As a business owner, it is extremely important that you recognize that the clients you serve are the key to having success in your business. And, I know that you’ve heard the old adage, “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.” Yet as an entrepreneur who is struggling to grow your business, this is likely what you’ve done if you’ve not taken the time to diversify the clients that you serve.
Client diversification is key – even if you serve entrepreneurs, you have to diversify the types of entrepreneurs you serve so that you are not caught with a basket full of start up entrepreneurs who are struggling to get access to capital and therefore can’t afford to hire you or purchase your products. And, to be clear, diversification can be based on entrepreneur growth stage or industry that you work with.
So at the end of the day, my recommendation is this: Diversify your client pool by having multiple types of clients that can all be served through the solutions you offer to the problems that they encounter and are actively seeking solutions to.
Let me demonstrate by talking about my company. At IOE, we have several company divisions – Speaking, Coaching/Mentor (both business and executive/corporate), Consulting and Training and Development. Each division serves different Audiences of One TM. They each have their own websites and marketing messages (but you can get to them all from our main company website). By creating client diversification, we are able to serve many types of clients and more importantly get paid by many. And the best part about the diversification is that it creates a steady influx of cash into our business – remember, the more clients you have, the more money you will make because your eggs are not all in one type of basket.
In fact, client diversification is so important, that I was preaching it 4 years ago and I still am today:
When you can only count on one population to pay you, you run the risk of not getting paid when they can’t pay. Let’s face it; stuff happens and if they (your client) have to choose between paying you and keeping their lights on, well, you know the answer to that one. By having entrepreneurs, executives, corporations and government agencies and colleges and universities as clients, we can always count on income coming in. And although we serve many types of clients, what we offer them is the same thing – strategy around one of the Five Pillars of Business Optimization™ – Brand Messaging, Marketing, Sales, Operations and Talent.
As you look at diversifying your client mix, here are some questions I invite you to consider in order to create your client diversification plan:
1. What is the problem that you solve? This is important to consider because you have to solve a clear problem, one that those who have it would deem Specific and Substantive, Persistent and Pervasive, Immediate and Insurmountable, Clear and Conscious and Expensive and Expansive. By defining the problem in this way, you’ll definitely get the attention of the client groups you’re looking to serve.
2. Who do you currently solve this problem for? List your current client types. By starting to jot down who already make up your clients, you’ll do two things: 1) Clarify if the current clients you serve are your most ideal and 2) Open up the possibility to add in even more ideal clients.
3. Who else could you solve this problem for? Another way to ask this: what other types of clients could you help with your current catalog of products and services? How would you help them?
4. What will you need in order to reach these new clients to tell them about the problem you solve? Here, I want you to consider what you’ll need to add from a messaging and marketing standpoint to appeal to the additional client groups you’ll start to seek out.
5. What ancillary services or product lines could you easily create in order to allow your company to serve more types of clients? Allow me to be your example again for a second. By offering coaching, consulting and training and development, we can serve many types of industries and types of clients including entrepreneurs, colleges and universities, corporations and governmental agencies, we have tons of clients to choose from when we are creating marketing campaigns.
6. How will you attract the attention of your newly found client groups? What marketing streams will most appeal to them? Where are they gathering so that getting in front of them will be easier?
7. What results have you gotten for your existing clients that these new client groups would get excited about? Social proof is the key to everything. If others (regardless of industry) have gotten results in working with you, new industries will be likely to consider hiring you.
By answering these seven questions, you will begin to develop your client diversification plan. So start here and let me know how it goes by leaving us a comment below.
Can you use some help with creating your client diversification plan? Consider consulting with me to get you quickly ready to spread your eggs out into more baskets!
©2016 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Business Optimization Coach and Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises®, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program so you experience financial and spiritual abundance in your life because of your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Even Smart Entrepreneurs Must Avoid for Clients, Connection and Cash Flow!” just fill out the form below.