1) Figure out who your best customer is.
Factor in both revenue and how easy they are to deal with. Study this customer to find the traits that separate them from your other customers.
Is it a specific industry? Is it because a certain process they have? How many employees do they have? Develop a profile of this customer.
Then look for clients in your local / regional area that fit the profile. Reach out to them directly via email.
2) Set a reminder on your calendar to email five of your current customers personally – every day.
Don’t try to sell them. Just ask them how they’re doing and how their business or organization or cause is doing. Share a couple sentences on how you’re doing. Repeat every weekday.
3) Organize a tour of your shop with a local group, organization, or school.
Educate them on how you do what you do and why you do certain steps in the process. Make sure every one walks away with having printed their own shirt, made their own sign, etc.
4) Create a list of your dream clients.
The ones that you would love to be doing work for. Either locally, regionally, or nationally. Get the mailing address for the buyer at the company or maybe even the CEO. Handwrite them a letter on company stationery explaining:
- One thing you admire about their business
- One or two ideas that you think could help them
- Why you started your business
- That you’d love to do business with them.
5) Get a list of all the other local sign shops or print shops or apparel shops.
Visit each one and speak with the owner to try and create a good working relationship. You probably compete directly in a few areas, but there are probably ways that you could work together on some projects. If you’re a smaller shop, they might have some overflow work you could help with. Or if you’re the larger shop, maybe you can send some smaller jobs to them.
In my 10+ years in this industry, I’ve made all the mistakes they tell you not to. For 5 years, I was second in command at shop that doubled in revenue from $500k to over $1mil in sales. Over the last 3 years, I’ve help 100s of shops streamline their workflow, improve their businesses, and grow sales. My goal is to help you grow your business. To help you spend more time with your family. To make sure you finally get to take that long overdue vacation.