Archive for February 2013

going down the toiletHere’s the big dilemma…

You are new business looking for customers, or an established business looking for more customers. Either way you need more sales. Chances are you were alerted to this problem from looking at your cash-flow, order book or bank statement.

But to get more businesses you either have to invest some money, time or ideally both. Money you don’t have much off and spending it to get more business accelerates the financial problems if it doesn’t result in more sales. So as you see it in order to solve the problem you need to spend some money, and are very reluctant to do this without some level of guarantee of success. Chances are you look to marketing companies that will do the work to promote you – but at a cut rate price, or promise jam-tomorrow as if the marketing company is any good they will generate more business for you.

You have time though. But you are unlikely to have the skills to develop new business. That’s illustrated by the problem you have at the moment. Your existing customers are not buying as much, going elsewhere or are also feeling the pinch. So you look to find some agents or representatives that will work on a ‘commission only’ basis. Or you turn to the ‘phone book and “smile and dial” hoping to land a new account. Or you go networking and have a regular lunch / breakfast and try to find people who know the kind of customer you are after.

All the above tactics involve either passing on the risk of your business model to others, or take a long time to actually achieve results. Possibly time you don’t have.

How to avoid the above scenario? In response I want to quote a mantra that my first boss would always recite to me.

“When you get busy, don’t stop doing the things that got you busy”

I thought I understood what he meant at the time, but over the years these powerful words continue to resonate with me. Simply put: many people and organisations scale down their activity in generating business once they get busy doing the business. It’s only natural as ‘doing the business’ is often more fun and interesting than the hard, slow slog of getting the business. But that is a risky strategy, especially in a difficult economic climate.

So look back at what got you busy. What have you stopped doing as a result of being busy that got you busy in the first place? And if you’ve never been busy it’s time to develop those sales and networking skills.

Time to re-think the business plan?