Tips for Taking Your Business to the Next Level

You are excited and feel you can increase your business because you have had steady growth and now feel like you have just hit a wall.

What’s up?

Let’s do some homework, most entrepreneurs are good at selling their product or service to the immediate market they are familiar with; however at some point every company reaches a plateau and must decide how to take their sales to the next level.

There are numerous ways to increase sales and market share such as acquisitions, new products, etc., however what if you want to just increase your sales with your current service or product offering?

Let’s review your marketing plans and tactics that support a plan of growth. Each tactic should include a potential dollar amount so you can allocate your resources appropriately and determine whether it’s really worth going after.

Sometimes its difficult to get our arms around these potential dollar amounts so we must employ some creative energy with accounting, sales and others to secure best guess estimates.

Listed below are some suggestions to assist you with assigning a value to potential business opportunities:

What we are doing is identifying the total potential per segment and where it is now so we can review what might be available to take away and start developing plans on how to do that. Try to compare previous years within each study so shifts can be defined as true demand, price increase, or policy/requirement changes?

If you are unable to get this close then attempt to compare your product to another product in the industry, such as if you sell shoe strings and don’t feel comfortable with your estimates or want a verification to some degree what is the size of the shoe string décor market? We are at least attempting to some feel for the potential size available.

Don’t forget replacement products or new technology, what’s that? Well back to shoe strings, it could be ribbons or Velcro, and again these other products are eating some of your lunch or could be on the horizon to do so.

Once you identify the potentials per tactic based upon who’s currently in that segment or selling to that group, review what you will need in order to compete or take business away. Do you have enough resources, can you deliver, is the margin different, or is there a segment that is ripe that no one is really pursuing? Each segment will have different hot buttons usually and so adjusting your message for that specific audience is worth your time.
As you can tell this is work and includes players on the Internet, off the Internet, private label, manufacturers, distributors, importers, etc.

Update this as you learn more and formally review it once a year, you may be surprised to see how things change and reset your tactics accordingly. Some you may decide not to implement after a few months with additional homework, some may have smaller or larger potential than anticipated.

Wish I could make it easy, believe me those excel spreadsheets have made their mark on my brain a number of times?. The main thing is, the attempt is made and the effort is genuine and it expands your thought process to take your company to the next level without just shooting from the hip. Being comfortable and familiar is good, however it can be dangerous as well. So challenge yourself!

Submitted by: Debbie Newhouse
Newhouse Strategic Marketing, Inc. and Rev Up Now, LLC
February 2008