In the previous article, I talked about how one can turn challenges into assets. But at the same time, there are things that fail entrepreneurs. Ask yourself, why do most entrepreneurs fail? Businesses fail everyday for a variety of reasons.
They may have run out of money, underestimated the competition, not known how to operate efficiently, or have had trouble keeping track of their accounting information. Most of these problems can be avoided if an entrepreneur does one thing before investing in a new venture; Marketing.
If you have a good product or service…before signing a lease, hiring a graphic designer to make a fancy logo, or hiring anybody, you can gauge the future success of your business by prospecting, which is the process of obtaining leads for your product or service. So many people get caught up in the non-essentials of business because it’s fun. Prospecting, however, is not so fun, but it will determine whether or not you succeed as an entrepreneur.
Customers disappear because they relocate to another place, switch to a competitor, or decide to make do without you for a variety of other reasons, which is why a steady stream of new customers is your lifeline.
Before you use one of the prospecting tools below, you have to make sure that the leads you are pursuing actually want your service, can be contacted, have the power or authority to buy, are able to buy, and can buy in a way that makes them a valuable, profitable customer.
Before selling, ask yourself how much they are willing to pay for your products or services. Most entrepreneurs fail for over-charging their products, yet we always pronounce customer as the King.
You likely already have a network of people, business partners, university professors, friends in the same field of business as you, etc.
Use social sites to help people with power and influence introduce you to new leads and/or other people of influence. Of course, in order to be introduced in a favourable way, you have to provide them first with value. At the very least, keep in touch with them through a phone call or email so that they have something invested in you.
If you have a database of satisfied customers, stay in touch with them through email, social networks, or friendly birthday cards in the mail. You can also ask satisfied customers if they know of anyone else who may want to use your services. Satisfied customers are more likely to buy from you again because they have already had positive experiences with you. Furthermore, their praise can be used as a testimonial in your promotional material.
Offer something for free
When was the last time you said yes to a salesperson asking if you wanted to buy a Rwf1,000 product within the first 10 seconds of meeting you? We buy from people who we already trust. You can establish this trust by writing for prominent magazines, newspapers, etc., conducting webinars or seminars, and/or giving speeches which relate to your product or service mostly in industrial trade shows and campaigns. You will gain leads and establish yourself as an expert, a reputation which you can use to sell your business in the future.
Aside from gaining trust through your perceived expertise, you can gain trust among your prospects by offering something for free when you send a sales letter (free consultation), attend a trade show (give away free samples), or build a website (offer valuable advice to targeted traffic from PPC and/or organic traffic).
It is very hard to put a business in a stable position but once you win people’s confidence, you are done. And, lastly, keep on advancing your business; rebrand your products regularly to catch the eyes of the customer. I will emphasise much on this issue in next week’s article because there are many failures that hinder the success of an entrepreneur.
The author is a young entrepreneur and founder of Easy Goals Entrepreneurs Networks