As a sales consultant and trainer for the last 30 years I’ve watched many people launch new businesses. Some have succeeded, others have failed.
It’s been a terrific journey and I’ve taken away many valuable ideas that I’ve been able to put to work in my own company; such is the good fortune of consultants.
But one thing that I tend to see over and over again especially by solopreneurs launching their very first venture is the fastidious attention paid to putting everything in place, such as:
- Business attorney to establish the legal entity
- Accounting firm to set-up and maintain the books
- A sweet location in a convenient building
- A new computer system with all of the bells and whistles
Sounds like a dream so what could possibly be wrong?
Well what’s wrong is that so many of these owners start businesses and they have…no…clients!
You know, clients, the lifeblood of any company.
Worse yet they start the business without any specific plans on how they might acquire these clients. Lead generation and business development haven’t come into the equation.
Everything else seems to be in place but there is no revenue stream to pay for the infrastructure they’ve established. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Now don’t get me wrong. Not every startup begins this way but a good many do.
Here’s what I suggest instead:
- Keep your expenses as low as possible until you have a steady flow of clients.
- Engage a sales consultant, trainer or business development rep to assist you with sales if sales is a core competency that you don’t have. (Many business owners have great ideas, products and services but don’t know how to develop business.)
- Engage in marketing to build your brand and once again you might need to hire someone if marketing is not a strength.
- Don’t rely on social media to do it all. You can create buzz with social media but there’s much more work to be done.
Keep things in perspective and don’t get caught up in administrative and management details until you have a business and having a business means that you have clients.
It’s worth repeating: having a business means that you have clients.