Proven Strategies to deal with the Loss of a Large Client or Customer

Achieve Your Dreams, Perth’s pre-eminent business coaching service, specialising in lead generation strategies to increase sales, customers and clients and give you, the business owner, greater success and control over your business, presents another insight into Business Coaching.

It doesn’t happen very often, but it can and does happen – you get notification that your services are no longer required from a large client – maybe up to 40% of your annual income.

Having a customer represent 10% of your income is risky!  I knew it and made the decision to move forward anyway.  On the one hand, large customers can be a blessing – following Warren Buffets saying to “Keep all your eggs in one basket, but watch that basket closely.”  But on the other, you need to know your mix and be certain you have some diversity in your customer base.

I know other business owners with a single customer representing 35% of their income – to me this isn’t a client but a stick of dynamite.  35% is just too much, I don’t know how the guy slept at night.  He assured me that he had it all well in hand and the account was solid but you just NEVER know what the future brings and to rely on so much of your income from a single source is more risk than I could handle. http://www.technologyassociates.net/recovering-from-the-loss-of-a-major-client/

You can prepare for the loss of a large client if you ask yourself these questions?

  • “What will happen to your company if you lose your biggest client?
  • Has your customers’ environment changed? How can you modify your product or service to better meet their needs?
  • Is there “dead wood” in your company? Who isn’t contributing to the bottom-line in a meaningful way? How can you get someone more effective to do the job?
    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/218163

So what do you do?

Don’t panic, remain calm, sleep on it and call your contact to find out why – accept the truth, and don’t start an argument, or beg to be taken back or given another chance. Push for the truth – don’t be fobbed off with excuses – this can be a defining moment in your life!

Ask the client why, and who they’re doing business with now? Ask yourself whether you understood their expectations, and if not, whether this was preventable? Evaluate whether your firm could or should even try to meet their expectations? And ask yourself if this is part of a larger pattern, or just an isolated incident? https://hbr.org/2015/01/how-to-handle-losing-a-major-client

Once you know why you lost your client spend some time reflecting on the reasons – if you were in any part to blame, then accept that and resolve to do better in the future, and move on.

“As a former Navy SEAL, I can assure you that you won’t win every battle. The goal is to win the war. The same applies to building a business. As an entrepreneur, I have experienced losses at all levels. But the one that stings the most is losing a customer. And losing your biggest client can feel devastating, whether your company is big or small. 

But it doesn’t have to be. Here are the nine things you need to do for your company so you’re positioned to recover quickly when you lose your largest customer. 

  1. Be flexible with your staffing
  2. Audit current processes
  3. Perform an after-action review
  4. Fix it
  5. Audit your other accounts
  6. Make responsible cuts
  7. Sell, but thoughtfully.
  8. Do a morale check
  9. Don’t lose heart
  10. Nobody likes losing customers, but it happens. Have a plan, stay positive, and keep moving forward. If you do this, it will sting less each time. https://www.inc.com/brent-gleeson/a-9-step-plan-to-recovering-after-you-lose-your-biggest-customer.html

If you have a coach or mentor, call them and talk to them so you can get clarity on your next step.

Now you need to make plans to replace the income from your lost client. The chances of finding another large client is a short time aren’t good, so it may be better to concentrate your efforts of getting several smaller clients, at least to begin with. This will spread your risk, and each new client you get gives you the possibility of getting referrals, and hence more clients and income.

Start by making a list of the attributes of your lost client – size, turnover, and industry etc. Also look at the company’s competitors, both direct and indirect, as long as there is no ethical or legal reason, and other companies in that market segment. Don’t limit yourself to a specific geographical region – has the company other branches, franchises etc.?

Once you have a list, see if you know anyone within any of these companies, or someone who could introduce you. Look on LinkedIn and see if you can find a contact you could connect with.

Next work out how you won the client in the first place – write down all the reasons you can think of – was it your expertise in a particular area, have you a process that’s unique, or maybe some other reason?

Once you have that information, action is needed – start calling people you know – find out as much as you can about your target companies, find out whom to contact and do that – by phone is best, but if you can’t get through, get the email address, or fax number and send them information. The important thing is to get started – don’t wait for the perfect introduction. If you connect using LinkedIn suggest you meet for coffee, lunch etc. Once you meet, don’t assume you know the ‘pain points’ – ask what’s their biggest challenge and listen. Find out what they have done to alleviate the problem, their budget, and timeframe, and suggest you get back to them with a solution within a few days. Don’t spent too much time with possible client’s with long time frames at this time – time frames can often get extended.

Try to divide your days in half – half to find new clients and half to find solutions. Keep in touch with your contacts without being a pest. Always ensure you underline the benefits to them, both financially and socially.

Whilst in this phase, network in circles that can get you work as much as you can, and try to continue this practice even after you get work.

Also, try these suggestions: this is for accounting practices, but applies to all small businesses:

  1. “MARKET – Learn how to market your practice towards the smaller business clients so that you are more dependent on the smaller yearly income streams and in this way reduce your reliance on any one particular client.  This is a sound move that every new accounting practice should put in place so that if you lose a smaller client it won’t have an effect on your bank balance, as much as a larger client.
  2. SHARE – You may wish to consider moving in with another smaller practice so you can both achieve lower operational costs through economies of scale. You will then be able to utilise staff better, as well as equipment, premises expenditure and office services.
  3. MERGE or BUY– You may want to consider purchasing another smaller practice and incorporating its fee base into your own. Or consider merging your practice with another to form a stronger client base and benefit from the combined resources. http://www.startrungrow.com/accountant/recover-from-loss-of-large-accounting-client.htm

And these:

“Have an active sales process

The best way to prepare for the inevitable change in clients is to have an active sales process.  Sales is the lifeblood of business.  No matter how awesome your service is, customers will leave.  Being able to replace them is key to the long-term survival of any business.

Waiting until there is a big shakeup from a client is the worst possible time to think you are going to go out and get a customer to replace the lost business.  New customer acquisition simply must have the same time and attention devoted to it that you do to ensuring your current customers are being serviced properly.

I could write volumes on this (and probably will) but in the mean time, be sure you are doing a little something each and every week to meet new prospects and to stay in touch with prospects you have met in the past.

http://www.technologyassociates.net/recovering-from-the-loss-of-a-major-client/

Other strategies to try include phoning others in your industry to get sub contract work, and while chatting ask if they know of any work available, and let them know your speciality, check tenders in newspapers, but get assistance if you have never tendered before, attend industry meetings and get known. Hire a business coach to get support and ideas and clarify your market and what you are really trying to achieve. They will also be able to assist you with building a practical sales funnel, improving your SEO and raising your Google search ranking.

Hopefully you will now have some idea about how react to losing a large client and even how to prevent such a loss. If you need assistance, please contact us immediately.

If you know of anyone who is struggling for sales / income send them a link to this blog, or request they make an immediate appointment for their FREE initial consultation. Don’t let them perish – it’s a very long road back! Thanks for reading this blog, why not subscribe to get it send directly to your inbox weekly?

