Are You Like a Salmon?

In my former life, I was a purchasing agent for a seafood company.  This time of year reminds me of the salmon runs.  During the summer months, many wild salmon species take the journey back to their birthplace to spawn and ultimately end their lives. 

Their upstream journey is a challenging one, swimming against rugged rapids, leaping over rocky waterfalls, traversing fish ladders, avoiding fishermen nets, and staying clear of hungry bears. When they finally reach their natal stream, they are ready to spawn. This is an amazing and focused journey calling them to do what comes naturally.

Some of us make such a journey to find new clients or maintain those we currently enjoy.  While the economy has kept some businesses from flourishing, others have maintained and grown over the past few years in spite of those pitfalls.

Nowadays we have to think outside the box with our marketing and face the challenges of competition, less disposable income, overcoming objections, and differentiating ourselves by creating benefits clients simply can’t live without.

On the flip side, I’m looking for the clients who are like the salmon – the clients who will go through the upstream battle to find the most professional support, the BEST level of service and technology to create the ‘can’t live without’ message that reaches that ideal client who helps them grow their business during tough economic times.

There are only a few ways to grow a business, no matter what the economic situation:

  • Find new clients
  • Sell more to current clients
  • Raise prices

Finding new clients is probably the most expensive way to grow your business, but one that can certainly yield great results if you have the right plan and consistent implementation. 

Getting involved with social media is a great way to keep costs to a minimum; but expand your exposure to current and targeted clients that can help you grow your business and develop your brand while learning about the challenges and problems you may be able to solve that you hadn’t ever considered doing.

Selling more to current clients is also a low-cost option to grow your business. 

Mention new products or services on your invoices, on an insert inside the envelope with your invoice, on social media, in a monthly e-zine, or create a special promotion to help establish new products and services at little to no cost.

Raising prices, although certainly understandable, may be the most difficult option to consider.  Perhaps it’s best to begin quoting higher prices (if possible) to new incoming clients and wait a few months before raising prices to your entire client base.  This allows you to test to see what the market will bear as it relates to your specific product or service.

So where are you in the life cycle of my salmon story?  Ready to look for those clients who are willing to swim upstream to get to your product or service?  And are you willing to leap over rocky waterfalls and traverse rough waters to find the most professional support you need? 

Whatever you decide, increase your marketing time and investment if you want to grow your business, or take a chance you’ll get left behind.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit:, or contact her at