It was May of 2003, and I was projecting a $9500 month for my web design business -- a good month at the time. As the end of the month came closer, I reached out to a couple of prospective clients to see if they would be starting their project in May: “No.” “Not yet.” “We are going to put our efforts elsewhere for now.” I started to stress about the lack of revenue for the month. As the month ended, I only closed $2500 of the projected revenue. Ughh!
Unfortunately, this was a common occurrence at the time. I spent a lot of time on projecting my revenues based on possible projects in the pipeline. It always sounded great. The problem is that I regularly missed my projections, because I was looking at possible business that could close... not business that was likely to close.
Looking back now, I realize it was a coping mechanism. I did not have a clear differentiator for my business that mattered to prospects, and I did not have a clear way of bringing in new prospects. I tried a lot of different things from telemarketing to networking, but none of them brought in a consistent flow of new prospects. I was just hoping my way to success... not a good strategy.
After going back to work full-time and reflecting on what went wrong with my web design business, it became clear to me that it was the flow of new prospects. When I went back to work for someone else, it was for a 150-person web hosting and web design company. They measured the flow of new prospects coming in religiously. Even one low day was enough to trigger a lot of activity to figure out what was going wrong.
That was the inspiration for what Factor Four Consulting does for clients: help service businesses develop a consistent flow of qualified leads each month. That is the life-blood of any growing business, and the vast majority of business owners really do not know how to make that happen (they are too busy being good at what they do).
I understand the pain of missing monthly projections and that is why we work hard to make sure our clients are getting a consistent flow of new leads, whether they are looking for 5 or 500 leads per month.
When we can get a consistent flow of new leads coming in, it takes a lot of stress off. We can be more selective about which clients would be a good fit and which would not. That allows us to do our best work and be our authentic selves.
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