Even through volatile economics and a pandemic, new businesses are entering the market. Many businesses have shuttered since 2020, but new ones are replacing them. According to the Census Bureau, many of these are “high propensity,” meaning they have the best outlook for success. As the companies find their footing and seek visibility, they’ll need a local media expert like you. 

So, how do you engage them with smart prospecting and pitches? Let’s find out. 

Applications to Start New Businesses Remain Steady 

In 2021, the number of new business applications hit a record of 5.4 million, surpassing the previous record from 2020 of 4.4 million. Of those, about half were actively hiring employees or showing a propensity for growth. Some of this resulted from the Great Resignation, which involved millions of Americans voluntarily quitting their jobs and redefining their career paths. Others may have been the direct result of new behaviors or needs that the pandemic created. 

The numbers for 2022 were lower than 2021 but still strong. Applications totaled 5.07 million. As you can see in the chart from the Census Bureau, new business applications have steadily increased, with a few dips in the last 10 years. 

With the trend continuing to rise, you have many opportunities to build relationships with these new businesses. Next, we’ll look at some ideas to do this. 

Prospecting for New Businesses: Where to Start 

If you want information about new businesses opening in your city or region, you can find it in a few places. 

  • Look for new members in your local chamber of commerce: These entities exist to promote businesses in a market. They often spotlight new members, so regularly checking their website and even going to events can be a great way to find new prospects. 
  • Read the local business journal: Local publications like this can provide insights on new businesses opening in your area. 
  • Create Google alerts for new business openings: Each day, Google will send you relevant news related to these search terms, and you can localize it, too. 
  • Be on the lookout for new business opening signage: Commercial spaces are where a company starts. Be aware whenever you drive around shopping centers or other business areas for signs about grand openings or hiring. 

From these research approaches, you can begin to gather intel about new businesses entering your market. Depending on what you learn and the type of business, you can then craft your VBR (valid business reason) as an opener. 

Developing a VBR for New Businesses 

A relevant and compelling VBR is your foot in the door. It shows that you took the time to learn about the company and have ideas to help them reach their goals of acquiring new customers, recruitment or general awareness. 

Remember that the VBR should focus on what’s in it for them to meet with you. You can include anecdotes from similar companies and how you’ve helped them. You’re not selling at this point; you’re defining your value as a local expert. From there, you want to continue building the relationship. 

Getting the Meeting and Building the Relationship 

If you secure a meeting, you want to bring fresh ideas to the table with options for both linear and digital advertising. You’ll need to discuss their budgets and their goals. Those two may not always align. For example, they may be keen to launch some SEM (search engine marketing) campaigns, which are vital for awareness. However, if they only have $500 to spend per month, it’s likely not a good fit. Instead, you can recommend other options that fit their spending constraints and objectives. 

A great method for developing the right ad mix is our tool, which gives you recommendations based on eight goals. Showing them something like this demonstrates that you’ve got a plan for what they need now and in the future. 

Throughout these conversations, you’ll provide them with your inside perspective as a market expert. As you explain the many advertising options, they’ll begin to trust your suggestions and consider you a valuable resource. As their business grows, they’ll be ready to invest more advertising dollars with you. 

Get More Insights on Prospecting for New Companies Entering the Market

Prospecting and research are critical in this strategy. You can improve your approaches by watching our on-demand webinar, Research Rocks! How to Use Cool Tools for Selling Smarter.