Small fries, big gains

There seems to be a misconception that when you’re striking out on your own and building a business it has to have a quick turn around for growth. That’s just not true. There is a lot that can be gained with smaller or individual clients. In this post, you’ll learn how to get big gains out of individual clients or small contracts.


Putting together lasting systems that work for you and your company will take time.

That’s the big thing. If you’re serious starting a company that serves and lasts for at least your lifetime, then you need to take into consideration all manner of systems.

  • To find clients
  • To onboard them
  • To inform clients
  • To do the actual work
  • Bookkeeping
  • Taxes
  • Other

Lots goes into business growthThere is a lot that goes into running a business, and each one has their own quirks. Add the factor of science into it, and you can look for sourcing supplies and more onto that list.

Each one of these systems takes time to experiment with, tweak, and perfect. There is a plethora of software to make things go smoother, but when you look at the features, it can get overwhelming. Of course, that means you’ll need to know what you want each one to do, and knowing that takes experimentation and time.

This is really easy to do with smaller, one-off clients since you have a chance to use a system and reflect on if it will serve you, then adjust as necessary. But, it gets a wee bit overwhelming *understatement*, so here are some tips to help you make the most of it as you grow your independent research firm.

Secrets of solid growth

Software and tools. When it comes to software and other tools of the trade, you need to know what you want them to do. If you don’t, you end up investing in something that isn’t going to serve you or your company’s needs. You might think this means you need to plan things out perfectly before you try out tools, but this is incorrect. The secret is the trial periods.

  • Look for tools that seem like they will serve your needs.
  • Use a trial period. If they don’t offer a full feature trial, yet you think this may be The One, then talk to a representative and try to work out a deal for a short time.
  • Evaluate the tool while using it with a client (or two) and see how it really works out for you. It may be that you can start off at a lower tier or that you need to look at a different tool. Don’t be afraid to say it’s not good for you despite any promises the sales people make or a low price.

Growth through customer relationsCustomer relations. Everyone gets wrapped up in systems, but what you need to be focusing on is the customer’s journey through the process. Think of it this way: How did you feel the last time you experienced any service? For me that was filling up my petrol tank. I wasn’t overwhelmed with how to fill up, but the questions on the card reader got on my nerves. I was in a hurry, and it was programmed to upsell to me as much as possible. Still, this was a necessary evil over going inside and waiting in line to prepay. So, as you build your firm, think about how you’d want to be treated as a client.

Putting yourself in their place throughout can help you a lot in PR, marketing, and business growth without even trying.

  • Notice where they are when they seek you out. Not everyone starts in the same place in knowledge, let alone what they are seeking in services.
  • Focus on what you can give them to delight, educate, and make the whole thing more memorable.
  • Leave them with a pleasant memory.
  • Ask for referrals.

These are really the only two secrets for making the most of the smaller clients to make a giant impact on a growing company. It’s actually ideal because you have time to really focus on what is going to work and integrate it into your process and build with confidence.

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