Pulling Your Research Together

female-hand-writing-on-a-paper-6213Now that you’re sure of your offerings, that there is a reasonable potential client base, and that you could make turn a profit from offering your services, the next step is to come up with a definitive picture of your ideal client.

You might say that, for example, since you don’t want to manage a ton of clients with relatively few systems and light needs, your ideal customer has 10 systems to manage and purchases 3 hours of your support help per month. So if you charge $50/system and $75/hr. you gross $650. Your goal, then, might be to have 20clients like that.

With that ideal in mind, you can then revisit your list of potential clients and figure out how many of them approximate your ideal, then how many you think you can get onboard, and finally over what period of time.

Also, realize your client-acquisition rate will not be 100%. Or 75%. It might be 10% or 5% if you’re lucky. But there needs to be a large number of potential clients for you to score those 20 you need to run your business.

And even if you find interested parties, it might take months to get to talk to the right person in their office, then even if they are willing you might need to wait for their existing contract to expire, or for them to persuade the owner, or for any other number of delays. Also, people speak casually, people change their mind, and plans fall through. You can’t count someone’s casual interest, or even someone’s earnest interest, or even someone’s verbal commitment, as a guarantee.

I say this not to dissuade or scare you, but to help you realize you probably need to find more potential clients, leave more time to get them onboard, make more social connections, and leave more time and money to support yourself during the slow startup phase.

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