Do you know when the most important time to focus on business development is? It’s when you already have a lot of business. One of the mistakes that a lot of entrepreneurs make it, they get several clients and business is great and they think “I don’t have time for business development. So, I’ll wait.”
This is natural. Business development is time consuming. It involves networking, following up and putting together proposals. And all of those are very time consuming. However, when you are at your busiest it is the most important time to focus on business development. It’s the time when things can be much clearer to you as to what you can offer, how much you can charge and how you can get the job done. It’s about filling your sales pipeline and always keeping it full.
When you are already busy you see and market yourself differently. You charge more because your time is already being paid and you see the value of it much more than when you finish with your last client and you’re sitting there with no work.
So, here some basic tips for business development when you already have a busy business. Make time for these things and you will stay busy.
Network. Networking is important piece it allows you to see who’s out there, what they need and who else is being offering services. Then you can see how you can fill those needs with the services you are already providing. You are reusing the content and tailoring it to the new client. You often aren’t reinventing the wheel.
Referrals. If you’re doing a good job for your current customers. They are going to start telling people and those people are going to call. And guess what they are going to be looking for the same kinds of things you are providing to the customer who referred them. Again, you aren’t reinventing the wheel here. You are repurposing and tailoring what you have.
Follow up. The networking and referrals will produce leads for you that need to be followed up on. Have scheduled times in your days and weeks that allow you to follow up. Have a system and it won’t be overwhelming. Check out our post 7 Steps Follow Up System for some tips on how to build your system.
Rinse and repeat. Keep repeating these steps and keep the business coming in. Don’t stop when you think you’re too busy. Look for other ways to service new clients by hiring employees or subcontractors to do some of the work. Look for ways to increase your bandwidth so that you can serve more clients.
The number one thing to remember in business development is it needs to be part of what you are doing in your business each and every week. It needs to be part of your business plan, it needs to be second nature. And then you will never be sitting around wondering where the next client is going to come from.