Generating clients is a priority throughout this time as without them, you have no money to keep your company running and you have to take into consideration that in whatever field you are in, you are likely to have competition from a range of companies at many levels of experience; from the fellow start-ups to the established brands.
What Customers Are You Aiming For?
You have to understand your potential market base. If you have a small number of customers already, or those who have shown interest in your product or service, begin with them.
Build up a profile of your perfect customers and different ranges of customers, what they like, what type of business they are from, their location and other aspects of their lives that you can deduct. Once your sample size grows you can start to see a clearer picture of what type of person is more likely to purchase from you, and from there you can figure out how to target them effectively.
Once you have in mind your perfect target customer it’s time to think about raw data. Where do these prospects live? How many live local to your business, or in the region, even in the country? There are business start-up advice packages centred on direct marketing and generating prospect lists. Do your research and find out which marketing tool is right for you, or conduct your own market research and build a data list slowly but surely.
How Are You Going to Attract Custom?
Communication is a key factor in not only enticing new customers but also in retaining them in the long term. Communication, especially in these days of social media and an instant access to reply, can make or break the reputation of a brand, so you have to get it right.
When beginning to attract new customers you have a few options. You can use traditional print advertising in newspapers and magazines, produce leaflet drops in your local area, television and radio advertising, or you can go online and look for a wider audience at a lower cost in the form of social media, email marketing or focusing on building up your website presence online.
Whichever route you decide to take it is important that you collect and collate results in order to continually improve upon the processes you use in order to attract new customer.
After you have conducted thorough market research into your potential client base it is time to get started on generating those clients.
Create a Customer Pipeline
You’ve got to consider the big picture and not just that first client. You will have formulated plans and business projections that range from the short to long term and within those you must have a fair idea of how many customers you think are realistically possible within each timeframe.
You need to build up a steady flow of clients in the long run and by building a pipeline of potential leads and customers you are ensuring a healthy outlook, but it takes time to effectively build one. Once you have decided which marketing avenues to test out, keep a record of how many conversions you see from each, in order to tweak and improve your pipeline in future years.
Typically, a good lead conversion rate is around one out of every three leads, though this does of course vary from industry to industry. With a sales projection in mind you have to start thinking about how you are going to build up your leads from a very early stage in the process of setting up a start-up business.
The one piece of advice that is crucial to the first time owner of a start-up business is ‘don’t expect overnight success’. As with every other part of your business you will only succeed should you put in long hours, hard work and dedication. You will need to generate a large amount of leads, many of which will not come into fruition, that’s just the way sales can be, but don’t get disheartened, keep on working hard and the rewards will come.
There are numerous parts of a business that are strong points for an individual, and others that might not be your strong point. There are services that can help a start-up business succeed, offering virtual offices and virtual PA services as well as meeting rooms in your area, allowing you a professional outlook and a chance to focus on the parts of the business that you are really good at. A little help can go a long way at the start of a business venture.
Take the time to read through our guides for start-up businesses. There is plenty of advice and help available so don’t be frightened to take the plunge.
Our Free Download section is also full of templates which will help you get started.