I have been running my own business for 22 years now. Yes; 1996 does seem a very long time ago now! As a complete aside I just googled Number One records in 1996. Spice Girls and Peter André anyone? Or maybe Oasis and Prodigy were more your style?
… anyway, to get back on track, one thing I have learnt over the past 22 years is that there are certain times of year which are great for business and September is most definitely one of them.
There is something about returning to work after the summers holidays, combined with that “back-to-school” feeling at the start of the new school year that you never quite shake off, that means we all want to take action and make things happen…
… so September is a great time of year to gain new customers.
But, maybe you are still focussed on sorting out your accounts system, or trying to recruit another member of staff, or perhaps you are still getting around to updating your website, or think you don’t have time…
… It doesn’t matter.
Time is of the essence and all those jobs can wait because September is all about getting new customers so don’t miss out.
… BUT I can hear lots of you saying – “how do I find these enthusiastic potential customers?”
Well you just need to do all the things you should be doing anyway but really ramp up your activity levels.
Focus on getting out and about and making lots of noise about you and your business:
- Book into lots of networking meetings
- Pick up the phone and speak to people (I got cold called today, I didn’t need the service but someone he rings after me will.)
- Contact your existing customers – are there other products / services you offer that they don’t know about?
- Remind ex-customers about your products / service
- Email newsletters are great but why not pop a batch of real letters in the post
- Get leaflets printed and delivered
- Give your website / blog a quick copy re-fresh with some SEO friendly wording – easy to do on Word Press
- Get active (or get set up) on social media – I am concentrating on LinkedIn myself at the moment
- Book magazine advertising, dare I say it, with me!
- Respond to requests for help where your business expertise could be useful
- Get involved in your local business community
… but do not just sit in your office and wait for the phone to ring!
Interestingly when I have a manic few weeks making lots of noise about advertising in my magazines my phone always starts to ring – and whilst it can be difficult to track enquiries back to one specific action I can guarantee that if I had sat in my office doing nothing then my phone would have stayed silent.