Let me start with a bit of housekeeping. You may have noticed it’s been about a month since I blogged. I started a full time job early last month, as the Program Manager of the Women’s Business Center in Springfield. Basically, I am doing almost the same things I’ve been doing in my business, and this gives me the opportunity to work with clients who could not have afforded me under 1 to 1 Discovery. I still have a small number of clients, and now that I’m a bit settled, I do plan to continue blogging. With any luck, I’ll have even more to write about.
Which leads me to today’s post. One of the first clients I met with at the Women’s Business Center has been struggling with her business. We looked at everything she has been doing to grow her business, and it looked like she was doing many of the right things. I asked her what she thought was missing, and she said that she needed to do social media, with the assumption that having a presence on Facebook would immediately start to bring her new clients.
It’s a common misconception. Everyone talks about social media and how it’s vital for businesses to have a presence. I agree that some social media presence is important, but simply setting up a profile and making a few posts, or even purchasing a few ads, won’t immediately save a struggling business. Social media is better viewed as a a long-term investment. It does work, but you need a plan, and you need to be patient and persistent.
So what advice would I give to a client who is struggling with too few prospects in her pipeline? While the answer does depend on the type of business, in her case, she doesn’t need lots of clients. She needs a few new clients every month. I recommended a structured approach to getting out and meeting people face to face. In her case, I suggested that she develop some presentations with information of value to her target market. In the area, there are numerous Meetup groups for her market, and a value-rich presentation would be attractive to such groups and would get her in front of potential clients. Two or three presentations a month to the right group of people, with a structured follow-up approach, could help her develop a healthy pipeline and get her business back on track in four to six months.
It’s not an immediate solution, but few things in business ever are.
Are you in the Metro DC area and facing challenges growing your business? Feel free to contact me. At the Women’s Business Center, we offer both low-cost classes and free counseling. Let us help you be as successful as you’d like to be!