Wednesday, 4 December 2013

An ode to my pipeline

When you first set up a business you don't necessarily realise that whatever you do : insurance adviser, Marilyn Monroe Impersonator or Ear Wig removal expert that the most important thing you need to do is to find new clients.

Without clients you have nothing to do, no service to provide and of course no income. Most new or immature businesses fail because of cash flow and this is due in no small part to lack of sales and marketing effort on the first six to twelve months.

So whatever service or product you provide you need clients - to locate them, segment them, attract them and of course convert them to new business. One olde worlde but I think invaluable tool is the new business pipeline.

My pipeline follows on from my marketing efforts and lists prospects who have been referred to me or replied to advertising, lists the stage of the sales process and their propensity to buy. My pipeline is the most important thing I work on every day, with the possible exception of marketing work which of course is designed to increase the size of the pipeline.

The pipeline must be constantly fed, worked on, massaged and converted - it is a cruel mistress sometimes but believe me it is a necessary evil and love it or hate it, if you run your own business you need one.

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