Tag Archives: small business

Are you built for profit?

July 20th, 2010

[Note: this post is for the small businesses out there; one man bands, contractors, or local store.)

We all know that retail space that can’t hold a business, it’s a clothing shop, it’s a book shop then it’s a bakery.

No matter what nothing seems to stick.

There are many reasons for it but the key one I ask myself, are they built for profit?

I pondered this as I saw a car yard selling cars for $1990 and $2660 – a wide range of low priced cars.  How can they possibly make a sustainable profit on that? Sure if they get the cars and put a 100% markup on each of them margins seem good.  Yet they still need volume to sustain a business, 2 cars a week would maybe cover the living costs of the owner.  What if they can’t reach that?

Sure enough, I drive past a few weeks later, no stock shifted, I don’t think they will be around for long.  Have you actually looked at your model, are you built for profit? Or are you just subsidising your time…

Communicate for what you want to be, not what you are.

May 18th, 2010

Just wish more small businesses would do this!

Communicate for what you want to be, not for what you are.

In their outward communications, sending a strong message, which is bigger than what they are.  Then they can actually grow to that point.

It’s that confidence and reassurance that helps you get there.  Consumers can smell insecurity a mile away.

Emotional Purchasing vs Rational Purchasing

February 8th, 2010

All purchases are emotional but the rationale behind it can dictate which way it swings the most.

In selling to small businesses where the owners are the operators – they tend towards emotional purchasing. Boosting their ego, enhancing their image, doing something cool.

Larger business can be so segmented that it’s completely rational. Is this the guaranteed safe option. Will this keep my butt covered. It’s rational purchasing.

Once you realise the difference, you’ll be vastly better at understanding your market but also how you should sell to them.

Benchmarking Small Business Call Etiquette

November 29th, 2009

Unfortunately I fell ill last week and had to cancel some appointments.  Most were understanding (hey I don’t want to get you guys sick) some not so much.  One disgruntled person said could have given us more notice.  Hang on? It’s not like people plan on being sick….

It was then I wondered wouldn’t it be neat if there was a service that benchmarked small businesses call etiquette – the service rings up businesses and follows certain procedures to rank and score a business.  This is then shared online for all to see.  Then we can find out which are good to deal with and businesses can get a realistic view of their call staff.

Big businesses already do this (to a degree) but not in such an open format.

Imagine comparing a new hairdresser based on call manner.  As Drucker says “what gets measured gets managed”… I think we’d rapidly see an improvement.

Want to own a small profitable company?

November 4th, 2009

Simple – buy a big company and wait for it to shrink.  These are the words Tom Peters uttered earlier in the year when he came through Auckland.

There is something in that statement.

Actually there is a heck of a lot in there.

Remembering that ‘big’ is a relative term, but when you become a behemoth in an industry what are your options for growth? Move sideways; squeeze more from existing customers, get more customers and/or move vertically.

Get more is the default choice (as fits in with the scale a big company has).

The problem here is, get more = increase compromise to get that extra customer. You compromise too much you begin to lose your core audience.

Further (and you can see this happening) you almost create a culture of compromise – whereby suddenly you’re not doing anything interesting at all.

So what next? Split up and shrink.  Become small, agile, specialised.

Build processes to avoid paralysis

September 27th, 2009

Paralysis kills business, procrastination is cited as one of the biggest regrets by owners of failed small business.

When you have a small team, procrastinating for a few hours can be a huge cost, as each person carries a larger impact on the bottom line.

What I suggest is develop some systems or processes to highlight when it is happening, then how to deal with it, much better to identify and deal with it now rather than tomorrow.

It doesn’t take long and is well worth your time investment….

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