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The blog for ambitious founders.

My blog covers the MANY highs and lows of starting, scaling and selling my business for 7-figures, in just 4 years. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur then add your email below to get a new episode delivered every Wednesday.

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There's no business like new business.

If you're a business owner that has no need for new business then you can stop reading now.

Oh, and also you're a liar.

You could argue that you currently have a full stack of happy clients and you don't even have capacity to take on more. That's a fair point. But really that's the most dangerous phase of a business, when things are going well and you take your eye off the ball.

Anyway, I'm not going to argue with you.

If you want to grow your business you need to do two things.

  1. Bring in new clients

  2. Grow your existing ones

Today and next week I'll be tackling point 1, and the week after, point 2. Within a few weeks you'll have a finely tuned revenue growing machine. That's the FounderON guarantee.

Now enough waffle (as usual), lets get to the value.

You would be forgiven for thinking we should start with sales. This is a blog about new business after all. But actually, there is a lot we need to do before we start selling.

You only get one go at outbound. One successful go that is. We've all had the automated follow ups that just make us even less and less likely to ever say yes.

We need to make sure that the first time you reach out to your perfect potential client, you don't waste your chance.

1. Persona

Hopefully you already know who that perfect potential client is.

But often I see agencies with a real mix of clients from small to enterprise, across various industries. It's hard to turn down business if you're offered it, but assuming you want to really start driving new business, you need to narrow your audience.

The reason is covered in point 2.

2. Proposition

Don't worry, I'm not going to cover the operational processes and methodologies of your client servicing team here. Mainly because they don't really matter. Not for new business purposes anyway.

To be honest, you will be most successful at this stage of the process if you allow yourself to zoom out a bit and think less about the actual services you offer (SEO, CRO, PPC etc) and more about the problems you solve.

You know who your ideal clients are from point 1. Now the job is to match their problems with your solutions.

Let me use my agency as an example. Molzi was an Amazon marketing agency. We worked with brands to manage their Amazon advertising, support the account management, forecast stock, optimise content and much more. Even though we were within the niche of Amazon, we still had a wide ranging service offering.

But by the time we decided to scale, competition was fierce. There were at least 20 Amazon agencies in the UK, all offering the same thing to our target clients.

"We can run your Amazon ads"

"We can optimise your Amazon content to improve conversion"

"We can help you manage the complexity of Amazon"

Two years earlier, these were all problems that our perfect clients were facing. So by having the above as our proposition we were able to win a lot of new business. But two years later and none of our clients had these problems any more.

Why not?

Because they had an Amazon agency working with them already.

Because of this we realised that in order to scale quickly, by winning lots of new clients, we needed to figure out a way to win contracts with clients that already had an Amazon agency.

Sounds impossible. Why would a client hire more than one Amazon agency. Well let me tell you. They did. Many of our clients already had an Amazon agency when we signed them up.

The key was identifying the new problems that our target clients were facing.

You'll kick yourself when I tell you how we found out what they were.... Yep, we asked them. We called up a handful of our dream clients and asked them for 15 minutes of their time to help us out. And most said yes.

It turned out that almost all large Amazon suppliers had issues with Amazon fining them for various reasons. Maybe it was the type of packaging the products were shipped in. Maybe it was late deliveries or the wrong labels. But it quickly became clear that almost all of our target clients had a big problem.

Amazon called them shortage claims. We called them gold.

3. Outbound

Now it was time to turn the theory into reality. We needed to reach out to clients. Easily the hardest part of the process because everyone hates being sold to.

So we didn't sell. We just asked.

Our outbound message, to global enterprise clients, that resulted in us scaling our agency from 1 person to 80 people in 4 years...

"Have you got any problems with Amazon shortages at the moment?"

No "Hi <First Name>", or long winded introduction.

Just a question, that we already knew the answer to.

The response rate was over 80%. Not everyone wanted help with the problem, but they at least replied and started a dialogue. But most people said yes, and asked us if we had a way of helping with them.

So by asking a question about a problem we knew they had, they ended up asking us for help rather than us needing to sell.

That's obviously a very specific example. But we did this over an over again. Once one problem disappeared, we found the next one.

The key is to think about what you currently do for your clients and ask yourself, what's your one sentence question.

Hopefully the above has given you an idea of how to either start, or evolve your new business process. Focussing in on the problems that your target clients face, and simply helping them solve them, rather than pitching them things they don't need.

Next weeks blog will be dedicated to the big next steps. The pitch and the pipeline.

So get those leads lined up, and we can get closing them next week together.


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