No matter what kind of business you’re in, you absolutely must have clients in order to be successful and stay in business. There’s no other way to say it. Without clients, there is no business.

So why don’t more business owners spend more time marketing for new clients?

Hands down, the two reasons I hear the most –
A – Don’t know what to do
B – Don’t have the time

If you find yourself in group A and you don’t know what to do, consider researching marketing plans and writing one up for your business. The purpose of a marketing plan is to give your interior design business a road map to follow and work from so you can bring in lots of new clients. Without a written plan of attack, it can be difficult attract all the clients you’ll need to run a successful interior design business.

With a clearly defined marketing plan in place, you’ll soon find out that your business can and will flourish, even in this economy. A business without a marketing plan will not survive or thrive. Plain and simple. While we’d like to think that we can just hang out our shingle and clients will flock to our door, in all actuality, unfortunately, this just doesn’t happen very often.

If you find yourself in group B and you struggle with finding the time to market your business, you’re not alone. I often hear “How much time should I spend marketing my business? Is there an optimal amount?” The answer is yes! But I can tell you, if you haven’t been marketing your business consistently already, you won’t like the answer.

In order to get all the clients you could ever want, and grow your interior design business, you’ll have to spend at least 4 hours a day on marketing, and the rest of your time on client-related work. This might sound intimidating, but soon it will become clear that marketing need not be difficult or confusing.

1. Leaky calendar – One of the biggest obstacles to making marketing a priority is what I like to call ‘time leaks.’ These are all the activities you do on a daily basis that are not related to building your business or client-related work. This can include things like going grocery shopping in the middle of the day, stopping to have coffee with friends, taking long lunches or watching television during work hours. (Egads!)

Your objective is to remove as many time leaks as possible from your day. You can do this by scheduling only work activities during the day and personal errands or other activities after hours.

This means that you’ll need to schedule your daily workouts either before or after work. It means you’ll have to do your grocery shopping in the evenings or on the weekends. No matter what the activity, if it’s not related to marketing, generating new business or working with clients then it absolutely must happen outside of business hours.

2. Watch and Learn
Take a piece of paper and make four columns. Label them like this –
1. Activities
2. Client Work
3. Marketing/Income Generating
4. Other

Now write down all your actions as you go through the day. Do this as the day progresses until you’re ready to stop working. Make note of when you start your workday and when you stop.

At the end of the day, review your activities to see if they’re client-related, marketing or other. You may be surprised at how much of your workday is spent on “other” activities.

3. Get Laser Focused
Take your list and label your activities this way –

For marketing activities place a “1″ next to them. For client-related activities, place a “2″ and for all others place a “3″ next to them.

These are your priorities:
1 = marketing
2 = client-related
3 = everything else

If you want to get all the clients you could ever need, then you must take action on the things that grow your interior design business. Make a commitment today to make time for marketing and you’ll see results in no time! Contact Barbara today and get all the clients you could ever need for your interior design business!