I’ve never been one for superstition and hokum but I have always believed that if you live your life with purpose and put your intentions “out there”, somehow everything you want will come to you.
Goodness knows there are many areas of my life that need work but interestingly my career was never a problem area. So when I decided to start my own business five months ago, it never occurred to me that it would be not be a success. I knew it would be hard work and quite challenging at times, but I was absolutely sure it would come off.
So as 2015 rolled in, I had a few clients (and some savings) which were keeping me above the poverty line! But I was starting to eat into those savings and my pipeline was looking pretty thin, and it dawned on me that it was not going to be enough to sit on my hands and wait for clients to just walk through my door. So I set about, together with my excellent marketing consultant, to create a detailed sales and marketing strategy and plan.
“…when I decided to start my own business five months ago, it never occurred to me that it would be not be a success. I knew it would be hard work and quite challenging at times, but I was absolutely sure it would come off.”
Wow! At the end of that, I had a long list of actions and a LOT of daily homework. I won’t go into all the details here but suffice to say the strategy was simply to use all the lead generation and marketing channels I already had at my disposal… from social media to chamber memberships to online directory listings to networking events… and make them work for me. All too often we create all these channels and still sit and wait.
By all means we should optimise our online presence through our website and social media pages, etc to increase the chance of being found by our target audience, but now more than ever I truly believe that this is not enough. Well, at least it wasn’t for me.
“…I was starting to eat into [my] savings and my pipeline was looking pretty thin, and it dawned on me that it was not going to be enough to sit on my hands and wait for clients to just walk through my door.”
So what were my results? Only three weeks of doing my sales and marketing homework, and these opportunities came knocking (in this order):
- Three new referral arrangements with other professionals offering complementary services to mine,
- Two invitations from clients to tender for their projects on Expert360, an online marketplace which brings experts/consultants together with clients needing their services,
- An invitation to appear on Seven News (which unfortunately fell through but wow! – to be asked at all was incredible!),
- A speaking event where I presented a full day workshop on how to prepare a business plan to a group of small business owners and entrepreneurs. Read more about it here. It was an incredible day with brilliant engagement and participation, just proving how desperate small businesses are to receive good information and simple sound advice on business strategy and operations. (This is just the first of a series of 4 business growth workshops I will be presenting this year for The Lounge, presented by Modewest Business & Lifestyle Magazine. For more information and to see the full 2015 program, visit The Lounge.)
- Five new clients – yes!
- A growing pipeline consisting of 50+ quality leads and prospects (which was a big fat zero three weeks ago), and
- Many new relationships formed with like-minded professionals and business owners, opening up a world of opportunities to generate new leads and perhaps do business in future.
And that’s just three weeks.
“An invitation to appear on Seven News… A speaking event where I presented a full day workshop… Five new clients – yes!”
I promise you every word of this is true. I’ve been doing my homework and am getting the results. So while living with purpose and setting your intentions is important, there are some times when you simply have to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
And not to be too “Twilight Zone” about it, but every single time I do roll up my sleeves and do my sales and marketing homework, someone or something out there is listening and doors fling open… leads appear and prospects convert to clients!
Are you making the most of the opportunities that are knocking on your door?
* Feature image sourced from Gratisography.
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About the Author: Angeline Zaghloul is an expert in business strategy, client management and business processes, and is the Principal of Peer Business Consulting, a Sydney-based consultancy providing strategy and operations support to startups and small businesses.
* Portrait by Markus Jaaskelainen.