If you don't have customers you don't have a business. Learn how Lloyd Cambridge, the founder of Progress Playbook, got his first client.
Progress Playbook Steps
Develop a name for yourself
Stay on top of mind
Quit the 9-5 job
Let your network refer business to you
Follow up on every lead
Use what you have to close the deal
Get your business affairs in order
Make the client happy
1. Develop a name for yourself
Prior to starting Progress Playbook, I was the director of NYC Business Solutions, Queens Center. I was passionate about entrepreneurship and doing a great job at work, so I made it my duty to attend as many small business events that I could, network, teach small business classes, and help as many people as possible. I developed a name for myself as being the entrepreneurship guy that helped people with their business needs. I have over 100 endorsements for entrepreneurship on Linkedin.
2. Stay on top of mind
I made sure that people did not forget about me so that they would think about me and reach out if an opportunity came up to support a small business owner with one of the services at NYC Business Solutions. I would send out regular emails using constant contact or MailChimp. I also started and maintained two entrepreneurship groups on meetup, New York City Entrepreneurs, and Entrepreneur and Business Networking.
3. Quit the 9-5 job
4. Let your network refer business to you
A week after I quit my job, someone that I met at Union Settlement, where I taught a few small business classes, reached out to me and told me that The Actors Fund was looking for a consultant to design an entrepreneurship program for performing artist and entertainment professionals. He said that I would be a good fit and that I could reference his name if I applied.
5. Follow up on every lead
I immediately researched The Actors Fund and saw that they were a reputable organization and then I reached out to the director at The Actors Fund and submitted my portfolio of experience working with entrepreneurs in NYC and asked for a meeting. I got an email a few days later from the director agreeing to a meeting.
6. Use what you have to close the deal
After several telephone and in-person meetings, I finally closed the deal. What worked in my favor was the recommendation from someone the director knew, my portfolio of experience and of course my charm.
7. Get your business affairs in order
After I closed the deal verbally, I had to get my business affairs in order before signing the contract. I left the verbal closing meeting and immediately registered my business as a sole proprietorship in Brooklyn, got an EIN number and opened a business bank account with Chase Bank so that I could be a legitimate business and sign the contract with The Actors Fund.
8. Make the client happy
Once we signed the contract I got right to work and alongside the Actors fund, created the Creative Entrepreneurship Project, a national program that equips performing artists and entertainment professionals with resources to successfully navigate the entrepreneurial journey and increase their income and independence through business ownership. Years later, the Actors fund is still a client of Progress Playbook.
We are here to support you every step of the way when going after your first, second, third ++ client. Learn more about our experiences here