We all know that the life-blood of any small business is cash flow, cash from clients and customers.

However data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that times are tough for smaller operators and over the past ten years, conditions have worsened.

While small businesses contribute around 35 per cent of industry value to Australia’s GDP, around 20 per cent of small business owners still earn a gross weekly income of between only $400 and $599 – that’s as little as $8 - $10 per hour for their efforts.

To fuel a small business you need to find those clients can afford to pay the right price for the services — and become regular, repeat clients – which then will put the business in a position of strength and power.

The good news is that many of the large companies operating in Australia actively seek to spend on goods and services purchased locally which puts small business owners in a valuable position. For many small business owners, selling to corporate Australia is a game-changer and the best way to get leveraged.

That’s the good news. The challenge however is that it is not always easy to get your foot in the door with large corporations and companies, so here are three ways to help you increase your impact and influence so you see a flow boost in your income:

1 - Create a MAP and follow it

The corporate market is a very attractive, albeit a very large, target market. For a small to medium sized business owner, approaching a market of this size with a scattergun approach would be expensive, time consuming and inefficient. So the first step toward building a full pipeline of corporate clients is to develop a clear MAP (Marketing Action Plan) and then work that plan.

In your MAP you want to determine which types of companies would be the best match for your services or products, align how your services are a good match for the corporate market and develop the action steps to target those relevant companies.

Remember corporates are busy too so you need to be consistent and persistent to get your foot in the door.

2 - Boost your brand presence and profile

In order to get noticed in the marketplace your brand has to stand out from the sea of sameness. For many small business owners — especially if you provide professional services — I encourage you to focus first and foremost on your personal brand versus your company brand. Make sure the decision makers in your target corporates get to know you and what you are about.

Volunteer on a committee, attend business chamber and networking events, speak at events - the more you establish yourself as a thought leader in your field, the more likely a corporate client will be to buy from you.

3 - Be Unique

One problem for small business owners trying to sell to the big end of town is that there are many more of you than there are of them. So you can bet that whatever service or expertise you provide, you're not the only one - nor are you the only one in your field pitching corporate clients.

Therefore you must be clear on what makes your service or offering unique - is it your terms, the way you deliver, the team members, your philosophy? How well you communicate and live this uniqueness is crucial to getting noticed.

The bottom line here is that decision-makers exist all throughout corporations and you can often rise above the noise when you find the more creative ways of engaging or finding a point of entry. If a door opens, walk through it. If you have a creative idea, share it. Some of the most lucrative corporate deals I know of have been closed through chance encounters, off-the-wall marketing tactics and a different approach. The only thing that's certain is that if you don't put yourself in the game, you stand no chance of winning.

Author's Bio: 

CEO, UQ Power and International Company Culture Coach, Heidi Alexandra Pollard says her team are red hot, refreshing renegades, hunting down boring brands, stuck in a sea of sameness and charging them to power up their people, their presence and their profits. Their mission is to help elevate the global playing field for small to mid-sized companies through their unique brand and culture strategies that are easy on the finances, easy to implement and easy to sustain.