Marketing A Small, One (Wo) Man Business

in On Marketing To Small Businesses

This is an answer to a question I was asked privately about marketing a small, one person, b2b service business. It’s a sort of follow-up to my earlier “Being Good At Cold Calling Is Like Being A Functional Drunk” post.

In a nutshell, when there is only one person to bring clients in the door AND service them; to be successful you must put marketing systems to work instead of manual labor to get clients. The reason is simple…

With one person delivering the service being billed for, time not spent with paying clients is expense. Nothing more.

Reliable, positive-return marketing in the form of: “evergreen” advertisements, direct mail campaigns, automated and live seminars, newsletters, referral incentive programs, and more need to be put in place and run on autopilot to be successful over the long term.

Far too often, professionals with a terrific service get caught up in the wheels of their success. The very activities that brought them to success level 1 keeps them from getting to level 2. When the only ways you know how to get clients require manual labor — things like cold calling, networking, even certain referral stimulation activities — in order to progress a small step back is usually required where manual labor is replaced with tested systems. Many service pros earning a 6-figure income who are still just scraping by are not willing to do that, and remain stuck instead with limited time available for billing and far too much time spent on manual labor client aquisition.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous June 7, 2008 at 12:36 pm

I love business!

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2 Anonymous June 7, 2008 at 5:36 pm

I love business!

Reply

3 Anonymous October 9, 2007 at 9:22 am

Hola!
What do you think about Apple Iogo? >:)

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4 Anonymous July 31, 2004 at 8:07 pm

Great insight. Lots of start-ups are run by one person and, if they become truly successful, then the business starts to consume their lives (and all their free time). For people in this situation, it’s important to think about the “big picture” and what it will take to move their business to the next level. If anyone’s interested, I wrote a post on this topic on my blog (The Accounting Blog): http://www.vanilla-accounting.com/blog/archives/000043.php Good luck!
——-

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5 Anonymous August 1, 2004 at 1:07 am

Great insight. Lots of start-ups are run by one person and, if they become truly successful, then the business starts to consume their lives (and all their free time). For people in this situation, it’s important to think about the “big picture” and what it will take to move their business to the next level. If anyone’s interested, I wrote a post on this topic on my blog (The Accounting Blog): http://www.vanilla-accounting.com/blog/archives/000043.php Good luck!——-

Reply

6 Anonymous July 27, 2004 at 1:07 am

In 6 years as an independent marketing writer-consultant, I’ve learned that the lead-generating activities that work for a sales force don’t work for a one- to two-person service firm. If a campaign works, how many leads go cold while we pitch the first two? Staggering smaller mailings diminishes the overall return—and a non-billable “someone” has to stuff envelopes.

Advertising has the same problem, and it’s costly. I’m not sure how to put live seminars and newsletters on autopilot. Pre-recorded webinars are saturated in our market (B2B tech companies).

We have found one thing that works well: a strong network. All of our business comes from referrals, and always has. Satisfied clients are the best business developers.

Reply

7 Anonymous July 27, 2004 at 6:07 am

In 6 years as an independent marketing writer-consultant, I’ve learned that the lead-generating activities that work for a sales force don’t work for a one- to two-person service firm. If a campaign works, how many leads go cold while we pitch the first two? Staggering smaller mailings diminishes the overall return—and a non-billable “someone” has to stuff envelopes.
Advertising has the same problem, and it’s costly. I’m not sure how to put live seminars and newsletters on autopilot. Pre-recorded webinars are saturated in our market (B2B tech companies).
We have found one thing that works well: a strong network. All of our business comes from referrals, and always has. Satisfied clients are the best business developers.

Reply

8 Anonymous July 26, 2004 at 10:07 pm

very well noted!

Reply

9 Anonymous July 27, 2004 at 3:07 am

very well noted!

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