If you are a small business, one of your biggest challenges is probably finding leads that fit into the very specific criteria for your industry niche. After all, anyone can find leads, but finding quality leads that are a good fit for your brand services is where it can get tricky.
Where can you find accurate information about businesses that fit into your target audience so that you can reach out to them with your services? Perhaps your online marketing efforts are in the works but you still want to push an outbound effort to source new business opportunities.
Below we will look at some of our favorite sources and methods for finding quality business opportunities that you can then use to help expand your outbound marketing efforts.
3 free ways to find new business opportunities
Search locally on Facebook
We have discussed on multiple occasions the importance of social media for marketing a small business in the SEO-driven internet era. Aside from improving SEO, helping raise brand awareness and improving customer relationships, social media platforms are also useful for finding leads to reach out to with your business services.
You can find leads on platforms like Facebook with a simple search in the top toolbar for the types of businesses you want to target (e.g. plumbers, electricians, coffee shops). The best part of this method is that it will yield local results, which are key demographic small businesses should focus on.
Utilize your local Chamber of Commerce website
Using your local Chamber of Commerce is an easy (and free) way to gather information about area businesses that may be in need of your services.
For instance, our local Nashville Chamber of Commerce has a directory broken down by area and industry:
Find quality connections through the Better Business Bureau
Similarly, you local Better Business Bureau can help you find local businesses that may need your brand’s services.
In addition to having an easy-to-use search field (pictured below)
Using BBB is a great way to find legitimate and trustworthy businesses to work out. This is especially helpful in today’s digital world, where it can be easy to get scammed or reach out to brands that do not really exist.
3 paid ways to find business opportunities
If you are looking for more in-depth information on prospective leads, you may want to consider a paid lead generation service. The good news is that new, useful tools are popping up every day! However, this can make it difficult to figure out which platform will work best for your specific small business needs.
Below we will share some tools we are hearing good things about.
Use Unomy’s lead tools
Unomy’s has an interested list building and lead enrichment tool, as well as a Chrome extension, that allows for you to search for, and find, new business opportunities online in a quick and efficient manner.
Their list building tool allows users to build lists with up-to-date company information by simply adding business names or URLs to their database. Meanwhile, their lead enrichment platform is filled with relevant business information to aid brands in enriching existing customers.
If you want to try it out for free, they offer a demo.
Simple Data is a new platform that does all of the hard work of lead generation for you. This company incorporates the below elements into their services:
- Lead Generation
- Account-based Prospecting
- Lead Enrichment
The best part of the lead generation process is that Simple Data takes over the grunt work. You simply let their team know the exact criteria that you are looking for, and they will generate a CSV of relevant companies and their current contact information that you can incorporate into your CRM to pursue leads immediately.
ZoomInfo offers several useful services for small businesses in the lead generation process.
These features include:
- Contact & Company Search Tools
- Data Management
- Account Targeting
- Campaign Optimization
Our favorite feature of this service is that their company data is meticulously updated through a variety of methods – ensuring you are always pursuing leads that are a good fit for your brand’s services.
You can try a free trial of ZoomInfo.
Let business opportunities come to you
There are a plethora of useful tools out there to help your small business pursue leads. However, these are all outbound methods and must be carried out with extreme care. Do your research on a company before you reach out to them and ensure that you can indeed help them.
A more efficient means of finding new business opportunities is to incorporate an “inbound” method of marketing for your company. Using your website to general quality leads is a solution that will reap benefits for your company for years to come. By focusing on SEO, keywords, social media and creating useful and educational content you can build brand awareness that will bring companies to your brand–eliminating the need for you to actively pursue leads through the types of lead generation discussed above.
One of the most effective and long-lasting approaches to generating more traffic for your website is to outrank your competitors.