Don’t worry about cost – all our services come with 100% money back guarantee and can start from $97 +GST per month, plus a contingency fee of your increased sales (paid quarterly from collected sales only), and can be paid by bank transfer or Credit Card.

There is lots of information available about marketing and lead generation, so we will leave that for another time, but in the meantime check this https://ayd.net.au/the-importance-o…eneration-system/, and this https://ayd.net.au/can-you-use-10000-or-more-in-extra-income-this-year/ and there is an article titled 24 Ways To Defeat Competition go here to download

We would welcome approaches from other business bloggers to write a guest post, or be invited to write a guest post.

The Magical 80/20 rule

Achieve Your Dreams, Perth’s pre-eminent business coaching service, specialising in lead generation strategies to increase sales, customers and clients and give you, the business owner, greater success and control over your business, presents another insight into Business Coaching.

Almost everyone has heard of the 80/20 rule, but few understand its use and value. This is a rule developed by Vilfredo Pareto and published in his book “Cours d’Économie Politique” Professé a l’Université de Lausanne. Vol. I, 1896; Vol. II, 1897. Vilfredo Pareto.

What is states is that 80% of the output results from 20% of the inputs, and this appears to be manifested everywhere in nature. Pareto started looking at wealth distribution in the USA and found that 80% of the wealth was owned by 20% of the population, but also found that 80% of his garden peas were produced by 20% of the seedlings. This is evidence to suggest that the ratio 80/20 is a minimum and in some cases can be as high as 99/1, but let’s stick with the minimum.

So, for a business you can lay odds that 80% of the income will be produced by 20% of your customers, and 80% of your time will be spent placating the 20% of your customers / clients that cause the you the most headaches and keep you from more productive endeavours. These are not your best customers, who rarely cause you headaches – these are the customer who usually buy the least, expect exceptional personal service and almost demand you do the impossible. This 80/20 rule also applies to your product / services range.

Once your business is reasonably well established you can run a sales analysis to work out your best selling products / services, and your best customers (by sales value). Wouldn’t you want more of these? Of course you would, so profile these customers, find out why they buy from you and see if you can get more of these customers. To profile a customer, use information about spending habits, when orders are placed, location of customer, how product is purchased, age, product, product classes, delivery options etc. This is extremely important and will increase your sales significantly, as you must already appeal to this type of customer.

This can raise the issue of what to do with the 80% of your ‘non productive’ customers. Again, 80% of these will be “OK”, with the 20% being ‘troublesome’. You can run an analysis of what they buy, and if you find commonality, you can delete those products from your range. If you have other staff, you might try getting another staff member to look after these customers, or possibly only taking orders from them via fax or email – it’s best not to ‘upset’ these customers, but be firm about what you will and will not accept as customer behaviour, freeing your time up to look after and protect your best customers – make sure you spend time with your best customers and get to understand why they buy from you, and how you can assist them further (adding products / services, drop shipping etc.).

Look elsewhere in your business – you may find you buy 80% of your supplies from one supplier – maybe you could negotiate and better deal. Maybe one supplier is hard to deal with and take up far too much time in proportion to the orders you place – again it’s best not to ‘upset’ these suppliers, but be firm about what you will and will not accept from your suppliers.

If you have staff, the same 80/20 rule may also apply – ensure that you address imbalances in employee productivity, or you may risk losing your best employees. Speak to any employee whose productivity is below par in an assertive way and offer more training, if that’s the problem. If the problem persists, you may have to consider replacing that employee

As your business grows, you may find that ‘bottlenecks’ appear – the same 80/20 rule will apply – find the source of the bottleneck and try to clear it permanently.

Finally, use the same rule to ascertain and maintain your job satisfaction. If 80% of your time is spent with ‘awkward’ customers, you are unlikely to be happy, if the opposite is true, then you are likely to be much happier and get lots more job satisfaction. As the business owner you have the option to choose who you deal with, exercise that option whenever you can – take control of your business – it’s yours!

Hopefully you will now have some idea about how the 80/20 rule operates within a small business. If you need assistance, please contact us immediately.

If you know of anyone who is struggling for sales / income send them a link to this blog, or request they make an immediate appointment for their FREE initial consultation. Don’t let them perish – it’s a very long road back! Thanks for reading this blog, why not subscribe to get it send directly to your inbox weekly?

Don’t worry about cost – all our services come with 100% money back guarantee and can start from $97 +GST per month, plus a contingency fee of your increased sales (paid quarterly from collected sales only), and can be paid by bank transfer or Credit Card.

There is lots of information available about marketing and lead generation, so we will leave that for another time, but in the meantime check this https://ayd.net.au/the-importance-o…eneration-system/, and this https://ayd.net.au/can-you-use-10000-or-more-in-extra-income-this-year/ and there is an article titled 24 Ways To Defeat Competition go here to download

We would welcome approaches from other business bloggers to write a guest post, or be invited to write a guest post.

Proven Strategies To Reduce Or Eliminate Small Business Risks

Achieve Your Dreams, Perth’s pre-eminent business coaching service, specialising in lead generation strategies to increase sales, customers and clients and give you, the business owner, greater success and control over your business, presents another insight into Business Coaching.

“Nothing ventured; Nothing gained,” is a very old saying, and in my experience very true. Here is what Mark Zuckerberg has to say about risk, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” Mark Zuckerberg https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/risks Note, Mark says ‘guaranteed to fail’, not maybe fail!

Life is a risk; we never know what will happen, so what if we identify and calculate some of the risks in business and see where that leads us?

I presume the greatest risk in business is to go broke, so let’s investigate the causes of going broke, and the opposite, what is it that successful businesses do that makes them winners. Figures vary from 70 – 90% of all small businesses will cease with 5 – 10 years, and the reasons often given are lack of capital, lack of business experience, and bad management. These figures appear to be consistent across the Western World, but do all these businesses end up going broke? No, most, well over 50% simply can’t generate the income they need to sustain the business, so they give up and go back to finding employment. Most have an untested idea, no business plan, little capital and they start in a highly competitive field like hairdressing, open a salon, and wait for customers. They have little experience in business, and few business skills outside hairdressing, they have no Unique Selling Point (USP) and expect people to use their services, because it’s their business. Some of these people are very talented; they just don’t understand business and have no business model, except maybe part of that used by the person who trained them.

Even more tradesmen ‘fall’ into business after being approached by a builder or a firm they worked for – everything goes great until the work ‘dries up’, or there is an economic downturn. Most of this group spend every cent they make, sometimes including money collected on behalf of the Tax Department and often buy expensive vehicles on a Lease or Hire Purchase, so when the downturn comes they have high overheads, and the business folds and they go back to working for a tradesman.

Many more become ‘consultants’ to the company they previously worked for, and that usually works well until the large company starts making demands for lower fees or increased productivity, or sometimes experience a ‘cash flow’ issue and rein in expenses. Other large companies go into liquidation, leaving untold debts to smaller sub contractors.

