How To Create Small Business Revenue Fast

by Tom Egelhoff

Author Tom Egelhoff

I've spent over 30 years in sales. I've sold business machines, insurance, furniture, farm buildings, video movies, business forms, commercial printing and even sewer pipe.

I've sold tangible and intangible products. Retail and wholesale. To people in all walks of life an all types of businesses.

Most of those sales were straight commission jobs which simply mean you don't get paid if you don't produce. Every business I know of operates this way.

If you don't have customers that generate more profit than the business costs then you are out of business. And if business is bad or slow you need to generate some income fast or close your doors.

In this article I want to show you some of the ways you can apply the rules of selling to your business to produce customers and business quickly.

No, you don't have to be some kind of sales wiz to apply these principles but you may have to move outside your "comfort zone."

But then how important is staying in business?

How To Use Numbers To Grow Your Business Fast

As I mentioned above, one of the products I sold in my career was office machines. I spent some time with Victor Business Machines back in the 70's.

Due to advances in technology, the products I sold then are no longer used in business but the principles they used are still very relevant today. Here's their philosophy.

Every Monday morning my job was to go out on the street and make 75 cold calls. Great job huh?

Out of those 75 cold calls I needed to find 20 businesses that would consent to trying one of my products in their business.

Of that 20 the national average at the time was 5 sales.

So in short, 75 cold calls = 20 product placement = 5 Sales.

You'll find a lot more detail on the selling process in my book, "How To Market, Advertise And Promote Your Business Or Service In A Small Town."

Now that you know the number principle I need to explain how to make them work for you.

To generate business fast you are going to have to make some contacts and learn how to make them quality contacts.

In the example above, I didn't want to make 75 cold calls every Monday. So my first goal was to get the 20 placements with fewer than 75 cold calls.

I also didn't want to sell 5 out of 20. Twenty out of 20 was probably not a realistic goal, but 12 or 13 out of 20 was. That's called working smarter not harder.

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How To Use Contacts To Grow Your Business Fast

When I mention contacts most people think of cold calls. Finding people you don't know and turning them into customers.

Sorry but marketing just doesn't work that fast. Your marketing and advertising will produce customers eventually but it may be six to eight months before that happens.

That's time you don't have. You need to generate some income now. So, who are the best contacts to do that with?

Employees -

If times are tough, sit down with your most loyal employees and explain the situation. Some may start sending out their resumes but most don't want to go looking for another job.

If your employees don't have business cards...they should. Ask them to promote the business wherever they go and whoever they come in contact with.

Personal Friends -

These are the people who want to see you succeed. Ask them to champion your business to their friends. Would they write testimonials for you that you can show others?

Can you feature them in your advertising?

Current Customers -

As most of you know, it takes six times as much to get a new customer as it does to retain an existing one. So build on your current customer base.

Have a customer appreciation day or night. You don't have to spend a bundle putting something like this on but use the celebration to let customers know you sincerely appreciate them.

Offer a discount coupon to every customer who purchases a gift certificate for a new customer.

Business Contacts -

Non-competing business owners who also need your services. Perhaps you can save money on repairs or services by trading services. Share advertising costs or do "cross promotions. See: "Low Cost Small Town Promotion."

Competitors -

You may think I'm crazy that you can get business from your competition but depending on your relationship it's sometimes possible.

If your competitors are doing well, they may have more work than they can handle.

I know that's not what you want to hear but if you have a relationship with them offer a reciprocal relationship.

If you are busy you will sub-contract some work to them and you will do the same for them. That way everybody wins.

Service Groups/Charities/Good Causes -

Many business people give something back to the community by involving themselves in good causes around town.

This is an excellent way to meet new potential customers and do some good at the same time. Kiwanis, Lions, Elks, VFW are filled with customers you may not know.

Be a joiner and watch your business grow.

Attend Church -

If you are religious.. that's great. If not do it for your business. Your local church is a great place to meet potential customers.

People like to buy from those who think like they do. If you're in the same group or club you are pre-approved by these folks.

I'm sure you can think of more but these are a few to get you started. Every business is people.

You need contacts and customers to be successful. Are they finding you?

If not, you are going to have to go out and find them. See: (How To Make Friends And Turn Them Into Customers).

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Features vs. Benefits

The other rule that all salespeople know is that in order to be successful you must, "Sell The Sizzle, Not The Steak."

What that means is that once you have a customer in front of you they are looking for benefits or your product or service, not it's features.

Every time you tell a customer something about your product or service, imagine the customer saying, "So What?"

You've told me something about your product so what does that mean to me? How is your product going to make my life easier, more secure, more fun, safer, etc?

Show me that and I cease to be a customer, I'm a buyer.

See: Understanding Why Customers Buy.

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More Ways To Generate Revenue

Revise Credit Policies: -

If you are giving credit to customers who are not paying in a timely manner then perhaps you should rethink your credit policy.

Customers who do not pay belong at your competitors. Customers who are loyal and do pay are the ones you want to retain. Make every effort to collect something as often as possible from slow payers.

Cut Waste -

This one is two often ignored because it happens here and there. A little mistake here a lost order there and all of a sudden it's real money being lost that shouldn't be.

If you aren't now, start keeping a log of some sort on your waste or mistakes. This doesn't mean to beat up on employees. You need they're help not they're fear of losing their jobs.

Share the numbers with them that cutting waste is the things that create raises in pay.

Don't do anything in house that can be done cheaper out of house. -

For example, if you do mailings, it seems like you are saving money by having employees sit around and label envelopes or stuff them.

But in reality, a good mailing house can do the same job for less by their knowledge of how to save money on postage and proper use of postal regulations.

Check with a mailer and see how they can save rather than cost you money. Also a good accountant is worth their weight in gold. They can often spot where the waste is and how to control it.

Find a mentor -

Stop by your local library and look at the phone book section or look up similar businesses online.

Find a town similar to yours and call someone in that town who's in the same business you are.

Find out what they are doing. What's working for them? Perhaps you can do the same thing or adapt their ideas to your situation.

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The Next to Last Word on Creating Revenue

You can't survive in business just by showing up. Well, maybe you can during good times but you sure can't during bad times.

This means you need to make contacts. Make sure you always have business cards with you.

Put a business card in every letter and bill you pay and mail. Meet everyone within walking distance of your house.

Take a Saturday and tour the neighborhood... door to door passing out your card.

People are not going to come to you without some effort on your part. The more effort you make the more people will show up.

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The most important part.. Think Positive.

Bad things rarely happen to those who think they will succeed. Successful people don't fear failure. They know that luck happens to those who make their own luck.

Do something each and every day that benefits your business. Write each one down. At the end of the week review the five things you did to make your business better.

Making a business successful requires a great effort but not forever. There are times when you must pull out all the stops.

If this is one of those times, set some goals to make your business better and make the extra effort. Your business will be stronger because of it and so will you.

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