Whoever said, “It’s not personal, it’s business,” obviously wasn’t an entrepreneur. Investing time and energy into a business pursuit makes it personal. It robs us of a bit of objectivity and takes our focus away from the big picture, which can spell disaster in lean times.
Plan ahead for client droughts by building a famine-proof client base with these five areas of focus.
Build a self-propelled marketing strategy
Finding time to work on the business often leaves business owners wishing there were more hours in the day. A marketing strategy that incorporates some level of automation or outsourcing can free up your time and keep building your brand, even when you’re busy building the bottom line. Establish standard reporting and check-in calls so you’re always aware of current marketing. But, set it up so nothing waits for your approval to avoid being the bottleneck that slows down your own business promotions.
Keep meticulous accounting records
Let’s even take a step back: establish boundaries and processes for clients with differing cash flow situations. Make sure contracts spell out terms clearly. Go over those parts of the contract in person or on the phone to check for understanding. A good accounts receivable system creates monthly cash flow for your business and helps limit payment delays.
Stay connected to previous clients
A monthly newsletter can be relationship-building fodder that keeps previous clients and prospects thinking about your company. Nurture those relationships and grow your network by offering interesting tidbits of expertise that your followers might light to share, especially on LinkedIn. We like to say content is king, but in this case, credible content builds your credibility.
Keep up local networking efforts
On average, it takes eight touch points to turn a prospect into a customer. Every in-person opportunity you get to leave a positive impression is building your brand, so keep going to those chamber of commerce or trade industry mixers. Get to know the people in those circles. Keep your attendance consistent even when your business keeps you busy.
Diversify your client recruitment focus
Entrepreneurs are most comfortable interacting with others who share their experiences. Don’t let that keep you from reaching out to larger clients. Think of your client base as an investment portfolio. You wouldn’t want to put all your hopes into the housing market, just to fail when a bubble bursts. Put your eggs in different baskets from time to time, and you’ll build a business that isn’t tied to a single industry’s success or failure.
Hiring someone to help build your marketing or address specific brand strategy needs can free up your time for building a diverse and famine-proof client base. Contact us today to find out how Cowtown Creative can help support your business goals and help make your vision a