Having a business plan to back up your vision is a positive start towards achieving your dreams. But do you have a plan to get clients that will keep your doors open?
I am inspired by the hustling spirit that my peers have. They are fulfilling their business dreams while raking in…millions! Social media and technology has made the world even smaller and networking so much possible. I have profiled and spoke with a lot of young business people and some common threads they share is passion and persistence. To be honest starting a business is not easy and at some point you will fail but getting up and learning from your and other people’s mistakes is the key element that sets your path to success. If you heeded to that business bug that was biting you for a while and just recently launched your business. Here are tips to finding your first client(s):
Know that it won’t be a smooth sail: it can take months to secure your first client so make sure that you saved enough to keep your business and some of your personal expenses afloat while knocking on those doors.
Network as much as you can: businesses are built and maintained through relationships. Research industry related events that you can go to, to build contacts. Always follow up with people you meet to get to know them better. Also speak with people in your circle about the services you offer. They may not be your immediate clients but they may refer you to people who know people that might need your business.
Get social: Use social media to get your brand out there. Ensure that your business has a LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter account which you can use to your advantage by connecting with or joining business related groups in your area.
Build relationships with competitors: Yes, you read right. Not all competition is meant to outshine or eliminate you. If you have good relations with some of your competitors they can refer you to some of their clients if they feel overwhelmed with their workload. Believe me, I have seen this, especially in the business of PR.
Build and optimise your website: One of the biggest resource people use to look for the services you might offer is the internet. This is why it’s important to have an online presence that you have to update frequently.
Make yourself known: You may offer the best services in the world but it’s no use if your potential customers don’t know about. Speak with your local newspaper or radio station and ask for a feature. Or better, collaborate with publicists to help get your brand to the right market.
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Do you have a business? How did you find your first clients?