1. Every year, review your prices upwards to cover inflation & the rise in costs. This creates more profit (per sale). Now if you sell exactly the same number of products as before, both your turnover (sales) and your profits have increased.
2. Decrease your direct costs by asking for further discounts from regular suppliers- Go to all your suppliers and ask them for a better price… ask “Is that the best you can do?” and say nothing till they come up with a better price. Now you are making even more profit per sale.
3. Release underperforming suppliers, customers and staff- This gets rid of the suppliers, customers and employees who make the working day more stressful. This will create a better working environment for your team and remove any customers who are losing you money.
4.Rethink the way you present your business- Start talking to your customers about what they get as a result of buying from you – what’s left after the purchase? Focus on the benefits that they gain from using your product or service. This will improve your sales performance (up sell, cross-sell & referrals)
5. Identify your proposition or uniqueness- What makes you different from the rest? Why should people buy from you rather than the competition? Be able to articulate the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of your business in a way that is truly effective. You should be able to do it in ten words or less.
6. Get more leads, say, 20%.-Go networking, get your business in the local paper, use Google Adwords, learn about social selling and low cost marketing, get up earlier and talk to more people
7. Get better at talking to people, asking for the business and closing the sale- Going to a sales course (and sending your team on one as well) will add 10% to each of the fundamental steps in the sales funnel. Improving by 10% in each of these areas will create more customers.
8. Get your existing customers to buy at least 3% more products – Once they have bought what they usually buy, suggest they purchase an additional product or service. You can do this by cross- selling, up-selling or with suggested bag additions through ecommerce, or as part of your email strategy.
9. Stop them leaving (Client Retention Plan) – Run a customer survey right now if you haven’t already. Simply talking to existing and past customers will generate more business. Most defectors are content but someone else comes along who wants their business more than you.
10. Get customers to buy at least 3% more often – Encourage your customers to come back more often, start sending out a newsletter or social media campaign to get them to visit more often.
11. Collect money quicker, 10 days quicker.- This will mean your bank balance will look healthier, improved cash flows– your bank manager will like this and will be more willing to give you loans or overdrafts in the future.
12. Write cheques slower, 10 days slower – This will again mean your bank balance will look even healthier!
- Decide on which 3 things you can do right now which cost nothing,that you could do to get existing customers talking about you.
- Don’t procrastinate please. The faster you make the tough decisions and get on with it – the sooner you will see the positive results. Take massive action. In reality, there may actually be a deeper, more subtle set of changes required of you.
- It is one thing to recognise what needs to be done and it is great if you make the commitment to implementing the changes.
- The problem is that as well as making the business decisions you also need to act upon them.
- Create simple, easy to understand plans and communicate them with clarity and passion. Then take the massive action required to make the difference needed. This is not about small, nervous, tentative steps but big decisive steps.