How to land your first contract
Putting your best foot forward can help you seal your first deal.
May 06, 2013 10:00 am
Startup entrepreneurs often agonize about booking their first deal. As an unknown supplier, potential clients are often hesitant to engage their services, even if the startup provides a vital service they need. Trust and unfamiliarity issues can often stifle deals and frustrate first timers.
VCargo owner Paulo Tibig had a similar dilemma when he started his business in 1999. He had focused on bundling services for promos and logistics marketing, and positioned his company as a one stop logistics and inventory management provider. He had a hard time getting his first deal, but over time he has learned the nuances of securing hight ticket contracts. Now, his VCargo brand is an emerging player in the local and international cargo and logistics service.
For startups looking to bag their first contract, Tibig recommends the following:
1) Know the market and come up with a unique service
Before starting VCargo, Tibig's wife who worked in marketing frequently told him about the difficulty of finding someone to do 'bundling' services. Bundling services entails putting together products for promotions like free drinking glasses with soft drinks. The process is complicated and manpower intensive, and shipping the finished product often had to be done by a separate contractor.
Capitalizing on this need, Tibig integrated the bundling service with freight forwarding, thereby allowing companies to shoot two birds with one stone, a service the company continues to provide to this day.