10 Tips for Starting the Business Year

So here are some suggestions for increasing sales and generating that revenue stream required to keep busy increasing and building relationships:

  1. Go through your ledger and find the top sales items and check that you have actually been paid for each of them. Now is the time to follow up those customers and send them a New Year wishes card [everyone does Christmas cards] and thank them for their support over the year.
  2.  Any outstanding accounts justify a personal call from one of your top sales team (or you and your business partners) to talk about their business plans and only at the end ask if they could assist you by completing payments before the end of the month
  3. Identify the pattern of purchases of these items in previous good times and send out a special offer (not a discount) to them suggesting that it may be appropriate to start planning to restock or restore business developments now that there are new consumers coming back into the market
  4. At the same time it is important to break down the sales prospects on the basis of the level of risk that is represent as it is essential to maintain good control of risks, billing patterns, revenue collection and bad debt supervision.
  5. Have a sales meeting with your whole team at least once a fortnight so that everyone is aware of the items that make the greatest contribution to the survival of the business and encourage everyone to cross-sell related merchandise and services.
  6. Draw up a sales flow chart that ensures what works and what can cost sales performance, including following up on customer inquiries, prompt attention to orders, inventory management and thank you notes to customers who are vital contributors to the business success.
  7. Go through advertising and promotion material and break it down into three categories – will this bring new business, reinforce repeat business or merely build brand recognition and then apply the rule that the first attention is on repeat business, the second is on new business and brand promotions can wait until next financial year.
  8. Focus sales and marketing efforts on main stream lines that directly impact upon customers lifestyles, and business development activities so that you aim to build a customer relationship and not just another one-time purchase.
  9. Make sure that all staff take a little extra time with credit card payments, using the time taken to ring up the order to make sure that the signature on the card matches and asking for cash when a card proffered has been maxed out.
  10. Ensure that you keep your bank manager aware of the efforts that you are making to keep the business growing and keep your family aware that now is not the time to go out and spend as they are vital members of the sales team for the next few months.

Dr Colin Benjamin is Entrepreneurship and Strategic Thinking Consultant at
Marshall Place Associates, which offers a range of strategic thinking tools that open up possibilities for individuals and organisations committed to applying the processes of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Contact: CEO Dr Jane Shelton.

LifeStyle Refocus is a Melbourne based personal assistant, corporate concierge and lifestyle management consultancy. They are all about saving you TIME. By taking care of your “to do or wish list” so you can spend time doing the things that are truly important to you.

For more information go to www.lifestylerefocus.com.au or contact Silvana on 0417 595 744 or Michele on 0437 311 802.

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