Tips for Finding Business Prospects – Online and Offline

One of the single most frustrating and time consuming parts of expanding a business, as many new business owners will come to realise, is in finding and drawing in new business prospects to the actual business or to its website. Even if you have a killer idea, a product or service you know is in high demand, this won’t be enough.

The over confident business owner hopes to acquire new customers just by simply setting up a website and throwing out some well optimised content. This tactic is a lot like fishing–it’s hit or miss. The hungry business owner that needs to find and acquire new business prospects and customers should act as a hunter, not a fisherman.

Luckily, there’s an overwhelming number of ways to go about hunting for new business prospects, leads and customers.

Find the Ideal Customer 

The very first step you should take when trying to figure out how to find prospects for your business is in determining your ideal customer. Uncover which type of customers will bring in the most profit and needs your product or service the most. This type of person is your company’s ideal customer. Put yourself in their shoes and determine how the ideal customer would normally find the products or services that your company offers.

For example, what blogs do they follow? What types of books do they read? Who do they go to for advice and to help them make decisions. Looking at the ideal customer in this way gives the business owner a greater understanding of how they can cater to their needs, and how to put themselves in the exact position they need to be found by the ideal customer.

Utilise Local Newspapers

The daily newspaper is an excellent way to place your company’s contact information and gather potential business prospects. Scour the newspaper for new businesses that have opened, people that have received awards or recommendations and virtually anyone who falls under the criteria of your ideal customer. Send these people a personalized letter or card congratulating them on their recent mention in the newspaper. Tell them about how interesting their article in the newspaper was and include your company’s information.

Study Your Competition 

Understanding your successful competitors and how they find and retain business prospects is another way to effectively generate leads. Find out where and how they advertise their business. Find out if they network, and if they do, where? Are there any specific guerilla marketing tactics that are working for them? Following your competition can be an excellent way to find advertisement avenues that work for your business, and it’s one form of finding business prospects that should definitely not be under looked.

Pay per click advertising, using your own personal network of friends and family, and being put on the map on Google Places are some other ways to find business prospects for your business. It’s important to try various online and offline methods, do some A/B testing, and find what works best for your business.

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