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, you do whatever it takes to get some clients and fast.
But then, you start experiencing the “good” life. You have an abundance of clients so you take your eye off the prize, and because you didn’t likely create any marketing systems, you set yourself up for a fall. 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. If that’s the case, then it won’t be long before you’ll be looking at a slow period in your business. Yup, a famine.
That’s what happened to Heather:
“Hi Darnyelle thank you so much for your weekly TV show. Right now, things are very slow. I have periods when things are booming and every once in a while, I experience a full-fledged famine which makes it hard to concentrate and I lose my focus and my confidence goes down. Can you shed some light on how I can get out of the famine and back to enjoying a feast?”
Watch this week’s episode to see my response to Heather’s question.
At the end of the day, what happened to Heather happens to many entrepreneurs and small business owners who have forgotten that you market in good times so that you never have bad times. Sure, you can tweet that one, it was kind of good. 🙂
While my business insight has identified 28 different ways you COULD be marketing your business, it is my personal recommendation that you identify the right 5-7 for you and use them consistently.
You’ve heard me share that there are 3 that I deem “Non-negotiable”:
- Social Media
I love that the bulk of my list are off-line marketing strategies :-). But 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 avoid ever being caught off guard:
1. 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 that you remain top of mind and gain new exposure. I recommend that each week, you complete a weekly marketing plan which details your efforts for that week to advance your business. You will also want to create marketing campaigns that extend the life of a new product or service.
2. Keep good records of your accounts payable. While I love clients who pay in full, I also love clients who need a payment arrangement because it creates monthly cash flow in business. Now if you accept a payment option be sure you have a merchant account so that you can have the monthly payments generate systematically. Staying on top of your accounts receivables will influence your business and prevent you from having periods when there is no income coming in. You may also want to vary your client payment due dates so that it helps you to manage this effectively.
3. Keep in touch with your previous clients, prospects and others via your weekly newsletter or e-zine. Once someone has worked with you and “drank the kool aid”, it’s in your best interest to stay connected for a few reasons. One, they may need you again, and two, 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 acquire a previous client as a client again 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.
4. Network with consistency. It takes on average 8-10 impressions (people seeing you) to start feeling like they can share who you are and what you do with others. So don’t go to a structured networking event just once or twice, join and get to know the members so that they can help you attract new clients.
5. Diversify your client mix. I highly recommend that your client mix be diversified. 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.
The bottom line:
No matter how good things are now in your business, create a plan to keep it that way!
Now, I want to hear from you. What’s your two cents? If you once had a famine experience in your business, how did you get to the feast? What have you done to ensure that you never experience a famine again? How can you help Heather get out of her “rut” ? What can you offer to benefit the rest of the community? What did I leave out that is important for having a thriving business no matter what is going on in the economy that works for you? Leave a comment below to participate in our Incredible Factor TV After Party.
©2013 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Speaker, Business Coach and Marketing Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises.com, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program for more clients, more income and more leverage in your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Entrepreneurs Must Avoid When Unleashing Your Incredible Factor So You Attract More Clients, Make More Money and Gain More Leverage” just fill out the form below.