So, what is it the successful entrepreneurs do, that is different? Most of these have plans, big plans, and they have a team to surround them – they get the advice they are lacking and they use it. Look at Roger Federer, whose winnings exceed $US120,000,000 and untold sponsorship deals making him a very wealthy man, or Novak Djokovic, who, although not winning quite the same amount, is still very wealthy. Yes, these people have talent, but so do some of the entrepreneurs who fail – talent alone is not enough, it needs developing. Successful people have a team to surround them – listen to Roger or Novak thank their team after winning a championship. They know the value of a team.

Every person has at least one talent, but successful people complement their talents with the people in their team, who have talents they don’t possess. That’s the difference in a nutshell. Do you think Roger Federer knew how to promote himself, get his tennis skills to where they are today, look after his body, eat the right foods, keep fit, fix his injuries, book all his flights and accommodation, develop his PR skills to the level they are today, and organise his life, family and business interest without assistance – of course not. His level of skill, both on and off the tennis court, is honed to a very high level, and so he is very marketable to the public. It’s such a pity our (Australian) younger tennis players can’t seem to follow the example of these greats of the game.

Suffice to say that life, never mind business, can present a hidden ‘minefield’ to those with less experience of this world. Many of those who are successful, both in and out of the sporting world, met a mentor at an early age, and continued the habit throughout life. Their mentors no doubt suggested they got specialised advice on the topics they were unsure of, and the mentor became part of a wider team.

So, I suppose the next logical step is identifying the risks of being in business. This is very difficult if you have little or no experience of being in business, and you are not alone. Throughout the ages, Governments, Government departments, and big business have often failed to identify a looming risk, so you are not alone, but this is not an acceptable excuse these days.

There is a well known acronym in business called a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis and this should be done, preferably with your team (to prevent ‘tunnel vision’), at least annually, but every 6 months is better. All of these change with time, your strengths may have been adopted by your competitors, your experience may have reduced your weaknesses, your opportunities and threats may have improved, or disappeared. New opportunities or threats can appear overnight, look at live livestock exports, or Amazon entering the Australian market, or government decisions – rebates for solar energy, proposed new taxes etc. The point I am trying to make is to be aware of as many possible opportunities or threats as you can and have at least an idea of how you may meet these opportunities or threats.

Other possible threats in business are the possibility of making an error and being sued. Many small businesses do not discuss their needs with an experienced broker, or take a low cost insurance that may not provide cover for the event. Some businesses have to have compulsory Professional Indemnity insurance to cover possible malpractice suits, but also be careful of torts, being sued for lack of duty of care – look up re huge sums being awarded to someone spilling hot coffee in the USA and many more cases. Be aware is the message here.

Working in the business, as opposed to working on the business is a real risk to small businesses. It’s easy to become isolated as an owner operator small business. Circulate, network and keep in touch with others is my advice. I have seen several small businesses fail because the owner got too involved with the work at hand, and once it finished, as it always will, they had no new contracts in the pipeline – there is a blog on here https://ayd.net.au/the-importance-of-a-lead-generation-system/ specifically about a lead generation system. Spend at least some of your time wearing your marketing and sales ‘cap’, especially if there is a long lead time. It’s easy to get a colleague to assist you if you have too much work, than to try to get another contract in a very short time.

Entering into a commercial lease, especially in a shopping centre, needs very special attention. Get really good advice, because you may be locking yourself into a long term contract with almost all the rights in the favour of the shopping centre. Commercial leases are not regulated, at least in Australia, as are residential leases, so beware before signing.

Buying a business is also fraught with more than a few hazards, especially franchises where most of the rights rest with the franchisor. Again, get good advice and ensure the business will make enough profit to repay all the loans and pay the tax – get a competent person to do a ‘cash flow’ for you, so you don’t over or under borrow and can repay the lender. Have the figures checked and rechecked, especially for the purchase of an established business – much of the ‘goodwill’ could reside with the original owner.

Your new business needs at least 18 months to become ‘established’. Ensure you have sufficient funds to sustain for at least that period, and that means all your personal expenses as well – mortgage or rent, food, clothes, entertainment, schooling, vehicles, insurances, including health insurances etc. – make sure you have a competent person construct a personal, as well as a business budget. If you are leaving a paid position to start a business, make sure you have booked in at least 150% of your annual salary before you tender your resignation and make sure you leave on good terms.

We have covered the major causes of business failure and learned to assess the risk. Think of your business, or proposed business as a complex machine, like your car or computer, which, unless you have those specific skills you won’t understand. If something goes awry, your sales suddenly start to drop or your expenses suddenly rise, or you have difficulty paying your bills, get immediate assistance, just like you would with your car, computer, phone or TV. Get someone who can advise you honestly – outside the family is best. The problem is unlikely to go away on it’s own!

Hopefully you will now have some idea about business and the risks associated with operating a small business. If you need assistance, please contact us immediately.

If you know of anyone who is struggling for sales / income send them a link to this blog, or request they make an immediate appointment for their FREE initial consultation. Don’t let them perish – it’s a very long road back! Thanks for reading this blog, why not subscribe to get it send directly to your inbox weekly?

Don’t worry about cost – all our services come with 100% money back guarantee and can start from $97 +GST per month, plus a contingency fee of your increased sales (paid quarterly from collected sales only), and can be paid by bank transfer or Credit Card.

There is lots of information available about marketing and lead generation, so we will leave that for another time, but in the meantime check this https://ayd.net.au/the-importance-o…eneration-system/, and this https://ayd.net.au/can-you-use-10000-or-more-in-extra-income-this-year/ and there is an article titled 24 Ways To Defeat Competition go here to download

We would welcome approaches from other business bloggers to write a guest post, or be invited to write a guest post.

Proven Strategies to Lift your Conversion Rate

Achieve Your Dreams, Perth’s pre-eminent business coaching service, specialising in lead generation strategies to increase sales, customers and clients and give you, the business owner, greater success and control over your business, presents another insight into Business Coaching.

Your conversion rate is the number of successful conversions you have from your leads, and is almost always expressed as a percentage. Most small businesses would have a conversion rate of between 40% and 75%. Experience, know how and confidence appears to be factors to increase or lift it, and depending on your average sale can make a significant difference to your annual sales. So, for example if you get 20 lead per month and your conversion rate is 40% and you can lift it to 45% and your average sales is $50 this can mean 20 x .45 x 50 x12 = $5400, compared to your original conversion rate of $4800 – that’s $600 per year in sales, or 12 extra customers, who have the ability to refer more customers and hence increase your annual sales even further. If you don’t know your conversion rate, it might be worth your while to work it out.

