Building a pipeline of potential new customers will be one of the most important things you can do when starting your own business. Over reliance on a single or small number of clients is a high-risk strategy. It only takes one of them to stop spending with you and you have a big problem.
It will be important to find a balance between doing and selling. For many people, the doing is the enjoyable and rewarding part, but selling is an essential requirement of any successful business plan.
Here are a few things you can do to find new customers:
If you have a website, (and you really should have), be sure to set time aside to regularly review and refresh it with new content, in keeping with your most recent Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) insights.
Anyone looking for a professional advisor such as an accountant will probably start with a Google search. Implementing SEO across your website will help make sure they find you. There are many tools available, such as www.hubspot.com , that provide free resources and tips to help you optimise your site.
A social media presence is also an effective way of spreading your message. Social platforms aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but they provide an incredible opportunity to build your brand and promote your business. And, if you do it yourself, there’s no cost involved.
Networking is going to be one of the most effective things you can do to meet and win new customers. Think about who you could connect with. Who could introduce you to potential customers? What events could you attend?
The most successful networkers build their activity into their daily routine. This way it becomes second nature. To help you do this, make sure you know your elevator pitch, so you can make an immediate impression when you meet people for the first time. Don’t shy away from selling yourself. Find a way of pitching yourself that you’re comfortable and confident with. And, as any good networker will tell you, keep records. That way you can follow up with relevant information and actively build productive relationships.
Word of mouth and recommendations have to be the best way of winning new customers. The cost of sales is virtually nil, and you start with a customer who’s warmly disposed towards you. Every business hopes referrals will come naturally, but don’t be passive. Proactively encourage your existing customers to recommend you by:
Providing you feel you have a good relationship with your customer, don’t be afraid to ask them to help spread the word. Most people will be happy to help.
This article was written by the career coaching experts at Chiumento.
If you feel that your business would benefit from a fresh injection of new customers, bouncing ideas around with an experienced business coach could help.