Reading Time: 4 minutes

Grow Your Business

All businesses need clients. The more clients who spend more money with you the more potential for profit there is.

Some of the biggest businesses in the world have millions or even billions of clients.

But how can you get more clients?

Ways To Get Clients

Word of mouth referrals is one of the best ways to get new clients. If you have a great product or great price for your services, your happy clients will tell others about you.

Advertising your services is another way to get new clients. It is the art of letting people know (1) that you exist and (2) what you offer and how it can benefit them.

What it Costs To Get Them In

Businesses need to track how much it is costing them to get new clients.

This is often called the Client Acquisition Cost (CAC).


           (Adverts & Marketing)

_______________________       =  Client Acquisition Cost

        # of new clients


How Much It Costs To Help Them

Once acquired, you next need to look at how much your average client spends with you.

If you spend R100 to get a client who spends R90 with you… there is a problem.

If you spend R2000 to get a client who spends R6000 with you…well, you may have a good CAC. But you also need to figure out how much it costs you to look after that client, and give them the service or product you offer.

If it costs you R100 to get a client who spends R150 with you it might seem like you are winning, but.. what if it costs you another R100 to offer them your service or product?

You have actually lost R50 and will soon be out of business.

CAC and Debt Review

Although many people in South Africa have debt problems, not many choose to do anything meaningful about their predicament.

Debt is complex, and the emotions around dealing with debt are tricky.

Though people may have heard about debt review, few have taken the time to get an accurate picture of how it works, and if it might be right for them.

People are more likely to try get more credit to solve their problems than to research how to get out of debt using debt review.

In South Africa, the National Credit Act lays the primary responsibility of educating consumers about debt review with the National Credit Regulator (NCR).

But those who offer debt review services also have a vested interest in telling others about the process, and spend many, many millions each month attempting to do so.

Varying Costs of Getting Clients

Smaller practices who rely on word of mouth may have a client acquisition cost of less than R2500 on average.

Medium sized practices who take on more clients each month, may end up spending R3000 or R3500 per client they sign up.

National practices that compete heavily with one another on platforms like Facebook or Google may end up paying over R3500 – R6000 to acquire a client.

Now, those in the industry may sigh when they see those figures, as very often the initial fee that a client pays is similar to those figures, and sometimes much less than that.

This means that the Debt Counsellor will be “working for free” until their client has paid their debt well for a good number of months before they begin to make +-R175 (ave.) a month.

It may take many, many months or possibly years until the Debt Counsellor starts to break even.

When Considering Fees

If you have control over your pricing structure in your business or industry, then always factor in both the cost to acquire a client, as well as the cost to service a client.

Make sure your fees cover both these costs with a little profit too.

‘At present, an industry body is looking over the timing of the fees for debt review’

At present, an industry body is looking over the timing of the fees for debt review. There is even talk of spreading the initial fee out over several months. This scares Debt Counsellors a lot.

One of the “hidden” costs that is sometimes not immediately obvious, is the cost to acquire a client. If the initial fees are spread out even further, it will seriously impact the ability to acquire new clients and run a debt counselling practice.


Due to its massive impact on cashflow and resources to be able to market to new clients. Some even say it will result in at least 2/3rds of the industry shutting down within a few weeks, which would be sad and problematic.