The Quick List for Start Ups and New Businesses

Lots of people start new businesses everyday, but a very small percentage actually succeed. The difference between the successful startups and the failures are often only the ability to drum up new business. Many great ideas from entrepreneurs fall through the cracks simply because these people do not know how or where to go get new customers. This article is a quick list to get startups going as they look for new customers.  

  • Print business cards – get your color business cards into the hands of as many people as you possibly can. Don’t discriminate (within reason). Business cards are cheap, so share your card with anyone you meet throughout your day.
  • Go to professional group meetings – many cities have a chamber of commerce who can direct you to professional groups that meet on a regular basis. As long as you can offer relevant services, you should make an appearance as often as is possible.
  • Send press releases – identify something unusual you do or something that is unique about your business. Write a short press release in the range of 350-700 words and send this to local newspapers.  
  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) – this not-for-profit group’s sole job is to help small businesses succeed. These groups can be an invaluable asset to any small business, but especially to startups: http://www.sba.gov
  • Mailing lists – you may be able to purchase a mailing list of local businesses from your chamber of commerce. This can be a great source of potential customers. You can also buy mailing lists of local consumers from a number of places online.
  • Ask for referrals from existing customers – you may be shocked to find that your customers may be your best source of new leads. 
  • Print advertising – do not underestimate the value of brochure and flyer printing. Many of your customers do not have time to sit down and talk to you, but they might be able to read through your brochure or flyer at their convenience some other time.  

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