New Business: Rabbit in the Headlights

Published: Monday 14th January 2013

So you are in charge of New Business & Marketing and sometimes you just don’t know where to start. Does this sound familiar…..?

“I need to start with the website because if our products are not clearly articulated how will we win new business? But we can‘t get the website sorted until we have all those case histories, and we are just waiting on those final results figures. And, how can we complete the website without a clear proposition, which I am struggling to get out of the partners – struggling to even get them in a room together for more than an hour? I need to get some PR, but surely that involves building a relationship with journalists first, which won’t happen overnight.  I can’t at the first meeting ask them to place a piece for us. And how do I swop information with them, without betraying confidences?  Help!……

 What about Social Media?  Someone in the agency is good at tweeting, but the message doesn’t tie in with our blogs. And our last blog post was 3 weeks ago.  What about the consultants – which one should I invest my money with? We should host a round table, cracking idea, but how best should we do this?  And surely isn’t it easier to win new business from existing clients, why aren’t we focusing more on that area?……”

The biggest concern from New Business people that jfdi® is hearing right now is exactly this – “Where do I start – there is so much to cover?” This at a time when the economic climate is still incredibly tough (although have we noticed some small, small indicators of growth perhaps?), the rise in importance of social media adds to the “to do list” and head count freezes have meant there is less resource available.

But it is possible and there are a lot of people out there doing it very successfully.  The key is to work smarter and more strategically. It is all in the planning, and you need to start by working out what the agency needs to achieve from a short, medium and long term perspective. Once that is articulated by the agency partners, you can start to put a structure to your new business activities. As long, of course, as the objectives are realistic. If they are not, you will need to shout for more resource, either from someone internally or by out-sourcing elements like content writing or pr. Then you can focus your efforts on the individual elements of your plan.  Do you really need to speak at conferences, enter awards, or tweet this year? The answer may be yes, but once a goal and target for the year has been set it is much easier to see the best route to getting there and where to focus your attention to achieve the results you need.

Our jfdi New Business Skills course on November 15th helps you set out a strategy & plan to cover the crucial elements you need to focus on to hit your new business targets.