Now that we’re well past the holidays , January thinking and planning time – business life is returning to normal. But what do you do if you’re still quiet?
In the early stages of building your business, there are a million things to do that keep you busy and distracted – building websites, setting up your office and your processes, answering those calls from wannabe suppliers. All of which can distract you from your true task – selling something to someone.
If you’ve lost focus on that one critical task in the preceding months, you might well have found yourself quieter than you’d hoped.
And it’s often at this point that many business owners question whether going into business for themselves was the right thing to do. Building a business, or anything of a worthwhile nature for that matter, is usually not an easy task and it takes time, effort, courage and sheer determination to stay the course.
So, when the business of building a business gets tough, the tough focus on filling their new business pipeline. It’s the only thing that will keep your business alive and growing to the next level.
How Do You Do That?
- Refocus your day on new business. If you’re really quiet, spend all day on it until you’ve got a full business pipeline. If you’re also servicing other clients, spend at least an hour a day. Set yourself a number of contacts (new and old) that you’re going to make each day and don’t do anything else until it’s done.
- Get in touch with your old clients that were happy with previous work and see how you might be able to help them again. Phoning works best – after all you already have a relationship.
- LinkedIn is also a great place to start. Instead of just having a nice list of connections on your profile, call them up, really connect and see how you can help them in their business. You’ll be surprised what can come from it.
- If you’ve got a facebook page and the usual 50-250 friends – connect with them properly – ie: face to face or over the phone and let them know you’re in the market for some more work as part of your conversation. Yes, they’re your friends, but your friends hold powerful sway with their friends. And if you live up to your business promise, they’ll have no problems recommending you to their other friends.
- Join a business networking group. Don’t just fling cards about – get to know people and build relationships. There are many, many business clubs out there (see point 5). Find one that’s likely to contain your ideal clients and go join one.
- If you’ve built a sales database, send out a survey asking for help to be better able to serve your clients’ needs. Offer something of real and personal value to get them to complete it.
- Hire a new business sales person to help you open some extra doors. Make sure that you set them concrete targets (around calls, proposals, revenue), follow up with them daily (especially when they’re new) on how they’re going with those targets and don’t weigh them down with other non-new business development tasks.
- Create an email marketing, direct mail or other kind of marketing campaign.
You might wonder why marketing campaigns were left to the bottom of the list? These are still incredibly valuable (even with the ever growing impact of social media) as long as they’re targeted perfectly at your ideal client and offer something of value to them.
But picking up the phone and really connecting with people will most likely net you quicker results. And it’s entirely too easy to get stuck in the doing-ness of creating the perfect marketing campaign – without actually selling anything.
And finally, track everything you do and follow up religiously. What gets measured gets done and what gets followed up gets results.
It might take three months of solid work before you start seeing the results. But if you stay the course and don’t lose focus, you will see results.
We’d love it if you followed us on twitter @SOI_Au or you can connect with me via linkedin – http://au.linkedin.com/in/michellemillssoi. If we can help you keep your focus on the only thing that matters in your business, call us on +61 2 9994 8000 or visit us www.serviced.com.au