We are living times where the economy is not at its best. There are less opportunities as jobs, projects, new clients and many others that are harder to find.
In my case I see how I started my business at a time where many established organizations disappeared and many others started their dive. I have survived barely for the last three year making huge personal sacrifices to keep my business afloat.
When I started my business I was full of energy although things have not gone how I pictured them I have to say I have even more energy and focus now than then.
I read on Chris Brogan’s blog that when things are tough there is always money circling and flowing around you it is just a matter of making sure you can tap into those sources and grab your share.
This really made me analyze the way I started my business and why I think I failed at doing that:
Trying to Grab a Large Client
Everyone dreams for that large client that will give you the opportunity for you to go on your own. Reality is that even when it comes you might need to have other income sources just in case that perfectly large client decides to eliminate the projects you are working on or replace you. When I started on my own I had a large project for a Financial Institution that was a key part of the Economy. When Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns disappeared there priorities changed overnight and my 9-month project ended being a 3-week project.
Not Diversifying Clients
Till this day I am resistant at taking one client that wants me their full time. I do run a business with a small number of clients, which periodically have needs. At first I stayed with two large clients that gave me projects when there projects where finished I ended up being on the bench without work for a quite a while. Now I have clients in various industries different sizes, which always have some type of a need.
Not Diversifying Services
If you only give a limited set of services and your client already received that service then you need to listen and see what other services your client might need at CIMA IT we offer help with Social Media and building your website but if you want to later on translate your website or run your efforts in another language then we can also be there to help you.
Services that Sell Once But Provide Many Times
I focus on building every proposal but I always look into my clients needs and try to identify what services I can provide that can be in a supportive role. So let’s say I sell them a website I also sell them a package to make sure they have someone making changes monthly to there website. It keeps there website fresh increasing the opportunities to gain more customers and it identify and steady income flow for my business which I only have to sell once.
Asking for More Business
So many of us including myself we fail so greatly at this one. In many occasions I get hired for something and I forget to identify what other services short term or long term we can provide. Never be afraid to ask if they need help right now in other areas. I think I do a good job at identifying other possible services I can offer but every once in a while I see someone else get’s hired for something I could have done. I can only blame myself for not listening enough to have identified the opportunity.
Helping others understand what you do
I have such a diverse service and product menu I work hard to have them understand it. Reality is that not all the time I get them to understand what I offer. So I make sure I at least clarify the services that have the most possibility of being sold like a website. When my new people ask me what I do I start off with saying I have an IT Solutions Practice and we do things as simple as building a website to helping large organizations have the adequate technology tools. There is a higher probability that these people know someone that needs a website than a large IT Strategy assessment. So that person ends up understanding part of what I do and in many occasions those people refer me leads.
Reach out to Friends and close contacts
Many people spend money in ads in the newspaper, print out flyers, shoot business cards to strangers, and many other practices that don’t work for me. In most occasions a good amount of my business is from having friends and close contacts identifying opportunities for me. Make sure you let everyone know what you are doing and how he or she can help you.
Overall these are one of the many things I do to bring income to CIMA IT Solutions Corp.
If you have a need for any of the following services or know somebody I can gladly offer a referral fee if you send them my way. Take a look and let me know how I can help?
photo credit by Eric__I_E