Running a small business is not as easy as what people seem to think it is. If you started as you won a tender but didn’t put in systems to ensure that you are sustainable after the project is finished… then I am sure you are job hunting now. Often, you show your desperation with your clients and prospects by selling instead of adding value first.
I have only been in my own business now for a little over two years, but I learnt most of my skills while being secure in having a job. The bosses, good and bad, have all taught me lessons on what to do, and not to do. Clients, friends and colleagues have shown me how to think bigger than my current circumstances. My life and connections and taught me how adding value first, brings the paying client in, and keeps them. It’s called nurturing.
As a company, we support and have solutions for small businesses as well as large businesses, but as a startup, the larger businesses don’t want to chances on small business. So how can we change this? Simple – consistent value add branding. (Nurturing)
Now, what do I mean by CONSISTENT VALUE ADD BRANDING? Well, do you leave every meeting (personal and business) ensuring that the other person has received valuable expertise from you (if the opportunity presented itself – not forcing it onto someone), even if they are not a client or paying for that service? Why not? When last did you share some of your thought leadership and tips with your online network? When last did you talk to someone without looking at your phone? I was asked why do I share my tips online as then they don’t need to pay for my services. Well, if I can help someone, they will talk about me to their colleagues and friends. I don’t know whom they may know who will need our services one day!
Let me tell you a quick story. I am the client of a physio (a new physio as my other one is too far now) as my stress goes straight to my back. Well, in my last session, I left her giving her ideas on how to generate additional income without too much effort. Will she implement? I don’t know… Did she appreciate it? YES, as I even received a text afterwards thanking me as she was stuck in her mind to sell time for money that products didn’t even cross her mind. Did I still have to pay her for her services, YES! However, I know that I made a difference and created an idea with someone.
You don’t know how your expertise and out the box thinking may help someone else. Don’t keep all your knowledge to yourself, be courageous and people will come back to you and “show you the money” and hire you as your little advice helped them to the next level!
Please share your stories below with me on how you nurture your clients…