I’m pretty sure that if you asked most business owners about their goals for this year they would say that they’re interested in building their business. And many of these Type A and somewhat impatient business owners would also say that they would like to do it fast and start to recognize the fruits of their labor sooner rather than later. I get it, really I do, and there are definitely some tactics that once you put them to work you will start to see results almost immediately. But don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that your revenue will skyrocket in the next 30 days BUT if you start now, sooner rather than later, those desired results would start sooner as well.
Here are 3 things you can do to build your business now:
Social media isn’t the panacea for all that ails you. Start marketing.
Many companies ditched some of the more “old-fashioned” sales and marketing tactics with the explosion of social media. Heck, I’ll put up a Facebook page and the customers will come to me, right? I’ll tweet words of wisdom, be visible on LinkedIn and I won’t have to do much of anything else. Wrong. Social media is simply one part of a well-integrated marketing strategy. I’m not suggesting that you must spend extensive dollars on marketing but I am saying that you cannot expect social media to be responsible for the majority of your business growth. Consider utilizing targeted direct mail, print or email newsletters, telemarketing, participation at trade shows, PR, writing articles, giving speeches, advertising and more to help you build visibility, credibility and yes, business. But remember INTEGRATION, CONSISTENCY and SALES COMPETENCIES are key. None of these will work as well as a stand-alone as they will as part of a marketing program.
Lose touch, lose business. Touch point management is a must.
Prospecting, networking and all manner of marketing efforts will bring in leads and contacts but at the end of the day these individuals have to be nurtured and wooed until such time as they are ready to business with you. If you allow them to fall off the grid there is no way that you will get the desired return on investment. Create a touch point management program that enables you to stay on the radar screen of your prospects and referral sources alike. It might take 3, 6, 12 months or more to convert a lead into a client or for a referral source to have an introduction for you. Don’t disappear. (It’s best to utilize a CRM system (customer relationship management) in order to do this efficiently. (CMIT can help you if you so desire.) Start now!
Retain and GROW your existing clients.
Many companies are always searching for new clients rather than looking at their existing client database to see if they can uncover additional business opportunities. Let’s face it, it’s much easier getting business from existing accounts rather than prospecting and knocking on new doors and then having to establish your value proposition and credibility before they will consider doing any business with you. You must always keep the sales pipeline full but don’t forget the clients that you currently have. They know you, respect what you can do for them and it is only a matter of additional probing so that you can uncover their additional wants and needs. For starters, run a printout of your existing clients and make certain to include your small to mid sized clients. Ask yourself this: are they small because they simply don’t have any additional business to give you or are they small because they are spreading their business out over multiple resources. Take steps NOW to get more of that business you are leaving on the table!
So there you have it – three actions to ramp up business growth. Execute carefully, measure scrupulously and get going. Times awasting!