If you could wave a magic wand and work with any client you wanted in 2012, who would they be and what would your business look like? If you’re growing a business, it’s a fun exercise to think about right as we start a new year.
Let’s begin with your current client base. You may want to create a report of customers that you had in 2011 and list them by revenue collected. Who are your top revenue-producing clients? Are they easy to work with? Do you love the work you are doing with them? If so, you may want to find out a little bit about the type of client you enjoy working with so that you can find more of them in 2012.
Are they male or female? In a particular industry? Have a particular personality trait? Enjoy the same hobbies you do? Have kids? Are they from your alma mater? Do they live in a certain neighborhood that you enjoy?
Look to see what characteristics your top clients have in common. You are beginning to make a picture of who you most enjoy working with.
The questions are endless, and you may need to ask quite a few of them before you stumble on what your top clients might have in common. Perhaps they are all dog lovers, pilots, or football fans. Perhaps they have all been in business for less than five years. Perhaps they are all transplanted from the south. Once you see the connection, you will have some freedom and a clear direction to find more people just like them.
Also take a look at what services you like to deliver best. Once you’ve been in business for a while, you may have some work that’s not your favorite, but you keep doing it for the money. In 2012, think about how you can proactively attract clients that need the type of work you love to do. Work that challenges you, is interesting, and is profitable will keep you from burning out. Plus, it will help your entire business and your other clients to seek clients that energize you because you will be happier.
Start by creating another report that shows your revenue by service or product line. What would the ideal 2012 mix be if you could wave your magic wand again?
The intersection of your ideal client and your ideal service/product revenue mix is the sweet spot you want to aim for in 2012.
It’s simple exercise, yet a very powerful one. As the holidays wind to a close, take a deep breath, wave your magic wand, and think about what would really fulfill you as a business entrepreneur. Then take the first step to grow a business full of your ideal clients and the work of your dreams.