These are tough times we are seeing for business. The economy is at an all time low and many people are beginning to feel the pinch. Is there any hope at all for the little guy to get by in these hard times? I say absolutely yes! I know it’s a major cliché, but the old saying holds so much truth. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” What this really means is that when times are hard, you need to try harder. It’s easy to be successful when times are easy. In terms of getting clients, there are a number of cost effective ways you can improve your chances.

• Have a strong online presence. No matter who you are in business these days, if you’re not online, you’re not in business. There are so many ways online to advertise yourself and your business for free, that it’s just a shame not to take advantage of them all. Some examples of free online social networking including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. The key to these social networking sites though are to participate on a fairly regular basis. Just popping in once a month to add something new to your profile or to post a brief article won’t cut it. These sites are free, but they do take some effort on your part to make them effective. With the sheer number of people that could see your profile, they are extremely effective when handled properly.

• Look for both local and non-local clients. This ties in somewhat with my first point. Think of what you offer for a service or product and ask yourself if there is anything stopping you from selling it to people out of state? The technology that is available to businesses these days are nothing short of amazing. We can do business with someone on the other side of the globe about as easily as across the street. In your search for clients, think of it as painting a house. Do you want to use a tiny little paint brush that makes thin little lines, or do you want to use an industrial grade paint spray gun? I know that it’s not always possible based on what your selling, but give it some thought.

• Offer more than just one service or product. In today’s shaky economy, just about everyone is trying to cut corners to save money. If a company wants a particular service, they may not go to a specialist for help. A specialist (a company that does just one thing) will be of a high skill, but will probably charge an arm and a leg. If your business has always just offered phone support, why not try to put more things on the menu. If you are good at finding things on the net, offer internet research as well. If you’re also good at writing, try offering blog writing too. Often times a client may want to add to your responsibilities if they know you are offering other services. This of course means more profit for you.

• Educate yourself. The world of business is not stagnant, it flows and changes constantly. The industry you are in likely changes often as well. You need to adapt and upgrade yourself with your environment. Gaining new skills makes you more attractive to potential clients. Now, I’m not just talking about going out and getting a degree. I realize that that takes lots of money and few people these days can afford it. What I am talking about is taking advantage of free or inexpensive online seminars to boost your skills and knowledge. I’m not talking about dropping $1000 on a class, but if spending $100 or so will make you more valuable to clients than why not do it?

Author's Bio: 

Kimberly Grass is Founder and President of K Grass Business Consulting. She has over a decade of extensive experience working in the real estate, accounting and marketing field, specifically assisting small businesses. She has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to use the skills she acquired to help other business owners. She enjoys helping business owners to expand and improve. Her attention to detail and organizational skills enables her to provide the highest quality service possible for her clients. She excels at helping entrepreneurs to maximize their business potential.