Before we start on this journey, it’s wise to note the quality of your leads will often be a determining factor, so assuming you have appealed to your target market. Every business owner works hard to get leads, but many miss opportunities to convert these leads into sales; here are a few proven strategies to accomplish that:

  1. If you have a retail shop, acknowledge the customer at the earliest opportunity with a warm friendly smile. If you are “busy” on the phone, tidying stock or doing something else – stop as soon as you can – pay the customer some attention. Service is what is lacking in the large chains today. If you are finishing a sale – acknowledge the customer and establish rapport as soon as possible – find things in common – try to match the customer in a subtle way and don’t rush the customer, but ask what they are looking for, and find out as much as you can about their needs.

 

  1. Listening here is very important – you are trying to match the customer’s needs with what you have to offer. Find out when they intend to buy, how long they have been looking, why they visited your shop, and their intended budget.

 

  1. Serve them as though they are royalty – this is one of your main advantages over the large chains. Make sure you make their buying experience the best possible. Even if you can’t satisfy the customers’ needs from your own shop, don’t be afraid to refer them – they will remember you and how you assisted them.

 

  1. Sell on value not on price – leave that to the discounters. Fully explain the value you can offer – extended warranties, refund policy, ordering in specific items – whatever you can do that different to your competitors.

 

  1. If you have staff, ensure they are trained and you, the owner, lead by example

 

  1. Make sure you get their contact details and stay in touch – ask them to join your mailing list

 

If you are a service business where the customer comes to you, follow the above procedure.

If not, follow these strategies:

  1. Contact the customer at the first opportunity – you can’t get a client without a conversation.

 

  1. If it’s an email enquiry, reply to their enquiry promptly and request to speak to them – it’s hard to work out what someone really needs via email – meet in person, if possible, otherwise use the phone or use an internet program like Skype or Zoom.

 

  1. When you have the conversation, follow the above procedure

 

  1. Find out who else is involved – how and when the buying decision is made

 

  1. Ask for time to do research, especially for potentially large orders

 

  1. Make a proposal offering the greatest value to the client

 

  1. Handle objections

 

Hopefully you will now have some idea about how to calculate and lift your conversion rate.

If you know of anyone who is struggling for sales / income send them a link to this blog, or request they make an immediate appointment for their FREE initial consultation. Don’t let them perish – it’s a very long road back! Thanks for reading this blog, why not subscribe to get it send directly to your inbox weekly?

Don’t worry about cost – all our services come with 100% money back guarantee and can start from $97 +GST per month, plus a contingency fee of your increased sales (paid quarterly from collected sales only), and can be paid by bank transfer or Credit Card.

There is lots of information available about marketing and lead generation, so we will leave that for another time, but in the meantime check this https://ayd.net.au/the-importance-o…eneration-system/, and this https://ayd.net.au/can-you-use-10000-or-more-in-extra-income-this-year/ and there is an article titled 24 Ways To Defeat Competition go here to download

We would welcome approaches from other business bloggers to write a guest post, or be invited to write a guest post.

Proven Strategies to address falling Sales for Small Businesses

Achieve Your Dreams, Perth’s pre-eminent business coaching service, specialising in lead generation strategies to increase sales, customers and clients and give you, the business owner, greater success and control over your business, presents another insight into Coaching.

As a small business owner you have to wear many ‘hats’, and one of the major functions is to monitor your income, whether that be through sales or fees. You will normally have a gut feeling your income is falling, but check against your average sales for that month / period or against a budget if you have one. If you find that you were right, then start to address the problem as soon as you can.

The first thing you need to know is why this is happening, and there can be many reasons. Did you reduce your advertising budget? Did you get busy and stop promoting your business? Did you lose a large client or customer? Has a new competitor opened up in your area? Is demand for your product or service beginning to abate? There can be many reasons and some can be very complex.

If you are not sure, ask colleagues, reps, industry organisations, and competitors and see if the same thing is happening to them, and what they are doing to address the problem. If you still can’t figure it out, invest in a business coach or some other professional. The important thing is address the problem – Hope is not a Strategy!

Below are a few suggestions to improve your income.

For a Retail Business try some of these:

  • Create a cross sell – follow McDonalds well known, “Would you like fries with that?” Once they choose an item, suggest that they may need a widget A, B or C with that. For example a sports shop might suggest hooks, sinkers, lures, waders etc. with the purchase of a fishing rod and reel

 

  • Package items – make a package of several items that you may sell separately, and slightly discount the price of the package. Using our fishing example the store may create packages for river, ocean, deep sea, and lake fishing, which would include specialised rods, reels, and tackle for each type of fishing. Ensure theses are well advertised.

 

  • Create a price leader – this must be a well known brand offered at an exceptional price – sometimes superseded stock can be purchased at a great price. Again using our fishing example – a Shimano reel offered for a substantial discount. This must be advertised to be effective and every attempt must be made to sell other items at full price, otherwise the exercise will lead to a loss.

 

  • Get more customers – you need to attract customers using any method that works for you. New customers are often enthusiastic and will recommend your shop – ensure you treat them well, but make doubly sure you look after your existing customers. There are several ways to attract new customers on this page.

 

  • Offer a discount on a second sale – offer a discount on a second item – this is very popular in some shops – buy one get a 50% discount on the second, but make sure your margin can stand that sort of discount.

 

  • Give time limited vouchers with each sale – with each sale give out a voucher for a discount on an item with a time period – a month works well and offers an incentive to use the voucher before it expires.

 

  • Create a sales limit for a gift – this is very useful where you know your average sale amount. This works well with dress shops – say your average sale is $60, and your prices start around $40, set a limit of $90 to qualify for a gift – it can be a voucher for a coffee at a shop close by, dress jewellery at a shop nearby, a discount for shoes, handbags etc.

 

  • Vouchers – in addition to this give your vouchers to all the shops that you support

 

  • Get contact details – if you have a physical shop, encourage customers to give you their contact details. Give them a business card or fridge magnet with the words “I am an exclusive customer of xyz (your shop name)” Ask to see the card each time they shop with you

 

  • Send exclusive offers to mailing list – Once you have their email address make exclusive offers only to them – they will send the emails to friends and you will get new customers.

 

  • Encourage customers to forward email opt in – as above encourage the customers on your list to forward your emails to their friends. Here it’s helpful to know the lifetime value of a customer so you can offer them something in return – maybe a $40 discount if they introduce 4 new customers etc.

 

  • Promote an item – Coles and Woolworths do this brilliantly – they place specials at the end of aisles and put items close to the checkout – you would be wise to follow their lead.

 

  • Create curiosity around an item – This isn’t always easy, but Apple does this brilliantly. You may be able to do this with new season’s fashion, new products, or models

 

  • Use Social media – only if your business suits this, but if it does get as many likes and followers as you can. Keep in touch with your audience – tell them stories about your shop and your success and include them in your successes. You can pay to have your posts ‘boosted’

 

  • Get an ecommerce store – if you can, get online with a store – the amount of e commerce is increasing every year. This isn’t easy for a small business, but it’s possible. You can have the customer collect their purchased item at your store – preferable or pay to have it delivered. It will save them time. You may need an expert to design and maintain your website and e commerce store.

