As every small business owner knows, a large percentage of their day is spent selling something — from initially convincing their family to support their plans to start a new business and, once started, selling their business idea to a lender to obtain a loan, or selling their products and services to prospective customers, and so on. Since the typical sales pipeline involves making a large number of presentations that result in only a few sales, the small business owner’s never-ending challenge is to stay motivated when facing so much rejection.
The fourth article in our five-part series, “5 Key Steps of Home-Based Businesses: Moving from Start-up to Mainstream” is “Growing with Magic Beans.” This step keeps the doors opened, so to speak, and the cash flowing. The “magic beans” required to grow your business through increased sales are marketing, networking and building a customer base.
The third part in our five-step series on home-based businesses, Keep on Tracking, focuses on the importance of staying on top of competition, products, services, operations, and record keeping. This is where entrepreneurs really need to take a step back and view their business with an objective eye (from customers’, accountant’s, and business advisors’ points of view). In essence, this is an analysis step.
In order to compete effectively with competitors who may look better, provide more services, have a bigger marketing budget, etc., every detail should be examined in the home-based business, from image to quality of services. Things like branding, packaging or presentation, availability of product or service; and in general, good customer service (returning calls, following up, making good for any dissatisfaction, putting the customer first, etc.) should be worked out long before opening for business.