When you startup a new business, knowing how to sell what people want may be the single most important factor of sparking success in your startup on main street, or online. The stellar opportunity to solve a problem, fill a need, and ignite a firestorm of sales, can be a one-up opportunity. It may never come again.
Igniting a fire under those initial sales options can make or break your business startup.
Significant understanding of the needs you can and will fulfill for your specific market are as important as any other single thing you can learn prior to igniting the fire of a new business. If you can’t be a solution in your market, you’ve no business in that market.
Before you light your fire. Before you strike your match. And before you spark your business into existence, know and understand the impact your business can have on your market. Can you provide absolute value?
1 – Provide Resources
Wrap your mind around this concept before you enter the business arena. No matter what business you’re entering, you should be the absolute resource for that generic niche of the industry. The coolest gadget on the market can be purchased from any store, but if you’re not providing the gadget and all information connected with that gadget, you’ll never corner the market.
You always want to be the cornerstone for resources in your market. Whether you provide those resources online, or through consulting calls, or visits. Be that resource. By providing that one thing greater than any other business, you’ll attract more, and better customers.
2 – Move Cash Fast
The faster you can start bringing in cash from your business, the faster your business will become profitable. Making money is a primary objective for any business, because profit is necessary to keep the doors open. So, once you’ve figured out how to solve problems for your market, you need to start charging for those services.
How much you charge will depend on your market, the service you’re providing, and the quality /consistency of your services. Cash flow includes not only incoming cash, but also outgoing cash. You don’t want cash simply coming into your business, because that may make you money, but it doesn’t benefit your business growth in the long run. Spending money on your business is almost as important as earning money. What you spend, ultimately will determine and impact the growth of your business.
3 – Cut Startup Costs
As much as you want that cash flowing both in and out of your business, you don’t want it going out for the wrong reasons or the wrong things. Think about the way you’re spending money and cut any excessive spending.
You need some basic business equipment, marketing tools, and support systems. One thing you don’t want to cut out is anything that helps your business to grow. Marketing, your website, and any staff required to keep the doors open for regular business hours. Use those basic costs to make more money and profit.
Expenses you might be able to cut, include extra support staff. Consider outsourcing?
4 – Focus on Conservative Expectations
One important concept you won’t want to miss is over estimating costs, and under estimating revenues. Setting up some expectations for your business and presetting goals to keep you focused on achievement are important. But don’t set your expectations at GOAL level, until you’re actually making those goals.
Know the reality as well as the focus. It’s important to know where you really are in your business, income expectations.
5 – Market Religiously
The fundamental basis of your future profits resides in your current marketing efforts. No matter how much business you have happening today, if you don’t keep up with the marketing needs of your business, your business will fail.
This is an absolute.
Don’t neglect the marketing required to keep your business running smoothly and bringing in consistent NEW business. Without the new business, your business stagnates and loses ground.
Dedicate time and effort to marketing your business EVERY SINGLE DAY.
6 – Consistently Increase Profit
In every business situation, you’ll hear owners talk about maintaining business profit, but you don’t hear a lot about increasing profit. When your profit stagnates, and new business mentioned above isn’t coming in regularly to increase your profit margins, your business ceases to grow.
Functionally, you may be okay to maintain current profits, if you don’t intend on growing, or increasing your personal income, but most of us desire to improve our standards of living regularly. For this reason alone, improving your business profits is an important part of igniting the first sparks in your business.
Know the profit igniters in your business:
- Leads. How many leads do you need to make a sale? Do you have enough leads in your business market to increase the profit margins? Are you consistently selling to new clients? Know where to obtain leads for your business and how to bring them in as buying clients.
- Conversion Rates. How many of those leads actually convert to buying clients? How many buying clients return to buy again? Knowing the conversion rate, and understanding how much each conversion is expected to buy over the lifetime of each client will help you to increase buyers.
- Average Dollar Sale. How much of your product, or services, will each customer purchase? What is the average purchase of each customer?
