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Old 07.07.2017, 14:00
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How to find new customers??? Help Needed

Hi everyone.
Wanted to share my current situation and the challenges Im facing and get your ideas as Im in a stuck position at the moment.

Ive launched my company (sole proprietorship) in June last year and after 1 year Ive achieved good result. Still far from being great but Im paying my bills and something more.

The basic selling of the company is represented by a 1 day paid workshop (maximum audience of 20 people) in a specific. The target are medium-large companies with a structure sales department.
After the workshop, in a good 50% of the cases, I also make an upsell by providing specific consulting services billed in time and material.
Everything going quite well but, the draw-back is that being only I, me and myself running the show, I dont have a lot of time to look for new prospects and customers being mostly (but not fully) busy with preparations and activities.

My idea would be to to engage into a sort of partnership model where someone who could help me to build up the sales and relationship part while I focus on the delivery. So, in essence finding more customers.
And a perfect model, at least for me, would be based on revenue sharing as I cannot afford to hire directly anyone.

What are the positive and negative aspects of this?
How could I find people interested in a such a model (assuming they have the right skills and experience to make it happen)?
Have you had similar experience before?

Any suggestion would be definitely appreciated.
Thanks
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Old 07.07.2017, 14:32
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Re: How to find new customers??? Help Needed

I think squaring the circle of sales/marketing vs delivery vs accounting is a problem most micro-businesses experience. Trouble is, anyone who's any good at the sales or accounting is unlikely to work on a commission-only basis - and certainly anyone in those fields who is unemployed would not be allowed by the RAV to accept a commission-only position. I've not yet found a good solution. For instance, today I'm supposed to be doing a load of work for delivery, yet I've ended up spending 5 hours so far on sales and follow-ups; neglect those and you eventually have no work *to* deliver
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Old 07.07.2017, 15:27
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Re: How to find new customers??? Help Needed

My feeling is that marketing is slowly becoming more important than delivery - time and effort spent on marketing pays better than spent on real products and services.
Unfortunately, I'm in the same boat as you, and I have no solution, only bad experiences. One of them is Google Ads - think twice before considering them as a marketing partner.

Last edited by arz; 07.07.2017 at 15:55.
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Old 07.07.2017, 15:40
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Re: How to find new customers??? Help Needed

I think you will have trouble finding someone to get you gigs on commission basis only. And TBH, no one can sell your products or services as good as you. The best way I would have thought to get sales in your business is repeat business and word of mouth.

After a workshop ask whoever booked you (or the whole audience) if they could pass on your details to anyone else in their organisation or to other business contacts. You could even print a postcard with info about you and your workshops and ask the delegates to pass them around.

Don't pay to advertise, in my experience it does not work at all for small businesses. Instead use Social Media (or maybe Linked In etc) to promote your brand. Get a loyal following and don't just share stories about you and what you do, but share interesting articles relating to your industry and those of your followers.

Good luck!
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Old 07.07.2017, 15:55
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Re: How to find new customers??? Help Needed

If anyone uses PostFinance for their business banking, this is a new service for businesses they have not long launched. It targets people who shop using their PostFinance card for payment, individual or businesses. It may be worth looking at.




https://www.postfinance.ch/en/busine...g/benefit.html


With the online marketing platform PostFinance Benefit, you can increase sales and acquire customers. Carry out campaigns simply and with minimal wastage with the marketing strategy that best suits you.


PostFinance Benefit: the easy and direct way to attract customers

  • Marketing with minimal wastage and a strategy of your choice
  • Simple campaign management and direct effectiveness monitoring
  • Visualization, checking and placement of offers by PostFinance
  • With no adjustments to checkout systems or IT expenses required
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Old 10.07.2017, 09:30
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Re: How to find new customers??? Help Needed

Good morning and thank you all for the valuable feedback.

@eng_ch: i feel me exactly in the egg-chicken status!!!
@arz: a good "product" must be supported by a good marketing. I've always believed in this. The major problem is to find the correct balance between quality, delivery, marketing, cost and time.
@grumpygrapefruit: yes, word of mouth is a great tool but alone cannot be enough top survive (unfortunately). I'm always having a follow-up survey after my workshop to engage as much as possible the audience, also delivery ad-hoc contents for those filling the survey. I've blog and writing again ad-hoc contents or commenting only if relevant. But as you can imagine, this is time consuming. I've a slightly different view on paying for advertising: it could be effective but only if you have the chance to invest enough money and time to be sure to have a relevant return, better stay out.
@Rachel Moore: thanks for the tips

Happy to know I'm not the only one in this status. I feel this is a big cornerstone for those with good ideas, products or services.
Maybe we could build an app to solve this?!?!
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Old 10.07.2017, 13:06
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Re: How to find new customers??? Help Needed

Quote:
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Good morning and thank you all for the valuable feedback.

@eng_ch: i feel me exactly in the egg-chicken status!!!
@arz: a good "product" must be supported by a good marketing. I've always believed in this. The major problem is to find the correct balance between quality, delivery, marketing, cost and time.
@grumpygrapefruit: yes, word of mouth is a great tool but alone cannot be enough top survive (unfortunately). I'm always having a follow-up survey after my workshop to engage as much as possible the audience, also delivery ad-hoc contents for those filling the survey. I've blog and writing again ad-hoc contents or commenting only if relevant. But as you can imagine, this is time consuming. I've a slightly different view on paying for advertising: it could be effective but only if you have the chance to invest enough money and time to be sure to have a relevant return, better stay out.
@Rachel Moore: thanks for the tips

Happy to know I'm not the only one in this status. I feel this is a big cornerstone for those with good ideas, products or services.
Maybe we could build an app to solve this?!?!

Actually, A friend of mine has a company that arranges small talks and workshops. I presented at a couple of them and I've been in the audience of a couple. She mainly targets consumer markets but I know she was thinking of getting involved in more commercial / professional areas.

I'll get on to her and see how that idea is going.
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Old 10.07.2017, 16:21
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Re: How to find new customers??? Help Needed

WOW Grumpy!!!! Well, thanks a lot for this and looking forward to it.


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Actually, A friend of mine has a company that arranges small talks and workshops. I presented at a couple of them and I've been in the audience of a couple. She mainly targets consumer markets but I know she was thinking of getting involved in more commercial / professional areas.

I'll get on to her and see how that idea is going.
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Old 10.07.2017, 18:24
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Re: How to find new customers??? Help Needed

At Technopark Zurich there are all kinds of offers for start-ups, small businesses etc. etc.
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