How Do You Find Those First Clients?

Solo Build It!Starting a business is a difficult task, and most intimidating for some can be getting those first clients in the door. Whether you work from home or in an office, you have to find them, some how. Advertising can be expensive, especially when you have the other expenses and no income, yet. Here are some tips to help you get started....

  • Don't sit and wait. This is one of the easiest ways to run your business into the ground. Even when you take an ad you can't just sit and wait, you must be proactive. So change your thinking and after you take those ads, keep working to find other ways to attract new clients.
  • Keep busy; look in your phone book for local businesses or professionals you might network with, create a brochure for yourself, research other places to advertise, or create a new business card. This constant research keeps you motivated and feeling like you are working to keep discouragement at bay.
  • Take business cards to local businesses surrounding the area you are working in. You might even want to take some small plastic card holders. You'd be surprised at how many other local businesses are willing to let you keep your cards on their counters or on a bulletin board.
  • Make brochures on your own computer explaining your services and how you are different or special (called your Unique Selling Point or USP in the business world). Then walk this door-to-door and leave them at homes in your neighborhood. This may sound hokey - but keep reading...
  • Make a schedule of your ideal work hours and during this time constantly and do something toward filling those times with clients. In other words, make a commitment to working every Tuesday and Thursday, for example, from 10am to 4pm (for starters). Then if you only have 3 clients and 1 lunch hour, and each client is a 1 hour appointment, you have 2 hours to devote toward getting more clients. During this time is when you work on your brochure, newsletter, business cards, new ads, researching places to advertise, researching local networking clubs, going business-to-business or door-to-door.
  • There is a big reason for constantly moving forward, besides the obvious, which will be explained in the rest of this article.

I have found with myself, and after talking with hundreds of other business people no matter what business they are in, that when you put the energy "out there," it comes back to you in clients. It may not be where you put your energies, but through another route.

For example, I once went door-to-door to the homes surrounding the area where my office was. I knew there was very slight chance of getting new clients, since this was not "targeted" advertising (meaning they were not looking for my service).

However, nearly every day that I did this, I would come back to the office (either that day or the next) to find at least 1-4 phone messages from new clients wanting to make an appointment. They would come from an ad I had forgot about or a referral from a chiropractor that I didn't even know, but they would come. It seems almost to be a new-age type concept, but it works whether you're into "energy" or "karma" or not. It just seems to be a universal business law.

Now obviously this didn't work 100%. But it does work enough to be noticeable, making it a common topic of conversation for successful business people. So in the times where I would feel discouraged enough to give up (and any business venture will have those moments) I knew to put my energies into finding new clients.

Starting a new business or growing a business will have it's ups and downs. It is the discouraging times when it is said that those without the stomach for business will be weeded out. In other words, you can sit and do nothing and nothing will happen, or you can go out and find your clients and be rewarded.

Do little things to make yourself feel like you are moving forward by always carrying business cards and handing them out when you can. Always research for free business advice; check your local library for marketing idea books, call your local Small Business Association for an appointment with a retired business person for advice (this is one of their free services), or research the internet and get ideas from the competition. There's always something to do and success will come to those who persist.

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