Review Your Client Pipeline for 2024
OK - everyone have their seatbelts on? If you listen to economists and forecasters, 2024 is going to be a bit of a bumpy ride. But work that you do NOW can help you avoid some of the bigger potholes. I know you're busy and that we're heading into the craziness of the holidays, but we need to look ahead and make sure that we're going to CONTINUE to be busy next year. Many interior designers I talk to have clients scheduled through the early part of the year, but they're worried about what comes after that. So here's how to review your client pipeline to keep things running smoothly in 2024.
1. Start Forecasting
I like to use an Excel spreadsheet that is set up by month to look at my client pipeline. And at this point in the year, I already have a new one for 2024. That way, I can plug in any current clients and any expected payments. I also have a place at the top that reminds me of what my monthly overhead is (including my GOAL income) so I know what numbers I need to hit. Once you do that, you can really see where the peaks and valleys are going to be. But don't look at this from a place of FEAR! See it instead as opportunity!
2. Find the Holes
EVERYONE should have some holes in 2024. Usually you'll have months where there's a big jump in income and then others where you don't have a thing in place. As long as you're hitting your overhead numbers, you're going to be ok. But if you have holes - or if you want to hit some bigger financial goals - then you need to start looking at those gap months. What would it take to bring in more money? Do you need one or two bigger projects? Do you just need some supplemental work to get your finances to your goal posts? Really understand WHAT you need and WHEN you need it.
3. Review Your Services
As you look over the possible gaps in 2024, ask yourself if you need to add or change any services. Have your clients been asking for a specific service that you don't currently offer? Would it be something you would want to do AND that would be profitable? Always listen to how the industry is changing and think about how you can make money from that. It could be something like adding a consulting service like a Design in a Day or Office Hours package. Those types of services have very low overhead costs, but do bring in quick cash. They're great for filling holes in your income stream. But there could also be a lot of other services that are in your core niche that could help you bring in some much-needed cash.
4. Start Marketing – NOW
Okay, so now you know what you need and when you need it. So remember the tried-and-true rule for marketing - what you do TODAY will bring in business a few months from now. If you need more business in early spring, then now is the time to hit the marketing button as hard as you can. That does NOT mean just posting on social media. You need to have a strong and multi-pronged marketing plan. It should include email, outreach to former clients, networking with builders/contractors, social ads, PR, and more. Do NOT put this off or say you don't have enough time to think about it. Last week I even gave you some great marketing messages to use that will help you attract new clients. Just click here to review!
Once you have those potential clients in your sights, be sure you hook them! Download my FREE Guide to Meeting with Potential Clients here!