How to acquire large clients as a startup.
It’s funny, you read that headline and for some reason, you instantly have a negative connotation.
Why is it that we think the best quality is going to be delivered by the person or corporation that is the oldest in the room?
Step 1. BE HONEST!
This sounds so completely bizarre, you think everyone in the business world would be an honest and respectable person right? Think again!
Most agencies, for whatever reason, have the idea that making high-profit margins on quick contracts will equal success.
It’s actually the opposite, with your prices low, your entry to market is much more palpable.
This allows large companies to be parsimonious, appeasing the executives or shareholders.
However, this simultaneously gives startups a chance to prove their value without feeling like they are blowing their entire fiscal marketing budget on taking a chance with a new company.
This allows the startup to start to build a relationship and prove capabilities, relationships are hard to build and easy to destroy.
I can’t tell you how many businesses that have come to me wanting to be very aggressive with a Facebook Campaign to drive traffic to a less than optimal website.
Also, we have seen businesses want to spend a large budget on a Video Campaign for a product that isn’t finished yet, and the timing would have a negative impact on the brand.
Most of the time when I show the proper timeline for digital campaigns and explain why their idea would be a waste of money, they will thank you and appreciate you not trying to take advantage of their ignorance.
Step 2. CONTINUE TO EDUCATE YOURSELF
Think back 15 years ago, it’s 2004.
There is no YouTube. There are no smartphones.
In 2019, your cellphone is the cynosure that controls most of your communication throughout the day!
As a society, technology continues to change around us.
The hyper-connected society that we are living in at the moment will continue to change. Platforms for communication will continue to be created and will be utilized by different age demographics.
Constantly educating yourself on best practices and staying up to date on what works and what doesn’t shows potential clients that you are up to date on the best way to target specific individuals.
This also shows that you are passionate about your business, you would be surprised at the number of individuals and companies in the workforce that are not passionate about their product or service. They may have been at one time, however, burn out is a real thing.
We are seeing younger/agile companies take market share much faster than older/trammel companies simply because creativity is stifled.
Step 3. DON’T SAY “YES” TO EVERY CONTRACT
Stick to what you know! Grow your core competencies.
More startups get themselves in trouble because they are so hungry for new business that they consistently over promise and under deliver.
Being honest about your strengths and weaknesses as a business will expedite the process of relationship building.
“If you believe business is built on relationships, make building them your business.” – Scott Stratten
It’s a simple phrase but it’s so true, so often companies don’t realize that business want to do business with people they trust.
Build trust by knocking it out of the park on the things that you already know and understand.
Do you see low hanging fruit in sub-markets? I think that’s great. Just don’t jump into said sub-market until you have done your due diligence and researched it thoroughly. Just because you “can” do something, doesn’t mean you “should” do something!
In the end, the only constant is going to be change. Just try to be honest and continually pick up on changing trends and keep an unbiased tab on what works and what doesn’t.
Most companies just see the mountain top they want to be on, but they don’t understand that the experienced company that is competing with you on that bid has been in the trenches longer than you have.
Sometimes it’s fun to enjoy the trenches and learn the lessons that they teach.