#8 Signage

Competitive advantage #8

Signage

A simple sign on your car is a great way to grab someone’s attention.  Sometimes this subtle suggestion is enough motivation to spark the interest of a small business owner.  Remember the focus of your message should be on the benefits that they will get from your services.  Keep in mind the appearance of your car.  A messy car filled with clutter and junk may give the wrong impression.  However too fancy of a car might also insinuate that you are expensive and therefore out of their price range.

A sign can also be placed in front of your house.  If you are not sure if your city or county allows for signage make sure to check with them first.

Signs can be ordered easily and inexpensively at www.vistaprint.com

#7 Planting the Seed

Planting the Seed

If you are going to be building your client base over an extended period of time, you’ll want to put this strategy among the top of your list.  It is effective although you can’t expect new clients the day after it’s implementation.  It takes time to grow a clientele just like it takes time to harvest a crop after planting the seeds.  The key is to remember, if you plant it, it will grow.

When new businesses start, accounting is typically not at the top of the business owner’s list.  He’ll often think, “I’ll Worry about accounting when I have something to account for.”

Inevitably, at some point usually around 6 months he or she will come to the realization that accounting is critical and necessary in their business.  When that time comes, the day of harvest has arrived and you will want to be the first person the business owner calls. Specifically after being in business for 12 to 18 months the need to outsource the accounting responsibilities will be foremost on their mind.

So how do you get to the top of the list?  Watch for new business start-ups, then visit them early, welcoming them to the community.  Let them know who you are, and that you understand there’s a lot involved in starting their businesses.  You certainly don’t want to be a nuisance, but ask them if they would mind you sending them ideas and strategies from time to time that will make their business more profitable.  If you have a regular newsletter, add their address to your mailing list and begin sending them information.

Also, once a month set aside a prospect research day and look for information that these new business owners would appreciate.  Then, mail them the information with a short handwritten note wishing them continued good fortune in their start-up.

Other resources for Planting the Seed

  • Ribbon Cuttings
  • Grand Openings
  • New Member Orientations with Chamber of Commerce
  • Volunteer to be an Ambassador with the Chamber of Commerce

#6 Networking

Networking

When done properly and with some patience “networking” can be one of the best marketing strategies a students can implement into their marketing efforts. This is because they will be creating a team of people who will be helping them look for potential clients as opposed to doing it on their own. This is one of many forms of “leveraged” marketing.

Here is a list of different types of groups that the students can visit and/or join.

1. Chamber of Commerce

2. BNI

3. LeTip

4. ABA

When joining a group, the student should become involved.  They need to attend the meetings, look for opportunities to be on committees and help chair some of the committees.

When attending any networking meetings or events, the student should:

1. Arrive early and greet everyone

2. Hand everyone a business card

3. Ask for their cards

4. Learn about them

5. Write a memory on the back of the card they gave you to remind you who the person was later on

The “Introductory Presentation” is a guide the student should familiarize themselves with to use as a guide when speaking with people at any networking meeting or event.

Other types of groups they may want to look into participating in are

1. PTA

2. Church groups

3. Trade Organizations

4. Home Owners Associations

UPB Role Play Recommendations

To prepare and best present your services when meeting with a prospective client review the “Presentation Basics” section (UPB Module 2 Section XI) within the Universal Practice Builder program. Take notes and discuss them with your coach. Some highlights are as follows:

Strengths:

  • Great eye contact
  • Asking questions
  • Engaging owner in conversation
  • Tone of voice
  • Incorporating their business into presentation
  • Great explanation of diagrams
  • Great close / ask for sale
  • Confidence
  • Sound very knowledgeable

Suggestions:

  • Benefits vs. Services
  • Ask more questions / Too many questions
  • Do not just read from the book
  • More confident in asking for sale
  • Monotone voice
  • Engage owner more in conversation
  • Really listen to what they say
  • Avoid yes/no questions
  • Interested vs. Beneficial
  • Be bold / direct
  • Watch speed
  • Learn to watch body language: engaged, uninterested, etc.
  • Repeat what they have said

Friend / Family Letter

Your Business Letterhead

1100 My Street · My Town, USA 55555

Dear: ______________________:

I am happy to announce that I am opening my own business which will include full-charge bookkeeping, payroll and federal tax preparation, plus the acquisition of business financing, and the creation of small business corporations.Most importantly, I help business owners minimize their taxes, optimize their cash flow and maximize their profits.

Any referrals that can be turned my way are sincerely appreciated and I try to have a nice way of saying THANK YOU!There is no charge for any initial consultation.

The business systems I use are for manual and computerized accounting and are directly designed for each individual business.The cost to clients is so small that it even amazes me.Keep me in mind.

Sincerely Yours,

____________________________________
John Smith

P.S. My business name is _______________________________, and my telephone number is (801) 555-1234