Why is it that Client Acquisition is often the area that receives way too little focus in many creative/marketing/agency businesses? In these businesses the main focus is most often on ‘what you do’. Obviously this is important and is usually the starting point of the founders and the reason they went into business. But whatever the capabilities the business are in terms of the service they provide, the key factor for success is the business’s ability to bring new customers on board and to generate revenue.
So often the challenge of acquiring new clients is often something that is dealt with either as a ‘necessary evil’ or a bothersome duty like taking out the garbage! Either way it rarely gets the focus or energy it needs to build a solid business, give the owners the financial rewards and security that they ultimately are after and build value in the business.
The Business Must Serve You
Every business serves it’s masters differently. In some, the creative aspects might be paramount, in others it could be lifestyle etc. etc. Whatever the purpose of the business the reality is that cash in business is the equivalent of oxygen in your body and profits are the equivalent of food. Oxygen is crucial to one’s moment by moment survival but without food you will soon die – you certainly cannot be healthy or grow. Acquiring customers is like gathering food. Customers give you the ability to generate profit and that’s what you need to grow.
What’s the measure of success?
The measure of success and value of any business at a commercial level is always the profitability. Generating reasonable profits is not something that can be left to chance. In any service business and for Creative/Marketing/Agency businesses in particular, there are many moving parts. These all need to be synchronised and aligned in order to end up with the required profit at the end of the day.
When business owners realise that they have to put some effort into getting more clients, the first reaction is to look for the latest strategy that promises to ‘drive high quality prospects’. Google ads, Facebook, Instagram, blogging, SEO… All of these have a role to play. But to use these strategies, a lot of work has to take place. There is never certainty that they will deliver and often they don’t provide the desired result within the desired timeframe and rarely with the consistency needed. If it were that easy, everyone would be doing well!
A Long Term Focus
For consistent growth you need predictability, consistency and scalability. That’s not so much about whether you are using Google ads or Instagram etc. but about how you deal with the whole issue of client acquisition strategically.
Like any industry many of the people that I meet in the Creative/Marketing/Agency space suffer from the “plumber with a leaky tap” syndrome. Somehow, there is never enough time to devote to working on the issues in their own business.
Setting up the Client Acquisition you need for your business requires a clear commitment and unrelenting focus. Once integrated, such a system has the potential for providing almost unlimited growth. If one looks around at the truly successful businesses, it’s their mastery of Client Acquisition that really sets them apart.