One of the greatest complaints and challenges in business is almost always money. We rarely consider the REAL reasons we don’t make money but it goes BEYOND “the Economy” or “Budgets” truth be told clients will always FIND money for services they believe in. In addition, consider that there are small businesses who absolutely do NO selling and make all the money they need and more BECAUSE they are doing one or all of the things below. (click Next above or below to see the next segment)
Look at what you are producing. Are you up to date?
This is a HUGE mistake I have seen people make in the music industry and my business. The music industry is very fast paced and things can literally change from week-to-week. Many small businesses in the industry are not up to date. They are run by one person who doesn’t have a staff and who constantly uses excuses about not hiring anyone like they don’t have the extra money. Most times we DO have the money even for assignment based jobs but we are often cheap and greedy and we don’t want to share our profits. There are some people who legitimately need the money but most people I come across could cut out the cable they never watch at home and put that money into building their brands. You will NEVER have the extra money if you are not up to date and if you don’t SPEND some to make some (wisely of course). Hiring family is not a good idea because they may or may not want to do what YOU do and it creates problems. Hire someone even part-time or on assignment who is strong where you are week. If you are not able to keep up with current trends in your industry it will be very obvious in what you produce. Don’t take that chance because once you are labeled “dated” you are just that and potential clients will lose interest in you.
Stop using your Tenure
People who use their tenure to bully clients into buying are mere cry babies. Your tenure is meaningless if you are dated and at times It can work AGAINST you because you will appear OLD. I have had this problem for years with competitors who ALWAYS call my clients whenever they see an ad on my site or my publications. They moan and groan like kids in a playground about being left out and how they have worked so many years in the industry and should have the same benefit as my brands do but they never do the work. They copy and steel from others (including me) and want their own credit for it. They do that because their products suck and the clients often come back and tell me this. Focus on the product FIRST. What is it that you can do that nobody else, even competitors can’t do? If you can’t come up with anything, like my competitors can’t you will rely on whining and belly aching about being left out like its a child’s baseball game and you were the last to be chosen. Clients are outrageously annoyed by business owners like this and if you have to struggle especially after your first year in business and you don’t have several steady clients… something is wrong.
Use Social Media Networks
I am a HUGE social media person with my business and it works to my advantage because most if not all of my competitors have never taken the time to learn or understand how important social media is. We are all over 40 but that doesn’t mean we can’t be on top of the trends but some people are lazy. I will tell you if you want to earn more you have to be more and DO more and part of that is constantly branding your product. Social media doesn’t have to be a chore and it can actually be automated by using a few services while you work. There are also apps for retailers that can either film you working or help keep customer up to date to check out your services.
Stop comparing yourself to others
I had a boss that once told me that if you are in a race and you look to either side of you, you lose time… he said only focus on the finish line. I have to agree. When you look at what someone else is doing AND you compare yourself to them, it speaks volumes for your services or what you lack. What can you do BETTER or how can you provide more appealing services to your clients? Stop copying and come up with your OWN way of promoting and succeeding with your brand.
Upsell Your Current Clients
Chasing dead clients is a waste of time. There are some clients who will NEVER support you. Stop calling them and asking them to support you and focus on your current clients who would probably be willing to spend even MORE money with you if you have something ELSE to offer of value. Don’t try to raise your rates on them, you may lose them if you do that.
How Can you Improve?
Having a business is not only about working, it’s about researching new trends and educating yourself. Are you doing that? Some entrepreneurs work WAY too many hours a day, especially those with mobile businesses. Check out Groupon and Meet-ups for meetings that will help you network with other entrepreneurs so that you can learn more about what’s going on in your industry.
Take your Clients to lunch
This is one of the most valuable things that MANY entrepreneurs ignore today but it STILL works. Take you clients to lunch (and please don’t expect them to pay, most of them will insist on paying anyway if they value YOU). They want to talk to you and get to know you better. Great clients will tell you things you need to hear about your industry when you spend just a small amount of personal time with them. You have to keep investing in your business by using your leverage
Send out an email blast
Do you have a new product? What’s the latest news with your business? I can’t tell you how many new clients I have gotten via email blasts that I do daily. People pass your email blasts around and it’s a great way to keep your brand on the minds of others and to make more revenue. Give your email blasts some added value talk about something of interest to your client base and industry. Give them some tips or news, they LOVE it.
Consider Google Adwords
Want to draw more people to your business? Google Adwords is excellent but it takes a little bit of time to understand. It’s not quick and easy to understand but it works. You can target your campaigns to a specific demo, city and zip code and use specific keywords to generate your ads. There are always free $100.00 coupons online to promote your brand. Check www.google.com/adwords for more info
Attend Conferences where your Clients go
There are literally hundreds of conferences every year. I go to a few very important ones to meet potential clients face to face. I like to meet marketing people at various corporations. I don’t like gatekeepers and middlemen, they ALWAYS get in the way of your success so find a way to get around THEM. People will do business with you because they like you and believe in you. They can’t do that if they don’t KNOW you
Get a feature in a POPULAR Blog in your field
Write press releases about your business or new products. There are services like PRWeb that will put your press release in front of thousands of bloggers, websites, magazines and newspapers. Are you using them?
Get Testimonials from Satisfied customers
This is a great way to garner MORE interest in your product. Use this at all times and make sure you rotate especially from well-known people