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Interesting New Idea

25th Aug 2007
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I guess many of you are members of business networking clubs – sausages at 6am every Wednesday, etc! Me too, and they can work well, to a point. But they’re not everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to trying to ‘tap into’ the client base of other local businesses – and that’s really what you’re trying to do.

For many a year, my clients have been popping into my office armed with their latest promotional flyers, and politely requesting that I pass them on to my clients; it’s notable how they see us as playing a pivotal role in what is really an informal network of businesses. They know that amongst our clients we have web designers, plumbers, etc - a real mix of trades and professions.

And so it was that a new business model was developed – one that is going to launch next month. Most of my clients wouldn’t be interested in a ‘Full English’ at 6am surrounded by seasoned networkers. But they love the idea of me promoting their services to my other clients. To be honest, I’d love them to promote me to theirs, too. Wouldn’t we all? So what was the solution?

I couldn’t possibly mail my entire client base every time one client asked me to promote him. A small publication, maybe, promoting all of us, sharing the design and print cost? Possibly – but it wouldn’t be cheap. And what if some of them were offering promotions or incentives which quickly go out of date? What we needed was an electronic medium.

If you’re a small firm looking to offer your clients an added-value promotional platform and at the same time win new clients for your firm (I have to say that both of these sound like pretty good ideas to me!) you really should go and take a look at this: I know it will work for accountants because I spent months researching the principle with my clients. It’s our opportunity, as accountants, to develop our own efficient business network. I’m not saying we should stop going to breakfast meetings! In fact if all the members of a business club were to join in their area, they’d all benefit because the scheme would automatically promote them to the other members’ clients! It's the perfect 'bolt-on' for clubs.

Inafiniti is launching properly in a few weeks’ time and, according to my research, it’s going to be very popular in the small business community. I’m told it’s a clever scheme and definitely worth a wager at just £89. It’s possible to register now, actually, and secure your place as the exclusive accountant in a particular area – the real benefit is when you then refer the scheme to your clients and get them on board too; you will be promoting your firm directly to all other businesses in your area AND their clients – and vice versa. Of course I’ve signed my firm up already, plus a couple of friends – after all, I don’t want another firm in my area mailing my clients every week with incentives to defect! Don’t say I didn’t tell you about it!

David Elliott


Replies (1)

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By Paul Scholes
26th Sep 2007 22:35

Maybe it's late?
Hi David, just browsing & caught this by chance. Yes it is interesting and, in theory, a great way to network but it looks to me as though I would only be marketed to other businesses in my area, is that right?

I have 150 ish clients but perhaps only 25% of these are within a 10 mile radius, I don't know what the size of the local area is that would be covered but I'd much rather market myself to a 20 or even 30 mile radius. These days the locality to clients is far less important because of e-comms.

As I say I may have got the wrong end of the stick because it's passed my bedtime but perhaps I could have your views.

Oh yes I went to the site and so far there are lots of accountants to chose from.

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