Business “best practice” in today’s economy

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on February 05, 2009 in: Business - Plain & Simple, Business Marketing

We’re living in turbulent economic times. Economists are now predicting that most of 2009 will continue this way with a market resurrection in the end of 2009 and through 2010. Larger businesses may have the assets and borrowing power to survive. But smaller businesses do not and many of them are wondering if they’ll survive during the year.

At the risk of sounding like I’m stating the obvious, I feel that it’s important to highlight the one best practice that all businesses should be pursuing this year:

MORE SALES

Businesses need to increase revenue (assuming that they are able to earn some profit on that revenue). When economic conditions are better, businesses can tweak their processes and spend a little more on development and innovation, but in these times they need to sell more, plain and simple.

Here are some tips to help you sell more:

  • List all of your current customers and determine how much they buy from you in a quarter. Then find a way to get them to buy just a little bit more. It might be because of increased value, or it might be because of a promotional sale, or it might be because you’re giving them a discount on a bulk purchase… or any other number of reasons. Make it a goal to increase your per-customer revenue from each customer, even just slightly.
  • List all of your previous customers. Working backwards from most recent to oldest, reconnect with them and entice them back to you. See if you can determine why they no longer buy from you. Do they no longer need your product or service at all or are they buying from someone else instead? Don’t make assumptions – find out!
  • Explore the possibility of offering your products to a slightly different market. First, consider how your current products or services might be attractive to another market. Then, consider how you can slightly modify your products or services to a completely different market.

Approach your increased sales as a project. (Yes, I’m saying that as a project manager, because I know that this method is successful). Build an entire project around the goal of “increased sales” and work with a project manager to drive the project to a successful completion.

Big Bank Balances make Happy Entrepreneurs,

Heather Villa

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