By Barry Stein
Anyone who runs their own business can tell you how challenging it is to generate business leads on a consistent basis. Finding good leads and generating more sales is vital to the long term growth of any business. There are many well documented sources of business leads we will try to cover some of the best in this article.
As any job seeker can tell you, networking generates far more job offers than simply reading the want ads each morning. The same is true of business leads. Networking with your peers is likely to generate far more business leads then putting an ad in your local newspaper. That is because of the exponential nature of the social and business network.
Say you tell five associates about your great new business. Each of those five associates tells five of their friends and associates, and so on and so on. You can see how quickly your circle can expand. Word of mouth advertising is the most cost effective advertising of all. It”s free and it can generate an exceptional amount of interest in your business.
Trade shows are another excellent source of business leads. Trade shows take the networking concept a step further by gathering together executives and business owners for a common purpose. Trade shows can focus on a specific industry or a specific market. For instance, we have a trade show here each fall to which all the local businesses are invited. This provides an excellent opportunity for business executives and small business owners to meet each other and discuss their products and services. This show generates excellent business leads year in and year out.
Industry specific trade shows are an excellent source of business leads as well. For instance, the computer industry holds many trade shows throughout the year, including the well known extravaganza in Las Vegas each year. By concentrating on one industry, the vendors know they will be able to generate good business leads among an audience that is already interested in the product or service they provide. This focus can eliminate a lot of the wasted effort that often accompanies efforts to generate business leads.
Trade magazines can be another excellent source of business leads. Unlike advertising in your local newspaper, or general purpose magazine, trade magazines are focused in on a specific industry. Trade magazines are generally read only by those involved in that industry. Believe me when I say it no one reads Network Computing for fun. By advertising in a trade industry journal or magazine, you can be assured of reaching a targeted audience for a reasonable price. There are a number of trade industry journals, both online and offline. Check their circulation rates to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck.
Being flexible, creative and friendly goes a long way when searching for business leads. Be creative, think of things the other guy has not. Tell the people you meet every day about your business. The more you get the word out about your business, the more business leads you are bound to generate. Always strive to be the best in everything you do. Your drive and determination will help you stay a step ahead of the competition.