Category Growing a Business
To grow any enterprise, you must continually seek ways to turbo charge it’s engine. You must develop strategies that will drive sales to ever-higher levels while ensuring that your growth in revenues translates into higher cash flow and profits. Essentially there are seven ways to increase revenues. Mastering any one of the seven will produce significant results. Success in all seven will lead to dramatic growth.
Make More Sales
The first and perhaps most obvious way to increase revenues is simply to make more sales. Of course, one of the best ways to accomplish this objective is by expanding your customer base. If you own a restaurant, how can you attract more patrons? If your business supplies parts to OEM’s, what strategy will allow you to sell to a greater number of manufacturers? If you run a print shop, what steps can you take to bring more customers in the door? What new strategies will allow you to attract more customers?
Sell More Often to Existing Customers
In addition to expanding your customer base, you can also make more sales by selling more often to the same customer. Customer acquisition costs can be enormous. Once you have developed a customer, look for ways to increase the number of times you sell to him in any given period. In addition to increasing your sales revenues, such sales will also be more profitable.
By Brian Tracy
Everyone likes to buy, but no one wants to be sold. People don’t like to feel that they are the recipients or the victims of a sales presentation. Most customers are independent in their thinking, and they don’t like to think that they are being manipulated, pressured, or coerced into doing anything. They like to feel as though they are making up their own minds based on good information that has been presented to them.
The best salesperson is perceived as a helper who assists prospects in getting what they want and need. Remember, it is the perception of the customers that, more than anything else determines how the customer behaves toward a salesperson. You must do everything possible to appear to be helping rather than selling.
Unfortunately there are an increasing number of companies seeking Chapter 11 protection. If your client is exhibiting some of the symptoms below, be very, very aware. If you think your client fully fits the paradigm below, in my opinion, try to extricate yourself from the relationship as quickly as possible, and don’t rationalize:
* Your client expanded rapidly in 2006-2007
* Payments are late
* The phone is never answered
* E-mail aren’t replied to
* Voice mail isn’t responded to
* Partial payments made
* Promises that the check will be sent next week
* Increased number of complaints lodged with BBB, on forums, and in social media
* Promises of an upcoming infusion of capital
Some of the above are obvious but its interesting how a few of my peers convinced themselves that all would be well…until their client filed for Chapter 11 protection. I think Jeff Harbaugh does an extraordinary job here in detailing what a Chapter 11 is, and the consequences thereof:
“A Chapter 11 is a “reorganization” bankruptcy. That is, it is filed with the assumption that the filer will use the protection of the court to reorganize its finances so that it can continue as a going concern. That doesn’t always happen, but it’s the intention going in.
There are a number of schedules you have to file with the court when the bankruptcy occurs. These included assets and liabilities, income and costs, a schedule of existing contracts and some others. Typically, the owner of the business becomes the “debtor in possession” and is responsible for the continued management of the business and control of the associated assets. He is in a position of fiduciary responsibility with the same powers and obligations as if a Trustee had been appointed to manage the business. He’s required to file the monthly reports, can hire attorneys, accountants, appraisers or other professionals to help with the case, and file tax returns.
eBrand Media has always been a strong proponent of keeping a security symbol in the homepage “hero” spot. Every site guest arrives with a degree of anxiety and their anxiety level increases exponentially as they move further down the shopping funnel towards the cart. Every friction point should be removed for the purpose of bringing form and function together to create an online store that is positive, easy to navigate, pleasant to be in and conducive to frequent and extended visits.
Clarity, clarity, clarity, and if you think you’ve given enough clarity, give some more.
The prospect of identity theft has led the majority of online users–53 percent–to stop giving out personal information online, according to a study released by Consumer Reports WebWatch.
Additionally, 30 percent of the consumers surveyed reported reducing their overall use of the Web, while 25 percent say they no longer make online purchases, according to WebWatch. The report, “Leap of Faith: Using the Internet despite the Dangers,” was based on a survey of 1,501 online adults.
The results show a growing concern about identity theft, said Beau Brendler, director of WebWatch. “There’s been a pretty steady drumbeat over the last three years about it,” he said. In addition, the wave of headlines about security breaches at databases has led consumers to rethink how to best protect their personal data, he said.
A previous study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project also revealed that consumers had changed their online behavior, partly because of security concerns. The Pew study, “Spyware,” concluded that fears of spyware and adware had driven 48 percent of Web users to stop visiting certain Web sites.
In keeping with this theme we’d to share a valuable case study with you that we came across in our virtual library, obtained from a leading marketing journal.
eBrand Media has always been a proponent of relationship management. This is done in a number of ways; give and get clarity, stay away from presenting yet another emotional “dog and pony show”, target your offer based on expressed preferences, and give something valuable to the recipient for free. If you’re using social media, personalize your homepage, and be willing to accept the possibility that you may have to give more than you get back.
The giving away of something is of critical importance. This invokes what is known as the reciprocity rule. It’s deeply ingrained in all of us. Society was built on it. I do something for you, I give you something, and the unspoken agreement is that you’ll reciprocate. E-mail is a great way to create, cultivate, and manage relationships with clients, and customers.
Sending an e-mail is so cheap you might as well send e-mail to every as often as possible, right? Besides the ROI is so good at the beginning why wouldn’t you, correct? Dead wrong, say, Arthur Middleton Hughes and Arthur Sweetser. Hughes is senior strategist and Sweetser chief marketing officer at e-Dialog, an e-mail service provider that was acquired last year by e-commerce technology provider GSI Commerce Inc.
They argue that bombarding consumers with e-mail blasts is akin to hunting, in that the marketer is setting traps, hoping to capture new customers. Instead, marketers should adopt a strategy more analogous to farming, cultivating their best customers by sending them relevant e-mails and using e-mails to build a relationship. At one major retailer an e-Dialog analysis found that 1% of the customers on the list accounted for 50% of the revenue from e-mail marketing, Sweetser says. But the retailer was not marketing to those customers differently. And that’s not atypical, he says. “Maybe 10% of our e-commerce retailers have messaging tailor to prior purchase and loyal customers,” Sweetser says.