How can I convince clients to work with me before I obtain all the necessary equipment for my business?
I have four years of experience in business events and developing branding strategies for my client's companies. Now, I have started my own company and I am looking for advice on how to attract and retain new clients.
I have already implemented my events/branding skills into my business strategy but I am having trouble gaining new clients. Many potential clients are inquiring about my office location and about the machines and equipment I have. Unfortunately, those are two factors that I am still working out in my business model. How can I convince clients to work with me while I am still working to obtain the necessary equipment (branding equipment and events inventory) and office space?
I am also seeking advice on how I can get an investor or funding to be able to purchase the equipment and inventory necessary.
Edna, you have multiple issues here so let's break these down and find creative solutions. Attracting new clients begins with astute digital marketing - organically optimizing your SEO and SMO through engaging content and do-follow backlinks. With four years of experience, you should be able to write your own content. Use conventional marketing to attend business trade shows and other events and leave a brochure and other marketing collateral while obtaining potential clients' coordinates so that you can follow up on leads through e-mails and phone calls.
Not having the appropriate equipment should not stop you from getting orders and then sub-contracting them to your competitors while retaining enough mark-up on prices to generate profits for your company. Retaining those profits will allow you to purchase the needed equipment in the future. Use your home coordinates as your listed business address. Renting office space is a fixed cost that will weigh down your profits. Many small companies work out of their homes.
To get investors interested you need to develop a business plan and pitch deck with three-year financial projections, convincing marketing and sales strategy and then seek out investors in your location. The local chamber of commerce is a good place to start by joining and making contacts. Classified ads in local newspapers are also a good way to go. These ads are usually free or low cost. The focus should be on profitability and return on investment (ROI).
A practical piece of advice is to offer your services to 1 to 2 clients for free to build your credibility and grow your business. Is this something you have done or considered?
You need to develop a business proposal for your clients (why it’s profitable for them to work only with you). Tell your clients about the benefits of working with you.
For clients and for investors one question will always be important, (profit).
Your task is to convince your clients and potential investors that working with you, or investing money in you is promising and beneficial for them.
It won't be a problem if you already have a basic kit. Of course, it depends on your business. When I was working on my first projects on a low budget, I worked hard to understand how every bit of equipment functioned and endeavored to get the absolute best quality and maximum efficiency out of every piece of it. Even if you don't have any fancy machines at your service, it's your skills that matter most. Try to show your best.