Starting a home business is admirable but it requires a lot of work on your part. If you are running a business from home, you still need to put the same amount of energy and dedication into it as you would with any other business in a traditional commercial setting. One part of this is generating and pursuing leads so you can build a good network to draw on when you need it. Here are some of the best ways to build leads in the early days of your home business.
Social media sites like Facebook and Linked-In allow us to reach out to other business owners through groups. This group feature is fantastic as it allows us to find like-minded individuals with companies similar to ours. You could join a local business group to help find out more about operating a business in your immediate area, or you could join one for your specific industry. This would allow you to pick up tips that could help you navigate the world of business and some of the challenges that a business in your niche could fix.
Joining these groups can also give you a sense of community. When you are the only business owner in your family or circle of friends, it can feel lonely at times. Many will understand the pressure of work, but few will understand the unique challenges that owning a business presents. Joining a group could help to bridge this gap. Through the help of the people in these groups, you could become a better businesswoman overall in addition to generating key leads.
Throughout the year, there will be many conferences and networks that you could attend to help better yourself and your business. If you think one is applicable to you, you should definitely look into attending it. Not only will it give you a great chance to pick up something new, but you are going to get an unbelievable opportunity to network.
Many struggles in business can be solved with effective networking. There is always someone who knows someone else and drawing on both your own network and other people’s can bring you incredible results. Attending conferences and workshops gives you the chance to interact with other people who you otherwise may never be able to foster a relationship. Their input is going to be key in building your own business, and they may be able to offer expertise that you could otherwise miss out on.
Many leads can be generated on social media platforms through your own pages. Every business nowadays should have a Twitter and Facebook page. As an owner, you may also want to ensure that you have a Linked-In. If your business is very visually driven – like if you are a baker or an interior designer – it can also be a great idea to have an Instagram account.
It is extremely important that you optimise these accounts as best as you can for maximum exposure. Many people choose to check out a brand’s social media to gain as clear a picture as possible about what to expect from them. You need your social media to speak for you as a brand exactly how you want it to. You can also choose to pay for ads on social media that could broadcast your services to new customers. Social media is a powerful tool that all business owners in the modern era need to learn how to manage. You may be surprised to learn about some of the benefits that it could have for you.
Chase Up Leads
Once you have generated leads, you need to make sure that you follow them up. A load of leads and potential connections will have no benefit for you or your business if you are not willing to use them. For example, if you have attended a conference and collected a lot of business cards, use bulk email software to send out a quick email expressing that it was a pleasure to meet them and set up the potential for another meeting.
When it comes to customers, there are several stages you can follow to ensure that you are properly chasing up on enquiries. Firstly, make sure you answer your direct messages and customer service emails. Many customers will choose to reach out through social media or email if they want to place an order or ask questions. By ignoring someone who is not yet a customer, you are going to miss out on a conversion and the chance to make them a paying customer. Likewise, ignoring an inquiry from an established customer only serves to anger them, and they could take their anger from private messages to a public forum. This could be detrimental to your reputation as a business.
You also need to make sure that you follow up on a customer once they have placed and received an order. Thank them for their business and ask for a review. It could help to generate some positive feedback for your company which could then lead to new leads and new sales. In this early stage, you need to make sure that you chase up these leads when you can.
Get Building Now
Unfortunately, building leads is going to take time and effort for you to complete. If you are unsure about how to start, focus first on your social media and customer service. With the right foundation of business practices, you will then be able to move forward to making connections with other business owners both in your industry and your local area.
A home business requires just as much care and attention as any big business in its own commercial space. It is time that you focused on using your networking to the best of your abilities. Reach out and start making the connections you need now. Before too long, you will hopefully have a selection of leads that will best help your business flourish and thrive.