 

  • Upsell and down sell – this is magic if you can manage it. You need 3 versions of the same item to make it work well. Show them the middle range item and get the real reason why they want that item, then try to sell them the top of the range item, explaining this is far superior, will last longer etc. If they want a cheap version sell that to them as a last resort. For example – they want a fishing rod – show them the mid range model, then the well known brand, and lastly the no name brand.

 

  • Make multiple sales in a time period – this is similar to the customer loyalty programs. You can design your own, depending on your margin. Each time they make a purchase stamp their card and offer a discount if they buy the specified number of times in the period. Ask to see the card each time and remind if the time period is about to expire. When you send emails remind them to check for expiry dates.

 

  • Offer Credit on high ticket items – I would suggest you don’t use your money, but a finance company for big ticket items. There are firms now to support smaller business in shopping centres. Laybys are still fine and work well in most areas.

 

  • Give exclusive demonstrations / fashion showings – this is a great tactic for new products or new season fashions. Invite everyone on your mailing list to an exclusive showing and suggest they bring their friend (s). Model the clothes and take orders. Ensure you insist on contact details for friends, and serve refreshments. Get comments from those attending.

 

For a Service Business try some of these

 

  • Ask for referral from existing clients – according to research more than 76% of clients are happy to refer friends, relatives and colleagues, but few businesses ask. Keep in touch with your clients, form personal relationship, reward them, show them they are important, and ask for referrals. A great, non obtrusive way is to put as the last line of your email signature, “We appreciate referrals”, “If you feel we have served you well, don’t keep it a secret – please spread the word.” Alternatively you can phone and ask, ask as they leave your office, ask them as they leave an informal meeting, and don’t forget to reciprocate.

 

  • Form a Joint Venture / Strategic Alliance with another non competing business – find other businesses with a list of clients that you serve, but are in a non competing industry. This can pay big dividends if you can get the right people on board. A great example is getting accountants on board if you are a financial planner, although some accounts now serve this market, but not all.

 

  • Contact other similar businesses in your area and let them know you specialise – find other businesses in your area of expertise in your local geographical area and introduce yourself. Tell them what you specialise in and find out their specialisation, that way if either of you find a client you don’t have the expertise to serve, you can refer them and everyone win, especially the client. Once the competition knows you personally there is much less of a risk of ‘dirty tactic’ or a discount war, which serves no one.

 

  • Ask for testimonials from past customers – contact past happy customers and ask for a testimonial and place that on your advertising and website. It might be the little extra a potential customer needs to choose your business. I always feel the personal touch is best – phone them, but other ways may also work – emails and texts.

 

  • Hold webinars – Invite clients to a webinar, and ask that they forward your invitation to friends, relatives and colleagues that might be interested. Keep the webinar reasonably short and use PowerPoint to show slides. Ask for questions at the end to prevent interruptions. Announce a special offer will be announces at the end of the webinar to keep people logged in. Try the formula 10 minutes content, 5 minutes telling personal stories (pertaining to your business, skills etc., but don’t sell). Try this once a month at different times to see where you get the result. Even if you get no one – record the webinar and put it on YouTube – you may get someone interested and gain a new client. I do one on a Sunday morning with varying success.

 

  • Invite people to an information evening – this is good if there has been significant changes in your industry, but even so it’s a great way to get exposure. Send invitations to your clients and encourage them to bring friends, relatives and colleagues. Use the same formula 10 minutes content, 5 minutes telling personal stories (pertaining to your business, skills etc., but don’t sell). Ensure you have plenty of advertising material available for visitors, and serve sandwiches and refreshments at the end. Don’t make it too long, especially if staging it at night – people are tired.

 

  • Form a referral network – this is especially good if you have commercial premises. You can advertise this as a get to know you, a networking event, an information evening, or a referral network. Invite all the local business owners and encourage them to bring a friend. Advertise it will last an hour, and ensure there are no chairs. Serve sandwiches or finger food and light refreshments, I would suggest no alcohol. Greet everyone as they arrive and introduce them to at least one other. Once everyone is settled, give a short (5 minutes) overview of your business, your speciality and your history – again don’t sell. Get everyone’s contact details. Keep people circulating and ensure you ask for someone to stage the next event. If you don’t have your own premises, you can use a pub (but don’t pick a busy night) and ask the owner (licensee) if you can have a quiet area, Alternatively a coffee shop, restaurant or community hall might suffice

 

  • Join networking groups – there are different levels of networking groups – some cost a great deal, others are free. Those that cost are usually very diligent about ensuring referrals, others aren’t so diligent. From research it takes a while to get known and accepted into these groups – even those that meet on a weekly basis the average seems to be about 6 – 8 months. Again consider your ROI, if you are a Real Estate Agent and you receive $5 – $15,000 for a sale you will be well in front with one sale. If you are a printer and your average sale is $2 – $400, it will take much longer. Your Local Chamber of Commerce is a sound investment, but ensure you have a well rehearsed ‘elevator pitch’ and you can answer question about your service when it’s your turn to talk to the group.

 

  • Create an email list – this requires a little skill, but you can hire people. You will need an autoresponder, several emails and a list of email addresses that you have permission to use – this last condition is very important. You can ask your clients for permission to send them information about upcoming events, special and exclusive offers. If you have a premise you can place an opt in sheet close to the cash register, or a bowl for business cards. You can ask for email addresses on your website in exchange to articles, e books or vouchers. Building a list is important, because according to research there are very few ‘now’ buyers, but those same people may need your services in the future, and other research suggests it takes between 7 -15 ‘touches’ (contacts with a potential client) to get a sale. Interestingly most businesses give up after 3 attempts. Once you have your list, you need to decide the optimum cycle to communicate with your customers and potential customers – don’t spam them – sell 2 out of every 5 emails – in the others share information about you, your business, what’s happening in your industry and trends. Create engaging emails and ‘catchy’ subject lines to get them opened and acted upon. Include a ‘call to action’ in each email and encourage people to forward to friends, relatives and colleagues.

 

  • Use a sandwich board – as simple as this is it works. Make it eye catching and I would suggest one that you can write on so you can change your offer on a daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. Ensure what you write is appealing to your customers. In Australia you may need Council permission to put your sandwich board on the footpath or mall.

 

  • Get on LinkedIn – if you are a service professional you should be on LinkedIn –and it is free. Once you have signed up ensure you have a well written profile and a history and be clear about what you do – no jargon – customers may not understand it. Select Ideal customers (as per your target market) and send them an invitation. You can search my profession and geographical region – start with your own area. Send invitations to those people and once they approve your ‘friend request’ invite to meet them – don’t sell them. Meet them and show what you can do to serve them. Ask them about their greatest challenges and help them if you can or refer them – remember you have a referral network. Treat them as you would a friend and send them information that will interest them – reach out to them for assistance – keep building your network

 

  • Give talks to local Rotary, Lions, Apex, groups – almost everyone in these groups has a business and they are always looking for speakers at their meeting. Reach out to them and tell them all about you – someone in their group may need your services. If you need assistance with public speaking join Toastmasters or other groups – they will also have business owners, so another opportunity to network. There may be other groups you can contact and talk to depending on your business, but if you deal with children or teenagers, maybe contact your local school or TAFE if you are in Australia.

