generating new customer leads

I have a friend who is starting some type of network services one-man show and I wanted to help him by doing research on how to obtain new customers.  Someone suggested to sign up for some type of service where you can search for new business company's that have started within the past couple of months, but I don't know what websites are available for this?  Also, would cold calling from the yellow pages a good idea?

How can I point him in the right direction?
vulture714Asked:
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marine7275Commented:
Networking, Marketing, and pounding the pavement. He needs to begin by making phones calls to everyone he knows first and let them know what he is doing and what services he will be offering. Much work in the beginning will come by word of mouth, etc. Second he needs to create a website and print some fliers and cards out and have available to hand out. Lastly he needs to go knocking on business doors and sell himself and his services. He could pound pavement in the morning and make cold calls from the yellow pages in the afternoon. Hit law offices, accounting firms, etc first that you know always needs an IT guy. The big thing is not to get discourged because he will be shut down many times before he gets a customer. But if he takes care of his customers, 5 customers can turn into 10 really quick!!

Hope this helps.
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marine7275Commented:
Also be available 24x7 in the beginning. Return phone calls not matter what your doing.
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marine7275Commented:
Also, only do work that you know you can do. It will give you a bad reputation if you screw something up or provide sub-standard service. This is another reason why networking is important so you have other 1 man shops who specialize in different stuff that you can refer to and vice versa.
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robc00Commented:
If the target audience is covered by regulator bodies you could refer to their websites for membership lists, but bare in mind that you should bide by the marketing rules govening the contacting private indiviuals, B2B is a different story.
Secondly find a company that provides a complementary service and join forces - this adds the benefit of using there credability.  You may not get direct access to their database but they could include you in marketing material if they can see benefit in what you are offering.
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marine7275Commented:
Take business and financial classes too. Once you start to get customers, you need to know how to keep them and what to do with your money.
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vulture714Author Commented:
Robc00,

Can you provide an example?
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vulture714Author Commented:
Also, someone mentioned that he needs some type of business certificate or something along those lines when doing business with bigger company's, is true?  If so, can you provide more info?
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notacomputergeekCommented:
Join your local Chamber or BBB. Larger companies may ask for comprehensive insurance coverage or at least errors and omissions insurance. If your friend decides to put his shingle out, he should incorporate, probably as a sole-member LLC. All these things I mentioned add credibility and show companies you are serious about a long-term commitment.
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