I just read a very interesting article on the fastest way to grow your business and I thought I would share it with you because this is what I have been doing for 30 years.

The article was prepared by Richard Brewin FCA who owns the company in the UK called Accountants Growth Programme however this can apply to any company. If you want to look up their website to confirm what information I have supplied you the website is http://accountantsgrowthprogramme.com.

Underneath I have listed part of the article which I believe would be of use to you.

1 – Acquire the Right clients:
First of all let me start by telling you that you CAN create a thriving and very profitable business if you know the secret to success. You see selling and marketing your products and services in this new economy is very different than it was a few years ago but many companies are still using the same tired old strategies that simply don’t work anymore.

A wise old man once said, “If you’ve stopped growing, you’re actually shrinking.” If you’re not acquiring new clients then you are almost certainly going backwards even though you are giving great service to your clients you are bound to lose a small number through natural wastage. So alarmingly, if your company has slowed it won’t be long before it starts going backwards. Doing things differently is no longer a good idea it is essential to survive.

Surprisingly a recent research was done in the UK which showed that most companies did not look at growing their business. Maybe complacency had set in? To top it off most business owners think that businesses in the same category are all the same with the same products and service which means that they chose the company on price only.

This new economy we’re in now is very different, more challenging environment for most companies. Those that acknowledge the facts and DO something about it will be the winners but thousands of other companies will continue to to struggle day-in, day-out to achieve results. Remember, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got.

Next it’s all about what you do. You need to get busy and start implementing a range of strategies that will help you:
• Stand out from the crowd.
• Attract clients easily.
• Remove price from the mind of the client.
• Provide added value that no other company can compete with.
• Acquire the right type of clients at the right price.
• Achieve everything your skills, effort and experience deserve.

It doesn’t matter if you are a sole trader or a company with three or four people. You get results when you change what you’re currently doing. You have to be different. You cannot hope to achieve all you want with an attitude of ‘this will never work for our company’. You have to open your entrepreneurial mind to the opportunities that presents themselves to you almost every day. I you do you will enjoy the results of your efforts. I can almost guarantee you that.

The first strategy is without question the most important and it’s the one that virtually every company get wrong. Get it right and you’ll attract the right clients at the right price. In many respects this strategy is the ‘holy grail’ of building a profitable company. Every company searches for it, yet very few find it!

THE TARGET MARKET REPRESENTS THE BUSINESSES YOU’RE GOING TO FOCUS ALL YOUR MARKETING ON.
The ideal Target Market is a clearly identified group or groups of businesses which:
• Need and want your products and services.
• Can afford to pay for your products and services.
• Can be easily reached by your marketing efforts.
• Have similarities, known as demographics or characteristics that enable you to ‘group’ them together.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to try to be’ all things to all people’. By focusing on one or more carefully chosen target market you’ll be far more successful. To succeed in today’s new economy and competitive market place you need to concentrate your marketing on a small number of wee-chosen target markets.

So you must define who your Target Market is before you do anything else.
You need to speak and communicate very differently to each Target Market once the enquiry has been generated because they are so different. For example, you cannot speak to same way to a start-up business as you would to say a $5 million business. Start targeting the businesses closest to you and work outwards. As a general rule the closer you are to their business the more likely they are to appoint you – all things being equal.

2 – Stand out from every other company in your area.
By mastering this second strategy you’ll be able to once and for all differentiate yourself from every other company in your local area, in your industry, making it easier for you to acquire the right type of clients. We call this strategy UPB ‘Unique Perceived Benefit’ or USP ‘Unique Selling Proposition’. Communicating this uniqueness is a powerful and persuasive part of each marketing piece you use to attract your target market to you business. Most companies have not developed a USP therefore cannot promote it.

If you want to develop your USP please send me an email and I will send you a copy of my (Ole Nielsen business manual) which will explain how you can create your USP.

If every business owner in your local area woke up tomorrow morning and could be granted one wish for their business, what do you think they would wish for? Just pause for a moment and ask yourself what would you wish for? If you answered more profit, better cash flow, more sales and more customers you’d be absolutely correct. But here is the problem. Who do you contact to get more customers? You could contact a consultant or a mentors if you could find one with the experience however many companies think it is too expensive so they try to do it themselves and hope they get “lucky” which very seldom happen.

3 – Prove your expertise.
Proof of your expertise is absolutely essential in today’s new economy as most people are sceptical and disbelieving. Make sure you make a list of all your achievements which will benefit your current and prospective new clients. Make sure that you use your testimonials from your happy clients. List all your awards of any kind. List membership of credible associations! Mention any joint venture, if you have any, with well-known local companies and mention any book you might have written.
I believe the most important proof is your testimonials from your happy customers.