 

  • Get a website that differentiates your business – this is critical for professionals. I see so many website that are almost a copy of their competitors. Accountants are the biggest offenders – no one care about your degrees, affiliations or experience. People care about what you can do for them so ensure your website and all your advertising material tells them without jargon. If you specialise in reducing tax for small businesses tell your potential clients – no one cares you are a CPA with 20 years’ experience – so is everyone else – do I make my point?

 

  • Give free introductory sessions – this is a valuable strategy – like the taste test. Give a short 20 – 30 min free introductory interview to discuss their problem – shut up and listen and that will give you the opportunity to tell them how you can assist them – again don’t sell – ease their pain and you will get lots of new clients and new clients get excited and gladly advocate for your business!

 

Hopefully you will now have some idea about how to address falling income and boost your income to a healthier level, enjoy the benefits and reduce your stress level.

If you know of anyone who is struggling for sales / income send them a link to this blog, or request they make an immediate appointment for their FREE initial consultation. Don’t let them perish – it’s a very long road back! Thanks for reading this blog, why not subscribe to get it send directly to your inbox weekly?

Don’t worry about cost – all our services come with 100% money back guarantee and can start from $97 +GST per month, plus a contingency fee of your increased sales (paid quarterly from collected sales only), and can be paid by bank transfer or Credit Card.

There is lots of information available about marketing and lead generation, so we will leave that for another time, but in the meantime check this https://ayd.net.au/the-importance-o…eneration-system/, and this https://ayd.net.au/can-you-use-10000-or-more-in-extra-income-this-year/ and there is an article titled 24 Ways To Defeat Competition go here to download

We would welcome approaches from other business bloggers to write a guest post, or be invited to write a guest post.

Comprehensive guide to forming Strategic Alliances or Joint Ventures (JV’s)

See offer for the month of July 2018 at bottom of blog

Achieve Your Dreams, Perth’s pre-eminent business coaching service, specialising in lead generation strategies to increase sales, customers and clients and give you, the business owner, greater success and control over your business, presents another insight into Coaching.

Small business needs all the help it can get, and help is available, if you know where to look. Many other businesses serve the same customers / clients as you do, so it’s only a matter of finding these businesses and approaching them. Below is a comprehensive guide to finding these businesses and increasing your sales / income.

Forming Strategic Alliances or Joint Ventures (JV’s) is not a new idea, and we certainly didn’t think of it first, but from my experience it is much underutilised, and yet it can solve several problems at the same time, so let’s investigate some of these benefits before we go into finding and approaching JV’s.

Benefits of forming JV’s

  1. It will be a constant source of referrals
  2. It will make both your businesses appear larger
  3. If you link to each other’s website Google will increase your ranking
  4. You will have someone to assist you with market knowledge
  5. You can specialise your offering
  6. You can reduce slow moving and unsaleable stock
  7. You can reduce your investment is stock (inventory)

So let’s just look at each of these in more detail, starting with #1 and moving down. Getting a referral gives you a much greater chance of converting that enquiry into a sale – by as much as 60%, according to some research. Referral’s help you increase your sales, customers, and other referrals, and grow your business

See offer for the month of July 2018 at bottom of blog

If you have just one referral partner, and there is nothing preventing you from having many, you instantly increase your scope for customers – say you are an accountant who looks after businesses and you see a client with a large amount of cash – you could refer them to a Financial Planner, but you could also refer them to someone who draws up Wills, an Insurance broker, a solicitor, your banker, a succession planner, a business broker – the list is almost endless, and they would all refer to you. The client would be delighted – your expertise identified an advantageous solution, and you referred them – imagine the kudos you just earned, and the client feels secure that you have referred them.

We are not experts in IT, but we believe that Google (and other search engines) increase ranking based on the number of times your website is visited, and the number of active links on your website. Apart from that, to a potential customer, you will appear much larger than you actually may be.

Small business owners often feel isolated, especially if they work alone. Having referral partners, that you constantly communicate with, will assist you with market changes, assist you to identify possible niches in the market, and maybe even someone to discuss problem with.

If you sell the same merchandise as the guy up the road, you divide the market, but if you both specialise in a different segment, you both earn the opportunity to increase your market share, increase your turnover and grow.

As the point above, if you are a retailer, your aim is to move your stock as quickly as possible. By specialising you reduce the chance of having slow moving or antiquated stock, that as best needs heavy discounting, and at worst needs writing off.

See offer for the month of July 2018 at bottom of blog

Stock is expensive, and unless you are a large retailer, you have to pay for your merchandise up front. By specialising you may be able to reduce your range, and hence your investment is certain areas of stock.

So, you have the picture, and the possible benefits, but how do you find suitable Strategic Alliances or (JV’s)? If you look at the example above with accountant, all the other professionals I suggested referring to each other have a list of clients that can use your service without competing – and this is what you need. If you are in a service industry, make a list of all likely associated professions that you may be able to refer to, and get referrals from.

If you are a small retailer, visit your competitors, get to know them, study their offering, and be different. Other possible sources of referrals come from your reps, and you may be part of a chain. The easiest chain we know is the wedding chain – everything starts with the Jeweler (engagement ring), after the proposal, and the bride to be will need all the following services – wedding planner, church / chapel, reception venue, wedding dress, florist, wedding cake, printer (invitations) and ad infinitum! Each service down the line can refer, but it’s more difficult to refer up the line, but still possible. If you have a business in a chain like this it would make sense to form JV’s with the services down the line. There are other chains, so check if your retail business is part of a chain.

See offer for the month of July 2018 at bottom of blog

Ok, so how to approach these people? Once you have a list, contact others, by phone in your area, and stress the benefits to them. Ask to meet them for coffee, and see what they say. Trust is big part of the decision making, so your reputation is key here. Do some research about who they know and start the meeting talking about common friends and acquaintances. Some will agree to refer, others won’t, but don’t give up. Make sure you have something to offer – this a ‘two way street’ and some people won’t refer to you until you refer to them – that’s understandable.

Hopefully you will now have some idea about how to form Strategic Alliances and JV’s and enjoy the many benefits of increasing your sales, referral network and people you know. There are other ways, especially if you are just starting, and we would welcome the opportunity to assist you. This is only one strategy in your marketing campaign.

If you know of anyone who is struggling for sales / income send them a link to this blog, or request they make an immediate appointment for their FREE initial consultation. Don’t let them perish – it’s a very long road back! Thanks for reading this blog, why not subscribe to get it send directly to your inbox weekly?

Don’t worry about cost – all our services come with 100% money back guarantee and can start from $97 +GST per month, plus a contingency fee of your increased sales (paid quarterly from collected sales only), and can be paid by bank transfer or Credit Card.

