When you are first starting your business, you realize the necessity of marketing. And you do this largely because you have NO clients. Nada. So you pound the pavement, call everyone you know, do whatever it takes to get some clients and fast.
But then, you start experiencing the “good” life. You have clients so you take your eye off the prize and because you also likely didn’t create any marketing systems, you set yourself up. That’s right, if you’re not careful, once you grow your business and get clients, you’ll forget to keep up your marketing efforts. And if you do, it won’t be long before you’ll be looking at a slow period in your business. A famine.
This happens to many entrepreneurs and small business owners who have forgotten that you market in good times so you never have bad times. However, avoiding the feast or famine cycle is not just about your marketing efforts, it’s really about how you are operating your business.
Here are five things you can do to never get caught in a famine again:
- Always be marketing. Never turn off your marketing faucet, which is why you need to build some marketing systems; things that run no matter what so you remain top of mind and gain new exposure. Each week, complete a weekly marketing plan detailing your efforts for that week to advance your business. You also need to create marketing campaigns that extend the life of a new product or service.
- Keep good records of your accounts payable. Clients who pay in full are wonderful, but so are clients who need a payment arrangement. Why? Because it creates monthly cash flow. If you accept a payment option be sure you have a merchant account so you can have the monthly payments generate systematically. Staying on top of your accounts receivable will influence your business and prevent you from having periods when there is no income. You may also want to vary your client payment due dates so there is money coming in throughout the month.
- Keep in touch with your previous clients, prospects and others via your weekly newsletter or e-zine. Once someone has worked with you, it’s in your best interest to stay connected. That client may need you again and they will likely meet people who they could refer to you. If you stay in touch with previous clients and remember that your cost to reacquire a previous client is much lower than finding a new one, this could be just what you need as a monthly strategy. Having a weekly communication for this group will keep you top of mind.
- Network with consistency. It takes on average eight to 10 impressions for people to start feeling like they can share who you are and what you do with others. Don’t go to a structured networking event just once or twice; join and get to know the members so they can help you attract new clients.
- Diversify your client mix. No matter how much you love working with entrepreneurs, you need one or two large-engagement corporate, state, government or college/university clients to offset your income. Having a diversified client mix is one of the best ways to avoid the famine. Think about what you offer that could easily be made available to other audiences.
No matter how good things are now in your business, create a plan to keep it that way!
“Business optimization strategist, Darnyelle A, Jervey, is CEO of Incredible One Enterprises, a business consulting and coaching firm that helps entrepreneurs and business owners realize financial and spiritual abundance. Jervey is an award-winning coach, consultant, strategist and a best-selling author with 7 books to her credit, including her latest projects: “Burn the Box: 7 Breakthrough Strategies for Standing Up, Stepping In and Igniting Success” and “Market Like a R.O.C.K. Star.” Jervey may be reached online at www.incredibleoneenterprises.com.