- Number of Transactions. Surprisingly, the number of transactions you can expect from each buying customer will average out, and you’ll be able to determine how many you can expect each one to purchase from you. The best part is, you’ll be able to determine expectations once you understand their reason for purchasing… And even better, when you figure these things out, you’ll understand better how to market to your customer base. The whole program will work better as you know these details.
- Profit Margin Per Client. As you understand the buying power, you’ll begin to understand the functional profit margin gained from each client.
7 – Track Results & Test All Actions
Number seven because this is the one single most important thing you can do to understand your business growth patterns. Track all results and test all actions taken. Any marketing efforts should be tested, and you must have a solid process in order to know what marketing efforts are working, and what marketing efforts fail.
It’s okay to know that you have failures, and it’s okay to sometimes fail in marketing, because your failures teach you what not to do. In the very same way as your successes show you how to succeed again, failures teach you how to step up those actions and do what’s required for marketing your business to get results.
8 – Impact Earning By Learning
If you haven’t run a million dollar business, you don’t need to give up, you need to learn what it takes. Start with baby steps by learning how to STARTUP a business. Move through the steps and take time to learn each one.
Never stop learning.
The more you learn about your industry, the more you can share, and the more you can earn in your industry. There’s a reason why most industries have built in higher-education plans in the basic business model. To improve your knowledge about any industry, you just have to plan to learn.
Take time to make a plan how you will learn more about your business and then go do it. Yes, it is that important.
9 – ALWAYS add Value
Once you’ve set your price points, the basis of your business becomes well grounded in those points. Discounting your products devalues your basis. Instead of discounting, add value.
You have many ways to add value to your product, and most of them will cost you nothing.
A local business owner sought a variety of methods to increase his value to customers, and most of those ways and means were costing him an arm and a leg. The overhead was killing him. The cost of doing business was eating him alive.
He hired a consultant who looked over his business details and recommended he increase his prices by 35% across the board, and invest in “presentation” for end of sale.
Previously when his customers walked out with his products they carried them in plastic bags similar to any box store. After the consultant shifted his presentation, they carried their products out in corded handle paper bags with his label and logo stenciled across the front of the bag in a contrasting color.
Every customer advertised his business as they carried his merchandise through the shopping center. Within a few days his foot traffic had increased, and he was gaining bigger sales from his online marketing, because his brand was easily recognized.
He increased his prices. He added value. Marketing became part of EVERY sale.
Add value. Make sure your clients know how much you appreciate them by adding value to every single sale you make. They’ll pay your price, if you’re adding value and quality to their service and products.
10 – Hire a Coach
You can’t do it alone. Nobody can. We rely on others in every day life, in family life, in our business life, we need other people. That’s the reality we live with. Mentors are important, because they add value, confidence, and support to our needs. Their input will assist us in growing stable, progressively developing businesses with growing profit margins.
You need a coach. Hire a coach who will improve your marketing efforts, add value to your customer resources, and impact your business positively.
This initial checklist should clarify your sense of direction, but more importantly you should gain confidence in knowing that you’re making wise decisions for your business.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Join a business network and share your expertise while gaining from the experience and expertise of others. Participate in co-op business development events, conferences, and workshops where you can learn more about doing business.
Kevin Cullis pours vast amounts of knowledge into his Fish Tank Startups Workshops – and schedules them frequently in and around the Denver Metro Area – you should find the next one and work it into your schedule.
Jan Verhoeff is a professional web designer, online marketer, and content developer. If you’re in need of web design services, she is available for hire at www.DenverWebStudio.com
List Building with Jan
Every marketer knows that building your business successfully starts with a list. You need a list. Grow your list, by posting a sign in space on your website, in your blog, on the side bar, and anywhere else necessary to capture your ‘interested persons’ and get their email. The reason you need a list is more than sales. Of course, you’ll be sharing products and services opportunities with your list, but more than anything else, you’ll be sharing your message. Your people will want to have access to your message first, up front, and before anyone else gets it. Share it through your list. But first… Build the list. Invite your people to sign up for your mailing list, so they can see your message first. Click the graphic to learn more.