There is lots of information available about marketing and lead generation, so we will leave that for another time, but in the meantime check this https://ayd.net.au/the-importance-o…eneration-system/, and this https://ayd.net.au/can-you-use-10000-or-more-in-extra-income-this-year/ and there are articles 14 Effective Ways For A Service Business To Get New Clients go here to download or this one for retail, wholesale or importing 19 Super Ways To Get Extra Sales For Retail Businesses go here to download

We would welcome approaches from other business bloggers to write a guest post, or be invited to write a guest post.

July 2018 Offer

For the entire month of July 2018 we are offering our fabulous “Rewards for Referrals” program for the 1st 10 people to contact us. This is an ideal opportunity for any business owner to experience the power of coaching and maybe get solutions to problems that stand in the way of your progress, and for no cost, but only 2 qualified referrals – full details on application. By taking on this program it will allow you to start the new fiscal year with new knowledge and the potential to increase your sales for 2019

 

The ultimate guide to preparing to start your very first own small business

Plan well ahead – you will need information on the size of your market, source of supply if retailing or wholesaling, your competitors, both direct and indirect, where you will operate from, cost of setting up your business, forward sales, costs, profit and cash flow projections, licencing information, if required, and what will differentiate you from your competitors – this is a must – better service, lower prices are not good or valid differentiators.

To find the size of your market – type your product into Google and see what come up – narrow the geographically area if you can. If you get lots, you probably have quite a large market; a few will suggest the reverse. The market must be large enough to sustain you and those already in the market.

Next, if you are reselling, you need suppliers – source them, where are they located, the time taken to supply an order, what minimum quantities you need to buy, and will they supply you? Check out the cost of delivery – is it free, or do you have to pay. This is particularly important if you are importing – there are lots of costs associated with freight, shipping, customs and delivery, not to mention the paperwork. Note if you buy overseas you will have to pay for the goods when you order, or at least pay a substantial deposit – try to get FOB (free on board) shipping from your supplier – that means your supplier pays to have the goods delivered to the ship – this can be difficult and expensive when you are in another country and don’t speak the language.

Check out your competitors both direct – selling the same product or service as you, and indirect selling a similar or substitute product as you – e.g. selling motor cycles – cars, vans etc. are indirect competitors. Check websites and see what differentiates each business. It’s best to visit both kinds of competitors and talk to them – most will be happy to supply information about the market, possible gaps in the  market, customers, and suppliers, and try to make a relationship with these people – they are not your enemy! Check out and confirm information you already received from suppliers.

Where will you operate from – do you need an office or is it possible to work from home, what possible interruptions will you encounter, bearing in mind your level of discipline when it comes to work, do you have room at home? Do you need a shopfront, where are your competitors positioned? What are the cost of rents, on costs (costs for insurance, lighting, garbage collection etc. known as ‘outgoings’), and the tenure (minimum time months, years), options (can you extend the lease) and terms of the lease – in some shopping centres they demand a percentage of your turnover, and the sale price of your business, and often compulsory refurbishments using their contractors. This is Commercial lease and there is no government department to control property owners.

Almost all business incurs set up costs – some are minimal; some are large, but it needs calculating reasonably accurately, especially if you don’t have a great deal of spare cash. Include all the costs to do the Due Diligence listed here, you may need licences or Council approvals, you might need qualifications, you might need an entity to protect your personal assets from your business assets, you may need an entire shop fit out. This is the amount you will spend before you even make your first sale, so include all promotional costs here too.

Next you need to use all the information you have gleaned to make forecasts. Start with sales and use products, not $’s to begin with and do your projections on a daily basis. So if sell widget a, b, c, d and e then do that. This will prevent overstating your sales – as a final check divide the widgets sold by the available time, so if you get 100 per hours, you have probably overstated your sales. Next, ascribe a value to each widget and get you daily, monthly and annual sales. There could be GST implications here, depending on your annual turnover, so be wary.

Next do your Cost of Goods Sold (COGS). Use the same figures for your materials as you calculated for your sales, and insert the cost for each item – here you will almost always be charged GST, so unless you are registered for GST, include that cost. By subtracting the cost of your materials from your sales you will get your Gross Profit (GP), and by dividing that figure by your sales you’ll get your GP %, and by subtracting that figure from 1, you’ll get your Cost of Goods Sold figure. This will not vary greatly once you are establish, but if you plan to discount, it will increase and your GP will decrease. All of your expenses, plus your profit, must be paid from your GP.

Next do your expenses. Some of these are paid weekly, fortnight, monthly, bi monthly, quarterly, and annually, so be carefully with your calculations. Start with monthly. Write down every expense you will incur. The larger expenses will be rent and outgoings and the smaller will be bank charges, which are separate from Credit card charges, which can be high if you make a lot of sales via a merchant terminal. Do not include personal expenses like lunches, dinners, holidays etc.

Once you have all the expenses, multiply your sales for the average number of days you are open in the month, calculate your GP, and take your expenses away, giving you your monthly net profit. Multiply this by 12 and this is your annual profit, with no tax paid or superannuation contributions. As a guide, your net profit should be at least 1.5 – 2 times your annual gross salary at your place of employment – there are risks in operating a business of your own!

Next you need a cash flow – for small business a cash flow forecasts your bank balance at the end of the periods you are using, because not all profit goes to the bank and there are often payment have to be made from your profit – this is not something you can do if you have no training in this area – get your business coach, bookkeeper or accountant to assist you or at least check your figures.

If you have a full time job, don’t leave it until you have enough booked appointments to equal your sales. Sometimes you can negotiate with your employer to work less days or hours – try that until you are fully established. Sometimes you can negotiate with your employer to outsource to you on ‘contract’ terms – study this carefully and avoid having just 1 large client – they can wield a great deal of power and influence on a small start up business. Otherwise leave on good terms and get references and ensure you have as many contacts as you can get – you may need them

If you start a retailing, wholesaling or importing business, ensure you have at least enough funds to sustain you for the first 18 months, and that includes all your personal commitments like mortgage, insurance, living expenses etc.

Next you want your business to be legal, so you need to check out if you need specific licences, training or Council approvals – you may need a Business Name registered – different areas require different licences and permits.

Next you need your Unique Selling Point (USP). There are other expressions for this, but we’ll use USP. This and everything above is part of your Business Plan, which I recommend you complete. In today’s marketplace you can’t be the same as others in your marketplace – the competition is so fierce you won’t get a foot in the door. You have to know and advertise your USP to have any chance of success.

So, what is an USP – it is what makes your offering different to your competitors. It’s about you and your business – it could be something special you offer, some special or unique process, some exclusive merchandise you sell, your special way of doing business, some qualification you have, some special training you possess, or something special about your staff. It should offer quality, value, convenience, or any other desired attribute your market requires.

