Getting new clients

Proactively seeking new sources of revenue could help your business become more resilient.

How do you build resilient growth in the face of unfavourable economic conditions? One way is by adapting to take advantage of new opportunities created by circumstance, or to proactively seek new sources of revenue by acquiring new clients, customers or members.

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic saw an unprecedented shift in circumstances for many UK businesses. With the upcoming exit from the EU, circumstances will change once again.

With this in mind, what can your business do today to prepare itself to win new clients? Here are some tips to consider.

Be frank about who you are +

Your ability to win new clients in challenging times will depend on trust. Can people trust that your business is financially stable? That you’ll continue to deliver products and services despite changing circumstances?

Reassure clients that you are COVID-secure

Demonstrating your trustworthiness will give you a clear advantage over other businesses that will be competing for the same work. So ask yourself questions like the following:

  1. Is what we’re doing credible right now?
  2. How can we prove to new clients that we’re in a stable position?
  3. How have we responded and adapted to COVID-19 and changing market forces?

Facebook’s Social Good for Business toolkitLink opens in a new window provides strategies for businesses of all sizes to engage their community, support a cause and take action. This will show that you’re taking positive action – that you’re a business that cares.

Adapt to find new customers +

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, many UK businesses were prevented from trading as they normally would. Challenging conditions continue, as shops, pubs, restaurants and other businesses remain closed or operate within limited trading hours.

Accordingly, the way people work, shop and live their lives has also changed, which may, in the longer term, result in a shift in consumer habits in a post-pandemic world.

With this in mind, where possible, consider adapting your services or products to cater for the needs of a changing market and thereby attracting new customers.

Case study

The Seven Bro7hers Brewery saw overall beer sales drop by 7.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, as its local bars and taprooms closed as a result of lockdown.

But the brewery continued to make beer, while switching its focus to e-commerce. Despite making up only 20 per cent of its business before coronavirus, online sales now account for a significant part of the company’s revenue.

The brewery has sourced crowdfunding to allow it to develop new bars that will open in 2021, as well as securing contracts with a major grocery retailer over the same period.

Read the full story on The Business Finance GuideLink opens in a new window

Social media +

Understand which social media channels your customers are using, and make sure you’re monitoring the conversation. They may inspire you with ideas that will help you win new clients.

Keep communicating with prospects through these channels – give people interesting and compelling content and offers to engage them. And watch what competitors are doing – they need new clients too.

Top tip: One of the best things you can do to make yourself interesting to new clients is to be interested in them. Don't be afraid to get in touch and show interest in what they're doing.

Reach out to new audiences +

Realistically, the only way to get new clients is to put yourself out there. Before you do so, consider the following:

Need a small number of large customers?

  1. Create a top 10 target list, research each target and reach out to their decision-makers.
  2. First, you just want them to engage in conversation, so don’t do the hard sell until you’ve established that initial connection.
  3. Do you have a sales team in place? Are you a natural salesperson? If not, consider how to improve your selling skills.
  4. Be resilient – understand that you’ll hear “no” more than “yes”.

Looking for a large number of smaller clients?

  1. How are you marketing your business?
  2. Do you know what’s working? Engage an expert to help you analyse the data.
  3. Test and refine constantly to find out what works. People are more likely to be at home these days, so you may need to change your strategy to make sure you’re in the right place at the right time.
  4. Be creative – make sure you’re saying something unique that’s relevant right now.

Sources of new leads +

  • LinkedIn – research and reach out to potential clients.
  • Digital advertising – use paid ads online to reach specific audiences (e.g. Google Ads).
  • Local directories and journals – find new ways to advertise within your local area.
  • Industry bodies – if you’re targeting a specific sector, there may be a new way to research and contact prospects.
  • Offers and promotions – test new ways to grab people’s attention.
  • Virtual events – think about how you can engage people online – with virtual lunches, yoga or webinars, for example.

Regional support

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Reference to any organisation, business and event on this page does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation from the British Business Bank or the UK Government. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to keep the information on this page up to date, we do not guarantee or warrant (implied or otherwise) that it is current, accurate or complete. The information is intended for general information purposes only and does not take into account your personal situation, nor does it constitute legal, financial, tax or other professional advice. You should always consider whether the information is applicable to your particular circumstances and, where appropriate, seek professional or specialist advice or support.