How to Find Customers for Your New Business
My father used to tell me that if you’re not working, it’s your job to find work until you do. When you apply this to starting your own business, this is very accurate. When starting a service type business, your primary job is getting customers. No customers equals zero income.
Find Customers With Advertising
Advertising is a task that you always have to monitor to keep the customers flowing to you. I view advertising as a way of making your business visible to people and allowing them the to choose to hire you (or not).
Advertising takes many different forms and everyone has different preferences for going about it. Word of mouth, referrals, flyers, newsletters, pay per click, yellow pages, building a website, business cards, etc. are a few types of advertising and there are many more.
When you are first getting started with your new business, you may have a limited advertising budget to work with, so you want to use it wisely to get the best results. When doing paid advertising, it’s important to have a budget and stick to it, otherwise there is no limit to the money that can be spent.
If you are just getting started and have a very limited budget, keep it simple. You might start with ordering 250 business cards from vistaprint. They have great deals and you can create your own custom card on their website.
Your next step on a limited budget could be to create a website. This is the wave of the future and those not building a website will be left behind as traditional methods are left behind and disappear from the scene as we progress thru the Information Age.
Start a Website Option One:
A couple great options for a beginner starting a website with little or no money for advertising are free hosting sites such as blogger.com or wordpress.com. Just be aware that those are not your property and you have limitations to creative control. If you have a very limited knowledge of computers, this may be a good option to get started with a website. You can always go with option two at a later date.
Now your intention is to blog consistently (short for web-log) which is to simply write an article about something related to your business on your website and publish it. The more you blog, the more traffic (website visitors) you will get, the more likely you will get a customer.
And remember this is free to do! All it takes is a little time commitment on your part to do it. I encourage you to make a realistic commitment to yourself to blog as little as at least once a month for the next year. You will see results. If you want more results, blog more often. You could step it up to once a week and if you really want to challenge yourself, once a day for 30 days. (Which is what I’m doing here)
Start a Website Option Two:
The better option (in my opinion) would be to get a hosting account so you have complete creative control. Most hosting companies offer low cost hosting for under $10.00 a month. This is a great place to begin advertising for your new business.
There is a bit of a learning curve to building a website and it doesn’t have to be hard. Most hosting companies provide a ready made WordPress site. All you have to do is go into your website control panel to set up your WordPress website. There are usually many good help videos provided by the hosting company showing you how to set it up easily and get started. It is not complicated and if I can do it, so can you.
Always Be Learning
If you have already set up websites before, you can skip this section. If you’re new to starting a website, I would highly recommend searching YouTube for training videos related to “how to start a WordPress website.” You might even purchase a video course online that will show you precisely what to do and will walk you thru the process step by step. Trust me it is worth spending a few dollars learning how to do it yourself since website creation and management can easily go into thousands of dollars.
If you are intimidated by this option for creating your own website, I’d suggest starting with option one. It is super easy to start a free website at blogger.com or wordpress.com. All you need to get started is to create a gmail account or a wordpress.com account.
Low Cost Flyers
Flyers don’t have the same effect as they used to and to those not willing to start a website, this can be a better place to begin advertising your business. If you have a little knowledge and experience with Microsoft Word you can easily create your own flyers for very little money. To save even more money, dedicate 1 hour a day to distributing them starting in your neighborhood and working out from there.
I’ve found that flyers produce very little return for the effort expended though and it may be different where you live. You will likely get 1 customer for every 100 flyers distributed, so you have to decide if it’s worth it for you.
Pay per Click
This is where it is vital to already have a working website already set up and producing customers for you. It is vital to have at least one page on your site that has a contact form where people can submit their name and email so you can email them an estimate or contact them.
Pay per click can be extremely costly. If you try this option, make sure to have a marketing budget and stay within it as it can add up faster that you can imagine. I would not recommend anyone start with this form of advertising until you have more experience. It would be better to start your own website and create organic free traffic to your own site.
Believe it or not, one of my pay per click hot secrets is Facebook advertising. You have great control over your demographic reach and can send potential customers straight to your own website contact page. (Make sure you have a form where people can put their name, email and request in or your ad may not be approved.)
Keep it Simple
When you are first starting a new business, it can be a little overwhelming. Know that it does become easier as you continue to learn and apply what you learn. Keep practicing your new skills and keep it simple.
Start where you’re at. Begin with something simple. As you get more comfortable with advertising (which is simply finding new clients) you might start to find it is kind of fun and exciting even.
Stick With What is Working
Before long, the phone may be ringing and the contact requests will be flowing to your inbox if you are persistent. Find what is working for you (we all have different talents and skills) and focus on doing it even better. As you find yourself getting more customers, you can try out different methods as your budget increases. Stick with it to see results.
If you enjoyed this article, please like, share or comment below for good karma. Thank you for reading and I hope this has benefitted you in some way.
William R King