Check out your competitors’ website for inspiration, and don’t use jargon – “We are the Best,” “We offer the best service,” “We do the best job.” All of your competitors can and will claim the exact same. Make your USP something strong, memorable and of value. “Only XYZ Company can genuinely offer….” If you claim something you have to follow through, or you will quickly get a very bad reputation that could ruin the chances of your businesses success. Don’t make your USB about the lowest price, because someone will be able to offer it at a lower price and your margins will disappear.

So that is you, the supplier, dealt with. Now you need customers / clients. You must know who these are, how to find them, how to attract them to your business, how to convert them into paying customers and how to retain them and get more customers. This is part of your Marketing Plan – this needs very special attention, as without sales, you have no business. This cannot be overstated!

There is lots of information available about marketing and lead generation, so I will leave that for another time, but in the meantime check this https://ayd.net.au/the-importance-o…eneration-system/, and this https://ayd.net.au/can-you-use-10000-or-more-in-extra-income-this-year/ and there are articles 14 Effective Ways For A Service Business To Get New Clients go here to download or this one for retail, wholesale or importing 19 Super Ways To Get Extra Sales For Retail Businesses go here to download

Hopefully you will now have some idea about how to prepare for your own first small business and avoid many of the pitfalls awaiting the unwary and inexperienced. If you know of anyone who is struggling for sales / income send them a link to this blog, or request they make an immediate appointment for their FREE initial consultation. Don’t let them perish – it’s a very long road back! Thanks for reading this blog, why not subscribe to get it send directly to your inbox weekly?

Don’t worry about cost – all our services come with 100% money back guarantee and can start from $95 +GST per month, plus a contingency fee of your increased sales (paid quarterly from collected sales only), and can be paid by bank transfer or Credit Card.

I would welcome approaches from other business bloggers to write a guest post, or be invited to write a guest post.

 

 

Q: Who you gonna call – Ghostbusters? – A: No – the specialist most suited to your needs!

Achieve Your Dreams, Perth’s pre-eminent business coaching service, specialising in lead generation strategies to increase sales, customers and clients and give you, the business owner, greater success and control over your business, presents another insight into Coaching.

The famous song I am referring to above is the theme from Ghostbusters. Expert advice is invaluable and no sane person would argue with that statement, but are you getting the kind of advice that you really need?

In our system in Australia, you can’t go and find a specialist, you have to have a referral from a GP, so the system goes like this – you see your GP, who charges you a fee, he refers you to a specialist, who charges you a fee, and then you have to return to your GP to get the results and another fee is charged, and people wonder why private health insurance is so expensive. But, what if you complained of chest pains and your GP referred you to a brain surgeon, you would hardly be impressed, and even though the surgeon would be able to advise you, they would lack the specific knowledge regarding the cause of your chest pains. You would, however, be charged a fee, and the referring doctor would no doubt receive a terse letter from the surgeon regarding the referral. I am not criticising doctors, they do a fabulous job; the accepted way in Australia is consult a doctor if you have a health issue.

The same applies to a legal issue – if you have a legal problem you consult a lawyer or solicitor. Here you can choose your own specialist, but you would be less than impressed if a friend or trusted colleague suggested you consult a solicitor who specialised in the preparation of wills if you needed a specialist criminal lawyer. The point I am making is you need a specialist related to the problem you are experiencing in every case. I am not criticising the legal profession – most do a wonderful job.

And so to the point of this article. In every society there is a system of referral. In ancient times, if you got sick you called the Shaman or Witchdoctor and they performed various rights over you and because you believed in their curing abilities you were often cured. These people knew nothing about viruses, bacteria, infections etc., so they couldn’t treat those, and if you contracted a serious infection, or got a serious virus, you died. Again no criticism of these people – they were recognised as the ‘go to’ person in these societies.

In our society it is believed that if you have a financial problem you see an accountant, and there are many specialists within the accounting industry – some specialise is Tax, some in Administration, some in Corporate Advice, some in Liquidations, some in Auditing and even some in Forensic Accounting, to name but a few, but most are Compliance Accountants – they do your Tax Returns and offer advice to small business, investors and individuals. Almost every business has to submit an annual tax return, and if you don’t have the skills and knowledge to do this yourself, you need an accountant or tax agent.

Again, accountants are fine people, I was in the industry for over 45 years and I have known many. I have also heard many complaints from clients that they went to see an accountant before starting a business venture and he didn’t tell them very much. My answer was always, “You have to know what questions to ask.” Most accountants are conservative my nature, (and I apologise to those who aren’t right now), and have to act that way by regulations governing their industry, and to get Professional Indemnity Insurance for their practice and remain a member of their governing body, mostly CPA or CA in Australia. Accountants mostly deal with events that have happened in the past – they record transactions and compile reports from these transactions. So, you can see that they are sort of hamstrung in that they deal only with facts – you will hear of a few ‘Creative accountants’, but not many. Accountants are not forward looking, although they can advise on future events, such as known future transactions; provided the laws governing these transactions do not change. Many can also compile forecasts and forward cash flows, but only on known base figures, adjusted for CPI, or some other known input.

So who do you seek out if you are a business who is losing sales, having to cope with increased competition, or is working with an outdated business model? Accountants have little training in these areas and their forced conservative approach forces them to be wary of signing off on future projections. There is a group of relatively new professionals who can assist you and these are called Business Coaches / Consultants. Many of these are trained in exactly how to generate lead funnels, increase sales, and get new customers / clients while ensuring existing customers / clients remain loyal.

Income / sales are the lifeblood of any small business, and without them the business will not last long, certainly not long enough to engage an accountant, unless to finalise the businesses failure. Most small business owners are ‘technicians’ – they can do the task really well i.e. they may be a brilliant accountant, but have no idea how to get clients, or more clients. This is very common in small business and I have heard many stories; the contract ended and they had no other work so they waited for someone to call and no one did, they had one large client and worked day and night, but the contract was terminated for some reason and they didn’t know what to do, or they started a business and waited for the huge demand for their services that never happened, and many more – I could write for pages. The problem common to most of these business owners is they didn’t seek assistance in time, or got the wrong advice or advice from friends, relatives and well meaning family members, and often lost their home and other personal assets. The statistics about small business failure are horrendous – don’t become part of that statistic.

There is always an answer for every problem, but is it extremely hard to find one alone and in a constant state of worry or depression. Every small business owner needs to invest, both in themselves and in their business, and this is often the key to becoming a successful business owner – there are some statistics here https://ayd.net.au/benefits-of-hiring-a-business-coach/.

Invest in finding customers / clients – without them you effectively have no business! If you know of anyone who is struggling for sales / income send them a link to this blog, or request they make an immediate appointment for their FREE initial consultation. Don’t let them perish – it’s a very long road back!

Don’t worry about cost – all our services come with 100% money back guarantee and can start from $100 +GST per month, plus a contingency fee of your increased sales (paid quarterly from collected sales only), and can be paid by bank transfer or Credit Card.

Hopefully you will now have some idea about whom to refer where. Thanks for reading this blog, why not subscribe to get it send directly to your inbox weekly?

I would welcome approaches from other business bloggers to write a guest post, or be invited to write a guest post.