There are many decisions you will need to make when building your business. But your biggest business decision is often how you plan to grow your sales and profits. Today, business growth expert David Blaise explores the options and their pros and cons.
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Whenever I ask, “What is the biggest business decision you need to make when getting started?” I get a lot of answers:
Some say “Which customers to target.”
Others say “Whether to register as a corporation, sole proprietorship or LLC.”
Still others say “Where to locate my business.”
All valid. All important decisions. But from my standpoint, not nearly the most important.
To Me, The Biggest Business Decision We Need to Make Upfront is How We Plan to Grow Our Sales and Profits.
Because without a solid answer to that, the rest of it has very little value.
The decision on how to grow our sales and profits is an intensely personal one. Because we each have our own strengths, weaknesses and preferences.
Some of us are great at direct, one-on-one sales: Kicking down doors, establishing relationships and selling like the wind.
Others are great at structure and organization: Finding the right people, recruiting them and building a business based on the strengths of the group.
When your strengths are out of sync with your business building approach, you have a mismatch. As a result, your business will never grow and scale the way you want it to.
How Will You Build?
For that reason, some people build a highly successful business primarily around their own personal sales efforts. While others build their organization around hiring a sales team.
A quick look at the Counselor Top 40 will show you that the largest distributor companies are built around sales teams rather than the sales of one individual.
In fact, it could be argued that many members of the Top 40 consist, not just of a business, but of dozens or even hundreds of small businesses. Essentially, they’re individual salespeople and organizations — operating in some cases independently, but under one umbrella.
And while the individuals involved may sell at very different levels — some low volume, some high and some in the middle — they all come together to generate sales and profits for the company.
Starting in Sales
In smaller businesses, excellent salespeople often start out by building the business around themselves. Then, when they reach a point where they can grow no further on their own, they may decide to hire other salespeople.
But the problem with that strategy is that now the excellent salesperson has to fill other roles. He or she also becomes the human resources director, hiring manager, sales manager, office manager, bookkeeper, payroll specialist, disciplinarian, and in some cases the camp counselor.
Or, if he or she has to use the proceeds from their sales to hire people to fill those functions, it’s a huge shift in focus, approach and resources. And some can’t make it.
So ask yourself this question: How do you plan to grow your sales and profits?
Do you plan to grow your sales and profits primarily through your own personal sales efforts? Or by hiring a sales team?
As you’ve probably noticed by now, this decision is critical. Because if you’re building correctly from the get-go, it should impact every other decision you make going forward. It will impact the location of your business, the appropriate corporate structure and the customers you decide to target.
It will also determine whether you need to focus your time and attention primarily on your own personal sales and marketing skills or on recruiting, hiring, training, motivating and keeping other salespeople.
Make no mistake. This is a serious and game-changing decision. So the sooner you make it, the sooner you can begin or continue to build a business that is directly suited to your own personal strengths, skills and objectives.
Need Help Making Your Biggest Business Decision?
If so, check out the five primary ways we help promotional product distributors grow:
- Just Getting Started? If you (or someone on your team) is just getting started in promotional products sales, learn how we can help.
- Need Clients Now? If you’re already grounded in the essentials of promotional product sales and just need to get clients now, click here.
- Want EQP/Preferential Pricing? Are you an established industry veteran doing a significant volume of sales? If so, click here to get End Quantity Pricing from many of the top supplier lines in the promo industry.
- Time to Hire Salespeople? If you want to hire others to grow your promo sales, click here.
- Ready to Dominate Your Market? If you’re serious about creating top-of-mind-awareness with the very best prospects in your market, schedule a one-on-one Strategy Session here.
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