10 Mistakes that Reduce Profitability
In my professional experience as a sales and marketing coach/consultant, I've had the opportunity to work with a number of small-business owners on various issues related to sales and marketing. The owners who are struggling to keep their businesses afloat tend to engage in some, or all, of the following mistakes that reduce profitability.
Mistake #1: They fail to market
or market inconsistently.
Solution: Market all the time, every time.
Mistake #2: They hesitate to "ask
for the sale".
Solution: Practice asking for the sale.
Mistake #3: They don't ask for help or assistance in the aspects of the business where they most need it. Most business owners possess strengths in a particular area, but whether by necessity or ignorance, they often end up working in areas that aren't part of their strengths. When business is not going as it should, they delay or procrastinate in asking for help. Each day that goes by, with your business running at less than maximum efficiency, means dollars lost from your pocket.
Solution: Get expert advice from an attorney, accountant or other service professional before you really need it.
Mistake #4: They don't follow up
with past customers.
Solution: Develop and implement a regular method for customer follow up.
Mistake #5: They don't take regular stock of their expenses. Savvy business owners regularly appraise their business expenses and find ways to reduce costs without sacrificing quality. If you haven't completed a cost analysis lately, you might be paying more than you need to be, which will reduce your profitability.
Solution: At least once per quarter review expenses and negotiate for adjustments as appropriate.
Mistake #6: They spend large
amounts on glossy, slick marketing materials and expect business to pour
in without any additional effort.
Solution: Take those glossy brochures and hand them out directly to people at the next possible opportunity.
Mistake #7: They spend a
significant amount of time in low-return activities (as measured by
dollars and personal satisfaction).
Solution: Track your time and figure out how much you're making per hour. Hire an assistant if you're spending the bulk of your time in administrative work.
Mistake #8: They charge less than
Solution: Commit that, at the next opportunity, you will ask for full fee. And then do it.
Mistake #9: They make infrequent
or no use of technology, which could save them time and effort.
Solution: Look for ways that you can make your business processes more efficient by using inexpensive technology.
Mistake #10: They adhere to
outdated business models or plans.
Solution: Attend meetings and conferences that will keep you on target with your market. Implement new means of doing business and update your business plan at least every couple of years.
If you're serious about improving your business' profitability, start by implementing the suggested solutions to these ten common mistakes. Together, these solutions will help you make more money and have more fun in your business. Try them and see.
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Dr. Rachna D. Jain is a sales and marketing coach, author, consultant and speaker. Sign up for her free email newsletter, "Sales & Marketing Secrets" firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com To learn more or to contact Dr. Jain directly, please visit http://www.SalesandMarketingCoach.com
Copyright Success Networks International.
Last Updated 06/02/2004