Setting up a business is never easy, but the challenge will be reduced if you work hard enough. This idea of “working hard” has been frequently quoted by both entrepreneurs and business owners alike.
So what’s the difference between the two, you may ask?
“Business owners" are normally those working in their own company. Their primary focus is on one product or service, with the intent of expanding the company to a substantial size. “Entrepreneurs”, on the other hand, may have more than one business and will continue to venture into different sectors or industries, engaging “generals” to manage the company and fight the battle for them.
My goal is to be an entrepreneur in the long run.
With regards to Concept Folks, one of my strategies to build my client portfolio is to network with property agents and tap on ex-colleagues’ businesses. While this may not be a strategy adopted by everyone, I had actually signed up and gotten the license to be Property Agent. This allowed me direct access to a steady stream of prospects in a niche industry. In addition, I was also in touch with ex-colleagues who are also starting up their businesses and have gotten very good leads and business conversions this way.
That said, the threat of being complacent exists, and I felt it was time to look for fresh leads before exhausting my pool of prospects within the circle.
As someone who had worked in the marketing field for years, lead generation wasn’t a new thing to me. The challenge, however, comes when I do not have any budget for myself. Working for corporations has always given me the luxury to set my marketing budget and request the amount from my bosses. All I need was a well-prepared presentation, with analytics and projections on the potential results the marketing expenditure will bring to the company. This time round, it’s a zero-budget game, totally new for me.
I started to create my own websites, posting some deals and offers, and even got onto several “deal” sites such as Groupon and Deal.com to advertise website packages. That got me some clients who were looking for deals with no budget for any upsell packages I am offering.
Next, I sign up and went for “Meetup” group to network and even prepared myself by coming up with a script or a pitch that I would say during these meetups to introduce myself and my business. (For the benefit of those who do not know what “Meetup” is, it is where like-minded people will set up meetings and gatherings to know more people. Some of these gatherings are free to join. You can check meetup.com for more details.)
In the end, pitching to complete strangers always turns out differently every time. Sometimes it worked really well, and I got myself several leads and impressed the crowd, but sometimes it just backfires. Deciding not to take chances and lost more opportunities, I decided to analyse my script and look into the key pointers I made which impresses people, and what I said which backfires. Practising to pitch in front of my friends and family also increases the chances that I present myself well, and grab every opportunity that comes along.
-- Written by Angela Cai
Angela Cai & Sheha Sidek