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Cashflow Tips

Keep your books accurate and up to date

Your cash flow is only as good as your accounting and reporting. Don't let this get out of hand. Make sure your accounting information is updated regularly. Then you can see the financial state of your business at a glance.

Don't be too lenient with your customers

Be direct and fair without being a pushover. Keep a close watch on your account's receivable turnover at all times. If it’s trending up, it might be time to step up your efforts at chasing payment. As receivables age, their quality goes down, so you should act sooner rather than later.

Keep your accounting simple

If you’re not confident with numbers, hire a professional accountant. Use quality accounting software, so you always know your cash position. It will also help you forecast your cash flow for planning purposes.

Plan for future growth

Maybe you’re expecting a big order next month. How will you know if you'll have the working capital needed to expand payroll? Or be able to buy the necessary inventory? Many small business owners get caught out when a large opportunity turns up. They are unable to take advantage of it due to a lack of cash. Don’t let that happen to your business.

Find a reliable accounting system

A reliable accounting system will help you track and report on key business metrics. These include accounts receivables aging, operating margins and inventory turnover. Having a good handle on business metrics will help you manage your cash and take advantage of new opportunities.

Keep your business and your personal finances separate

Mixing your business and personal finances can leave you uncertain about business performance. So, keep them separate. That way you'll know how much cash your company is generating. Then you’ll be in a good position to properly pay yourself and use excess cash to strengthen and grow your business.

Build a cash reserve

Access to cash will make or break your business. The ultimate step to managing cash flow like a pro is to build a cash reserve. It’s not always possible to build a large cash reserve. But if you do, it can insulate you from the economic cycle and the whims of banks and other lenders. It will also let you take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

* Source: Xero online resources


Marketing Tips

Tips for Marketing Success for the Small Business Owner.

Have a clearly defined Unique Selling Point

Do you want to fit in or stand out? In order to thrive in today’s cluttered marketplace, every business owner must be able to clearly articulate an answer to the question, ‘Why should someone do business with you rather than your competitor?’, “What makes you unique?’

Sell benefits rather than features

“No-one ever bought a drill bit. Millions of people have bought a hole.” Tell them ‘What’s in it for me’ (WIIFM). Tell them clearly how your service makes life easier for them. Put yourself in the client’s shoes. If you were them, why would you buy your product or service?

Find out what your customers needs are

The first step in filling customer’s needs is finding who they are and what they want. Ask them questions that show interest in what they have to say. Then you are in a stronger position to tell them how your product or service can satisfy their needs. Stop selling and start listening.

Define your target market

Do you really know your target market? What’s an A grade customer look like. Which person is the likely buyer and what are their demographics? Do some research to better understand where they go to get information they require to make a purchasing decision.

Get active on social media

Almost all your prospective customers will seek information online. It’s worthwhile getting active on social media, however you need to create a strong content and campaign plan. If you don’t have expertise, then speak with someone who does. And be prepared for this to take time to work.

Ensure you are easy to find online

Are you easy to find online? Where does your business name come up when someone does a google search for your business or your product? Are there any online directories that you should be using to drive enquiries? Start with your google listing and ask customers for strong online reviews.

Get yourself an Email list and an email automated email service

The first thing you need is an email list - bigger the list, bigger the potential clients. You can collect your own list of potential customers - stores and businesses that will benefit from your business via a google search. Then use a platform like Mailchimp to send information out and collect queries.

Establish at least 5 Methods to Generate Leads

Experienced salespeople and marketers know that business will generally come from a variety of sources. You should not put all your eggs in one basket. Consider a marketing campaign that includes advertising, social media, networking, referrals and sponsorship. Then measure results and refine.

Always Use Headings in Advertisements

You only have a couple of seconds to grab someone’s attention. The heading is an ad for your ad. It should attract attention immediately. What can you say in 10 words or less to generate curiosity about your service? Focus on words that highlight client needs or demonstrate immediate relevance.

Get your morning coffee and exercise working for you

It’s surprising how effective traditional advertising still is. When was the last time you left business cards or flyers for your business at your local café? Do a letterbox drop in your local area. You can design flyers online easily and have them delivered to your door. Direct marketing often works best.

Look for cross promotional opportunities

Get your friends and family to promote you on their own social media platforms. Have regular shout outs and hashtags promoting your business or products from others. Promote friend and get them to promote you too. Don’t be afraid to use your networks for mutual benefit.


Sales Tips

Sales Tips for the Small Business Owner

Uncover the outcomes the customer wants

It’s not about your product features. Sales success is about what the customer needs. The sooner you can get the customer to share with you what outcomes they desire, the sooner you can make that the focus. Selling is about how you can help the customer win.

Believe in yourself and what you’re doing to help your customers

Why should anyone buy anything if the person from whom they are buying doesn’t even believe in it? Understanding your unique selling proposition (USP) or point of difference will really help with your confidence. What’s different about your product or service?

Be goal-driven and personally motivated

Don’t wait for others to motivate you to get out and sell. They can’t. Only you can motivate yourself. One of the easiest ways is by setting goals you know you can achieve and allowing your success to propel you to more success. Make your goals specific and time-bound.

Pay the price of admission. Do pre- call research!

Before meeting a potential customer, do your research. Understand who the customer is. Get as much information about them as possible. Look for as many ways as you can to align yourself, your brand with them. Visit their website, Facebook or LinkedIn profile.

Slow down to speed up your sales

This is one of the hardest things to learn. Slow down, especially when the purchase is not transactional. Advance the sales process one step at a time. When you're anxious or scared about not getting the business, your prospects can intuitively sense your fear. Be calm.

Don’t spend time with people who aren’t motivated buyers

It might be a prospect who is nothing more than a suspect or someone who is merely easy to talk to, but the issue is the same — wasted effort. The sooner you qualify the person you’re speaking to, the better off both you and the prospect will be.

Follow-up quickly

More sales are lost due to salespeople failing to follow up than probably any other thing. Fast follow-up is essential at every phase of the selling process from prospecting to closing the sale. Tell the prospect when you will follow up and stick to your timeline.

Have a dedicated time set aside either daily or weekly to do your prospecting

Too many business owners find themselves spending far too much time doing everything else but growing the business. If you don’t schedule it and hold yourself accountable, you won’t do it. How much time will you spend on identifying and finding new customers?

Show up and show up on time

More sales are lost because the salesperson either failed to show or failed to follow-through. It’s a sad comment that something that basic and easy could deter more sales, but it’s a fact. It’s important that you keep your sales appointments and follow through.

State your price with confidence

Discounts are often given away simply because the salesperson doesn’t believe in their own price. When giving your price, make sure you have solid body language, a strong voice, and good eye contact. After stating your price, remain silent. Let the customer decide.

Accept full responsibility. Never make excuses.

It’s easy to make excuses for your lack of sales. Your competitors may be discounting price, customers may not be buying, perhaps you lack the salesperson you need to drive sales. Stop making excuses and start working on solutions. There’s always a way to increase sales.

Analyse your sales approach by standing in your customer's shoes

It's not important what you say. The only thing that matters is what your customers hear. How do you interact with customers directly, over the phone, through emails and online? The way you communicate affects your customer’s perception. Be professional and confident.

* Source: Ideas coming from Jill Konrath, The Sales Hunter & Marc Wayshak



Useful cashflow calculators for the Small Business Owner

Annual Spending Calculator
Business Breakeven Calculator
Profit Manager Calculator

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