There are several effective ways for startup engineering firms to generate business. Of course, the initial push is to advertise enough to attract those first few clients. The key to success, at least during the initial year, is to have enough funds on hand to cover the significant expenses associated with marketing, promotion, and advertising. Keep in mind that much of the effort is focused on B2B campaigns, particularly aimed at small companies within your local geographic region.
Finding new customers is a multi-step process that begins with applying for a small business loan. Most entrepreneurs are surprised to discover that the bulk of their money goes toward advertising. The good news is that the other component of the promotional push is much less costly. It involves social media and groups like a chamber of commerce. Don’t forget to be meticulous about providing high-quality services and offering discounts to attract an early wave of interest. Here are details about how to get underway with an effective campaign to find your first few clients.
Apply for a Small Business Loan
Having enough funding is critical for getting customers to hire your engineering startup. However, even if you take out a business loan, expect to spend most of the proceeds on advertising. Fortunately, you can apply online in a matter of minutes and usually have funds available within one or two days. Taking out a small business loan is the single most efficient way to get the cash you need for a brand-new organization’s launch. Few owners have enough savings to bootstrap a serious effort at starting an engineering firm. Taking out a loan is the only way for most such organizations to get off the ground.
Network on Social Media and Through Local Organizations
Leverage the power of free social media and local organizations, like chambers of commerce, to build your brand in the community. Remember, no matter how talented you and your team are, new engineering firms are invisible until you begin advertising, using social media, and making personal contacts in professional organizations.
Offer Significant Discounts for the First Few Months
The mindset you want to have is to do almost anything to acquire the first client. In addition to targeted ad campaigns, social media outreach, and joining a chamber of commerce, consider offering discounts during the first several months of operations. Be careful to set a time limit for the discounted rates and make it known that they will expire on a specific date. You don’t want to give the impression that you’re a discount firm. Instead, portray the lower rate as a grand opening or launch sale in order to attract attention from potential customers.
Focus on Quality
Spend time focusing on delivering quality work, which might mean earning less per hour on early projects. Even if you take a hit on profit margins on those first few contracts, view the additional time as an investment in advertising. It’s always difficult to bring new clients on board, so expect to devote some additional hours to make sure everything is perfect on your first, second, and third contracted projects.