4 – Ensure your marketing gets noticed.
As we have mentioned before some of the most important ways to grow your business is to define your Target Market and develop your USP however none of them will succeed if your message doesn’t get seen by your intended recipient. You see, not only does your company have to differentiate itself from the competition to attract and retain clients – the same can be said about your marketing.

People are subjected to hundreds of marketing messages every day so you have to rise above this ‘clutter’ to get noticed. 95% of all ‘clutter’ goes straight into the bin. Pay close attention to the types of media you have chosen to use to reach you target market.
For example, if you’re going to use lead generation letters, what formats do you receive through you own mail at home and at work that stand out for you? What gimmicks stand out? Above all else don’t be boring. A personalised unique thank you greeting card, in a coloured enveloped, will be opened and read. If it looks like junk mail it will take half a second and it will end up in the bin.

Underneath I have mentioned one of our 250 unique greeting cards, which I can forward to via email should you want to see a copy of it. The wording will be supplied by you however evething else is done by us. The card I have chosen is called “An Irish Garden”.

Open the gate to new and exciting opportunities.
You never know what lies beyond the gate unless you open it and we will be right next to you assisting you developing all the opportunities you find along the way.
Life was meant to be exciting and it will be if you open the gate.
We really appreciate your referrals
Your name
Your business name
Your phone no
Your email address
Your website address

The above unique personalised greeting card, out of 250 cards, is what we send out on your behalf and it is guarantee to be opened and read because it is unusual in a bright coloured envelope with a real stamp on the envelope.

The majority of businesses do not send out unique personalised thank you cards. If you do it you are unique and if you do it on a regular basis say every 60 or 90 days people will always remember you if one day they need your products or services.

5 – Keep in touch with your potential clients.
Discover how you can multiply the number of enquiries you get based on how often you contact your target market, an area often overlooked or simply ignored by most companies. There has been much debate about how many times prospects and your current customers should be contacted.

There is no definite answer but what we do know is it needs to be done more than once.
How many times a year do you currently contact your current and prospective customers in your target market? If the number is less than 6 you’re turning away thousands of dollars of revenue. Tests have proven that repetitive communication with your clients yields far greater returns than ad-hoc, once every now and again. Another test shows that less than 1 in 10,000 businesses are aware of it or how to use it to grow their business.

Selling any product or service is all about timing. Just because someone isn’t interested in buying your product or service today doesn’t mean they are not interested tomorrow. If you don’t keep in touch regularly with your prospects and clients you’ll never get ‘lucky’ with the timing as people move in and out of the market, depending on changing circumstances.

Thoughtful use of your marketing material, such as educational material beneficial to the client, will only improve your target market’s perception of your company.
Another way of communicating with your customers is to send out well-constructed newsletter which will benefit the customer.

6 – Create a system for generating referrals.
By implementing this strategy, as mentioned in no 5 keeping in touch with your clients, you’ll get many more referrals or recommendations from your existing clients. A recent survey in the UK showed that Accountants acquired 93% of their new clients from referrals which could apply to any business anywhere in the world.

A referral system is the process you use to ensure ALL your clients are aware that you want referrals, and the incentive can be anything from vouchers, money off certain products or services, or anything you believe will incentivise your clints to give you more referrals.

Experience has shown that the more generous you are – the more you get.
A structured referral system will give your company the following benefits:
• A constant supply of quality referrals.
• Increased enthusiasm dealing with people who are highly interested in your services.
• An increase in the quality of clients.
• Increased profits as you spend less time and money trying to convert people to customers.

7 – Have a system for converting enquiries into clients.
When you follow this strategy you’ll instantly convert a higher percentage of your enquiries into new clients.

What you need to do is increase the prospect interest each time you contact them. A contact can be a meeting, a letter, a fax, an e-mail – or any way in which you make contact with your prospects. Research has shown that on average it takes 7 positive contacts before the prospect says “YES”.

There is one really important point that is not practiced by many business and that is Follow-Up. If you use this structured system correctly you will always gain more clients.

There is a number of what we call ‘sales conversion strategies’ that really help convert the prospect in to clients. One of them is a guarantee.

To my knowledge my Unique Information business manual (which can be found on my website),there is nothing else available anywhere in the world which provide you with a structure step-by-step learning program that, if followed in the right sequence over a 90 day period you will become an entrepreneur which could change your life.