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Three Things to Do for Five Minutes a Day to Build a Pipeline of Work

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By Anne Bouleanu

Staying on top of small-business trends, marketing, and maintaining strong client relationships are the cornerstones of business success. With little time to spare and a constantly busy schedule, however, it can be difficult for some entrepreneurs to bring in new business while trying to focus on the daily ins and outs of running a company.

In order to stay afloat and thrive financially, it’s vital to keep new business flowing in. This doesn’t have to take all day, though—here are three things you can do for five minutes a day to build a pipeline for your business.

1. Check in with Clients. Do you have a project currently underway with a variety of clients? Set aside a few minutes each day to check in on one or more of these customers to see how things are progressing. An email doesn’t take long, but it will make a huge difference with regard to how your business is perceived. Excellent client-relationship management can lead to word-of-mouth references, which are the crux of many businesses’ plans.

Checking in regularly with clients during projects also has other added benefits. Developing a strong relationship with a client during a sale or design process opens the lines of communication, which means customers will feel comfortable coming to a business with any issues they may have, ensuring better customer service. Effective communication also opens the door for further conversations down the line—after a project has been completed, a small-business owner can reach out to past clients to ask them how they felt about their experience, and whether they have any references for future business endeavors. Tapping these previous customers for testimonials is yet another way entrepreneurs can drive new interest in their business.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to focus your time on building new client relationships, read Clients for Life: 6 Tips to Generate Leads and Build New Business.

2. Look for Networking Opportunities. On any day of the week, there are countless networking events happening around the country. Luckily for those who aren’t exactly fond of networking, there are also online networking sites that can similarly do the trick. On LinkedIn, for example, there are multiple groups dedicated to discussing small-business issues, starting creative endeavors, retaining clients, and more. Take a few minutes each day to look around on these sites and read up on industry trends and see what the competition is up to.

Attending networking events can also be a great way to bring in new business. Schedule out a time—say, once a month—when you’ll make your way to a networking event, hand out business cards, and talk to potential clients and collaborators. Each day, look around online for new networking opportunities, and mark them down in your calendar. After just a few minutes each day, you’ll have scores of networking opportunities available at your fingertips. Networking is still one of the best ways to bring in new clients and achieve small-business success, so don’t be shy.

3. Get on Social Media. A comprehensive social-media and marketing strategy can make a world of difference to a business, and it can be an effective way to bring in new business. What’s great about social-media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter is that once a company has set up a profile, it can improve brand reputation and drive in new clients in just a few minutes worth of work.

A small-business owner should take five minutes out of their schedule every day to check social-media accounts. Platforms connect customers directly to a business, and that’s something entrepreneurs should take advantage of. Customers often head online to rate company services and products, ask business owners questions, or even make suggestions for how to improve the customer experience. Each day, a small-business owner should spend a few minutes checking out these comments, taking into account what customers have to say. This is a great place to respond publicly to comments and invite customer responses. Showing responsiveness and a willingness to interact, a business built up with social activity catches the eye of social consumers.

Another great thing about social media is that companies can show off new products, designs, and collaborations, or share company news that would interest potential clients. According to Business Insider, entrepreneurs should view social-media outlets as a virtual marketplace where customers gather. It’s a space where companies can find out more about their customers, advertise to specific users, and build a modern, tech-savvy brand.

A strong social-media presence is huge in today’s digital era and can grab the attention of potential clients in an instant. No matter how busy you are, be sure to take a few minutes each day to share a link or news item or to correspond with the public on social media. It’s definitely worth your time.

This article was originally published in Line//Shape//Space. Line//Shape//Space is a blog from Autodesk dedicated to helping designers and drafters succeed in their small businesses.


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