21. Establish a separate investment account specifically for business.
This is an unusual but useful tip for increasing profits. And frankly it may take you more than 30 days. But I still think this tip is worth mentioning. And while I am by no means a financial whiz, I have picked up a few investment tips over the years. The point is to set money aside in the form of a Business Savings or Business Investment account. Check with your accountant or financial advisor for specific ways to do this. Most small business owners take profits and either put it back into the business, pay off creditors or expand their company. While all of these are necessary ingredients for building and sustaining a successful business, it got me to thinking. How many of us have an investment strategy specifically for business as well as personal use? It doesn´t necessarily need to be an actual account. It can be as simple as setting aside as little as $50.00 a month in an envelope for 6 months and here´s the key folks"?¦. And not touching it. Want something a little more aggressive? If you already have an account with a brokerage firm, try opening up a second specifically for business. Financial institutions vary, but determine if you can open a second account with just your name and/or business name. By routinely investing (even out of your own pocket/wallet) over a long period of time, you can turn a small amount of money into big profits in no time. By putting a business investment strategy in place you allow yourself the flexibility of not relying on sales alone to grow the business.
For the sake of this column however try this experiment. Take $2.00 out of your wallet every day for the next 30 days and place it in an envelope. Next, as you pay yourself each month, deduct $20-40 from your paycheck and place that into the same envelope. Again, don´t touch it for 30 days. By the end of the month you should have over $100.00 saved. This is a psychological trick demonstrating that A)you can live on less B) you ordinarily would have spent that $100.00 had you kept it C)You are over $100.00 richer D)you can do this every month and increase your profits dramatically. Real wealth comes from investing regularly and over long periods of time. So while $100.00 may not sound like much of a profit, over time it can give you the financial freedom to really expand your business.
22. Tell everyone you know that you want more business"?¦
This is a bit different from asking for a referral. Referrals are a polite, almost passive aggressive way of asking a prospect or client if they know of anyone who might be interested in doing business with you. Stop and think a minute and be truthful. How many times have you actually told a colleague you were looking for new business? I noticed that when I actually told business associates that I want more business, I got better results. Referrals are great but telling people you want more work is even better in my opinion. It´s a more direct approach and let´s people know that you are serious about increasing your profits and want the work.
Nothing can damage a marketing or sales campaign more than lack of continuity and consistency. Don´t make the mistake many business owners make by running a cold calling or direct marketing campaign for a month or two, praying for results. You must make sure the campaign runs as smooth and as often as possible in order to maximize profits. Get into the habit of writing down your plan of action to bringing in more business in 30 days. Yep, I´m talking about a "To Do List". This will help you to visualize what you want to do, when you want to do it, how much you expect to spend and make and what you want the outcome to be at month´s end. Do this every month and you´ll begin to gain real momentum in bringing in the profits, consistently.
24. Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Creative-No Fear or Shame
I´ve said it many times. Nothing sinks a small business faster than lack of fresh ideas. If you always do what you´ve always done, you´ll always get what you´ve always gotten. In other words, by not occasionally expanding or improving on ideas, you run the risk of running a stagnant business. Don´t be afraid to bring in new ideas, even if they don´t work out. That´s okay, because at least you´re trying. Perhaps you just need to rework the original idea to make it work. Remember why you started your business to begin with. It may have been to work for yourself or maybe you had a fresh idea to bring to life. Tap into your original creativity to bring in new customers and re-invigorate your firm. You may surprise yourself by falling in love with your work all over again.
25. Stay Focused
Nothing kills a sales and marketing campaign faster than lack of focus. Remember that the steps you put in place now will have a momentous effect down the road. Keep your eye on the prize and remember to set realistic sales goal. Don´t get distracted from the goal, which is to bring in business. I have a consulting client who makes it a habit of questioning how his boss runs the firm instead of focusing on doing what he does best which is selling. What I pointed out was that by focusing on things not within his control, he was actually keeping himself from reaching his own sales goals. Understand that bringing in more business is the ultimate goal of any small business owner. Lack of focus can distract you from doing the job and creating the sales you need to grow
Tony Wilkins is the owner of Telemarketing Consulting Services and author of "Telemarketing Success for Small and Mid-sized Firms´ available in most bookstores and online at www.amazon.com and www.xlibris.com you may also find out about his workshops and services at
http://stores.ebay.com/telemarketing-success via e: mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 415-267-4872 .If you´d like to be notified of a new posting for this column, please contact Tony Wilkins at email@example.com