Dear Auntie B,
I have a small information technology company. I started this company up from scratch two years ago offering home users mobile computer support. It’s going really well now but I want to grow it more.
How do I get into the doors of companies?
Is cold calling still a good thing or is it in the past now? I don’t want to grow a big company – I just want to stay small to help those small to medium business.
I operate from home, but should I move it into a small office suite so I can offer other services like training, web development etc. I am working on having a one-stop place for all technology needs, such as broadband setup and connection, web development, printing etc, so they can come to one place instead of three or four places for technology solutions.
What do you suggest I do?
Digital Blue Technology.
Congratulations and enjoy your success! But now is the time to share it with a small team of young professionals and a few nerds. You need to build a team. Get each member of the team to focus on a specific territory. Then they can rely on your skills for support.
As for not cold calling… are you nuts? Cold calling is a very important tool in the start-ups kit. Get your team members to place ads and get stories in the local newspapers in their assigned territories. Get the team members to do a letter box drop of fun postcards in homes in their area. They can also cold call the companies in their area.
If your mates are going to start off building your territories, put them on a retainer with a dinner out when they reach their targets. If you can start employing people, put them on a bonus system.
I don’t think you need to move into offices just yet, but inevitably as the business grows to the next stage your team members will want a central base.
All of this should keep your small overhead costs and expand your business through your role as their mentor and source of structure while you build up the range of proven business solutions.
But Kris, as Uncle Colin constantly reminds us all, the key to the door of small to medium local businesses is word-of-mouth referrals and testimonials. Ask your satisfied customers to nominate three associated clients or related businesses that you can invite to meet your new team members and then follow up with a short note of appreciation whenever you pick up a new client.
Don’t forget your website and make it a long-term goal to do some search engine work so you can be found quickly.
Aunty B and Uncle C