Online stores have anchor departments, shopping malls have anchor stores and your small business needs anchor clients. Much like the Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s that anchor shopping malls at either end and draw in shoppers, your anchor clients provide a foundation for your small business in three unique ways:
They help stabilize your small business cash flow.
When you know you have three anchor clients providing a predictable amount of income each month, you can more accurately project your cash flow on a monthly basis. Combined with the business forecasting capabilities of your online accounting tool, your anchor clients can help you plan for the future and grow your business.
They help you focus your energy where it matters most – being great at what you do.
Anchor clients help you work smarter, not harder. When you have consistent, monthly clients that provide ongoing work, you will spend less time marketing or handling the admin tasks for multiple one-off clients. You’ll save time in your busy to-do list and be more capable of providing great small business service.
They help you grow and find more anchor clients.
What better source of referrals than from clients that love what you do and work with you every month? You can ask your best anchor clients for referrals directly, or get permission to display their logos on your website so you can win more clients through the power of social proof.
Ready to find and bring more anchor clients into your business?
Get hyper-focused on who would be a perfect anchor client for your business. What type of monthly or ongoing service does your business offer? If you create products, is there a subscription plan or other type of ongoing relationship you can maintain with customers? Define what type of client makes the best anchor client and how you’d work with them. This way you know exactly how to tailor your business and focus on the right anchors.
Target your marketing and sales messages to that type of client. A lot of times small business owners make the mistake of trying to market to everyone, and as a result, they get a variety of different clients. Use your existing anchors—or potential anchors—as a template for your marketing. How did they come to do business with your company? How did they find your website? What do they appreciate about your business? In addition to answering these questions about the past, delving into the future as well. How can you make changes in your business in order to better serve these anchor clients? You may come up with a new service or package that is an ideal fit for anchor clients’ needs. Once you do, be sure to advertise it.
Network with other small businesses – and refer freely. Your anchor clients found and stuck with your business—but what about all of those prospects that didn’t buy? They are probably someone else’s potential anchor clients. If you take steps to grow your network of small businesses and refer those non-anchor clients to others, you’ll receive referrals back. This grows your anchor client base and helps the whole small business growth cycle start all over.
What are you waiting for? Find and grow your anchors and reap the benefits of a stronger business.