You only receive orders irregularly. This stifles work for a few months and in the other months you don’t have a single customer. This makes it extremely difficult to plan sales or estimate investments. The high-turnover months are also an enormous burden for you and your family, as the stress has a negative impact on your environment. Furthermore, you are worried about the future if there is not a single order for several weeks and you still have to pay invoices. A pipeline for orders offers advantages.
How nice it would be if the orders were distributed throughout the year so that you have an almost constant capacity utilization. The stability of orders and the fact that they can be planned well could also enable you to take a vacation, since you no longer have to be present to pull every possible assignment ashore or to work up to your neck.
Through an order pipeline, you can plan half a year into the future and see in January what the situation looks like in July. In the following, we explain how to build up an order pipeline.
How many Customers do you need in your Pipeline?
The goal is to find out how many customers you need in a month. To do this, you have to calculate how big your annual turnover must be to cover all costs including your wages. Be really honest about your costs and add a few percent as a buffer.
Then consider your average project size and what sales a project will bring you. You can easily divide last year’s sales by the number of projects.
If you divide the annual turnover you need calculated above by the average turnover per project, you will receive the number of projects you need per year to make ends meet.
Suppose you need € 144,000 in annual sales to cover the costs and one customer brings you one project each with around € 4,000. Then you need 36 projects a year or three a month to make ends meet.
If you need three customers a month, you must also have three orders a month. For this reason, it is advisable to schedule time each week in order to attract new customers, even in the good times.
Your goal is no longer to process as many orders as possible, but to ensure a manageable number of orders every month.
Your goal is to keep the order flow as continuous as possible. If you get many orders at once, you can talk to customers and maybe arrange a later project start. You already have projects in the pipeline for weak months. Second, you can generate new projects.
There are three ways to do this:
#1 Go your proven Way
You already have a marketing strategy, otherwise there would be no crowded months. In your weekly marketing time, you could refine this strategy or make it stronger for the weak months.
#2 New Customers
New customers place new orders and fill your project gaps. Through target group analysis, you can address your potential customers directly with advertising. This is significantly less expensive than a shotgun approach, in which a large amount is addressed blindly with advertising.
#3 Former Customers
Did you have a customer some time ago who was satisfied with your performance? Then talk to him if he doesn’t want to do business with you again. With an automated newsletter, you can address your former customers and maybe even a few prospects with your current offers and products every week. You can also create a telephone list that includes all customers. From this list, you can call three to four customers every week during the marketing period and show them what a renewed collaboration has for them. You can also make more sales with regular customers through targeted remarketing.
Take everything into your own Hands?
Overall, this is not an easy topic, because you can have the best product, if nobody buys it, you will still be left empty-handed. At Tech Startup School, you are not left alone. During the eight-week program, you will develop your own business model and will be advised and accompanied by specialists throughout the entire period. In addition to your own ideas, this also allows you to draw on expert tips.
If you like this approach, click here now and learn more about this unique program.