Archive for November, 2009

Sales 101: Excerpt from – Five Keys to Making a Sale

November 23, 2009

The first thing you need to understand is that you are not and probably never will be a professional salesperson. Of course you aren’t, you are a business owner! The professional business owner’s approach to sales has nothing to do with selling and everything to do with connecting and creating a buying relationship. It is about getting your product / service into the hands of those who appreciates its value and can see how it will make their work a whole lot easier and their lives a whole lot better.

Five Keys to Making a Sale (Susan L. Reid,
1. Treat your clients with respect, dignity, interest and care: Treat your customers as you would like to be treated
2. Forget about rejection: It’s not about you; it’s about whether the customer needs your product / service
3. Shine your light: You have to make sure your product / service stands out from the rest – don’t just hope it does
4. You have to believe: If you don’t believe in yourself, in your product / service & in your confidence to deliver; how can you expect others to?
5. Take the stress out of sales: You are a business owner showing/demonstrating/presenting your product / service – you are not selling. If they need it they will buy. Focus on connecting with your customers and creating a buying relationship.


Work Is Reward Not Punishment

November 18, 2009

Your success in any occupation depends on your enjoyment.
Loving your work makes the difference.
If you enjoy what you do, you’ll be successful.
If you don’t enjoy what you do, you won’t be successful.

Your chances for success are directly proportional to the degree of pleasure you derive from what you do. If you have a job you hate, face the fact squarely and get out. You’ll never achieve real success unless you like what you are doing.

Success in its highest and noblest form calls for peace of mind, enjoyment, and happiness which comes only when you find the work that you like best.

You don’t pay the price for success. You enjoy the price for success.
Work is love made visible.

© 2009

Accounting 101: Profitability

November 16, 2009

Profitability analysis is calculated as a percentage of revenue because usually your business will grow in proportion to your sales. You use the margin to analyze trends in your business which you then compare to industry averages in order to see how you are doing.

  • Gross Profit Margin: Gross Profit / Revenue

High margin businesses [Tiffany’s] charge a premium for their products, while low margin businesses [Wal-Mart] count on volume for their profitability.  The higher your percentage is, the more profitable your product/service is.

  • Net Profit:  Net Income / Revenue

Shows how much you keep out of every dollar earned [15% means you keep 15¢ of every $1]

Consulting: TimeKeeper vs Relationship Mindset

November 12, 2009

I was once asked by someone who just started a consulting business, “How can you charge for everything you do, every time they call with a quick questions. They get upset when I charge for my ‘time that is outside’ the project we agreed to.”

My Answer…

Business consulting is all about building relationships, which is going to be hard if all you are concerned with is the clock. Yes, you want to be sure you are not taken advantage of, but “you get what you give”.

You need to be available & invaluable to your clients, but if you charge for every second they will eventually not want to contact you unless they are in dire need – this is to no one’s advantage.

However, if you take the time to invest in the relationship, the invoicing “problem” will take care of itself – charge by the hour or by the project – but don’t worry about every single minute you spend. If you have calculated your hourly rates correctly, they will encompass all those little items you do for “no charge” and the client will appreciate that you do give them “free” time! and they will continue the relationship!

Good Luck


Accounting 101: Cash Flow

November 9, 2009

Cash Flow is the movement of cash through the business – basically the difference between what cash you take in and the cash you spend.

Cash Flow Projections: See where you will need to re-evaluate the timing of payments or will need to borrow to cover negative cash [more needs to go out than is coming in] – estimate start-up costs, estimate monthly expenses, estimate revenue – estimate timing of purchases.

The value of knowing where every dollar is coming from and where every penny is going is priceless in running your business. Once you lose sight of the flow of money, it is a quick and slippery slide to financial difficulties.

  • As assets increase there is a direct relation to decreased cash flow
  • As liabilities increase, cash flow will decrease

Customer Service

November 4, 2009

Everyone is in the business of customer satisfaction. Who are your customers and how are they doing?

The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer. All business activities must be focused on this central purpose.

You keep customers by delivering on your promises, fulfilling your commitments and continually investing in the quality of your relationships.

If your job is customer satisfaction, your real job title is Problem-Solver!

Offer your customers a long-term relationship, then do everything possible to build and maintain it.

Express your admiration for the traits, possessions or accomplishment of your customer. Little things mean a lot.

Accounting 101: How to Start

November 2, 2009

If you hire someone to do your bookkeeping and/or taxes…

Be sure YOU control the cash accounts & checkbook –

  • YOU write the checks & make the deposits, balance the checkbook
  • THEY do the data entry
  • YOU review the statements someone prepares for you

Be sure YOU understand the basics of cash management before you turn over your business to someone else [do you know your personal checkbook and expenses – do you know when something isn’t quite right? – “gut check”] If you don’t know or aren’t sure – ASK a trusted friend

Be sure to create YOUR own “Board of Advisers” from trusted friends/experts to help advise you BEFORE you actually need the help – accountant, lawyer, marketer, operations manager are just a few of the experts you will need to run a business successfully. They can help you from making fatal missteps!