Stressed Not enough time to do everything you want? It’s so easy to get tied up in the everyday running of your business, and therefore lose focus on where your business is going, where you want it to be and how you will increase sales. That’s why I think folks should take 5 minutes to focus daily on their businesses. One thing I come across when talking to clients is how time is so precious, and there never seems to be enough of it. I also see a lot of folk getting bogged down in paperwork and process rather than spending time doing what they do best, whether that be their trade, or talking to their customers. So, one of the first things to examine if you’re looking to increase sales and developing your business is to ensure that you are using your best people to do what they are best at, and if you work on your own, it may be worth looking at everything that you do, and work out if there is a possibility of outsourcing some of what you do.  Sure it may mean spending some of your hard earned cash, but imagine the increase in revenues if you have everyone doing what they do best… some people call it speculate to accumulate, I prefer to say it’s a guaranteed investment where you WILL see returns.

Here are some ideas to get you started to increase sales by working differently:

  • If dealing with unnecessary sales calls is the bane of your working life, or you’re often out on site, and leave your answer machine to pick up messages (that’s if a customer is inclined to leave a message, most will not, and will simply move on to another company who will answer the phone) it’s worth considering a telephone answering service.  You can trial most out, or choose a pay as you go option. The answering service answers the phone as if they are working for you, with your company name and will ask the caller how they can help. They will then take a message (people will leave messages if they are talking to a human rather than a machine) and email you the message. The advantages are that you do not get charged for all of the sales calls that they field for you and you get an instant message from them, so that you can return important calls immediately. I use a telephone answering service, and I know that I don’t miss any important calls, it also means that I’m not tied to my desk, so that frees me up to get out to meet clients as much as possible. You pay to receive your messages (on a pay as you go system it’s generally about £1 per call) , however I justified the expense as increased time in front of clients means I can increase sales (which far exceed the £1 per call that I’m paying)
  • If you spend lots of time doing paperwork (doing your books, sending out quotes and submitting tenders etc) it’s worth engaging the services of a virtual assistant. Sure you could employ someone full time if you have the budget and the work levels, however, most people tend to find that they need support for a couple of hours here and there, or regular support for a few hours per month. Again examine how much time you are spending doing those tasks, and if those tasks are stopping you generating revenue by reducing the amount of time you can spend with your clients or getting out to potential customers to increase sales, then this has to be a valuable way to spend your resources. Always consider the return of investment on each area – if you were not doing each task – what could you be doing instead that generates revenue, increases sales or enables customer interaction, if the value of that revenue or customer interaction exceeds the amount of cost for the tasks that you need a virtual assistant to help with, then it’s a no-brainer in my view.
  • Are you a genius at your trade or area of speciality, but not so confident when it comes to increasing sales or to attracting new customers? Consider a consultant – most will charge on an hourly basis (although there are differences in the minimum number of hours of engagement) and are specialists at what they do, therefore, they can help you increase sales and improve your business visibility whilst you do what you are best at.  That’s a win/win situation, as they are there to help you drive business, meaning that you can spend even more time doing what you’re best at, and the more work that you do, the more recommendations you can get, the more revenues you will receive and the more productive you are.
So, take some time out, and think about everything that you do that takes your time and energy in your business. Could you be more profitable by outsourcing some of what you do to ensure that you spend time doing what you are best at? I’d encourage you to try one or two things out – please let me know how you get on by commenting below. Caroline Thomas will help you to increase sales by providing sales and marketing strategies and social media marketing solutions  – to find out more or to book an appointment, please call 0844 556 5116 or email [email protected] – Caroline is also easily found on Twitter and FacebookCaroline on Google +  ]]>