my place , my staff have been trained to treat any customer the same as another , cept obviously on the fiddly/onesies stuff , our pricing is very high , if the customer is willing , well than you make a bit of tom , if not , you havent offended em at all and havent burnt any bridges.

Mike Null
02-11-2012, 10:31 AM
This year I finally made the decision to refuse such business. I had worked by appointment only and had a $25 minimum fee (which discouraged a few) but when I looked at the time involved with these customers versus the income it just didn't make sense. There may come a time when I'll need to reverse my decision but right now I'm happy to give up the $2 to $3 hundred a month such calls amounted to.

Confining my business to commercial, industrial and institutional customers is working well and I rarely have to see a customer. That improves efficiency considerably.