Business Back To The Basics

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My garage is full of junk.  That’s right.  If you opened my garage today you would see junk piled high.  It goes half way to the ceiling!  Wood, insulation, drywall, light fixtures, dirt, and cabinets that had been torn out.

The master bathroom in my house is being remodeled.  It’s a gut job.  We’re taking it down to the raw studs, and then creating a brand new bathroom.

Initially, we were going to re-decorate, but that really didn’t seem to solve our issues.  Sometimes you have to go back to the original studs and build what you want, just the way you want it.

In business, it can be the same way.  Over the years you gradually build your business.  You implement systems, and you adjust your systems.  Marketing generates leads, and you close them.  Some ideas work.  Others don’t.

Many times, the ideas and techniques that had worked in the past get modified.  After several changes you don’t even recognize your original thought or process.  And then some time down the line you wonder, “Why don’t we do that anymore?”

It is easy to get off track or just try so many new things that the old proven techniques get covered up or forgotten.  Maybe now is the time to get your business back to basics.

Look at these three areas and evaluate what you have done in the past, what you are currently doing, and what you want or should be doing as you move forward.

 

1. Marketing

All too often I work with companies that have had several successful marketing campaigns over the years, but then they move on to something new.  I truly believe in trying out new marketing ideas.  I also believe that you should keep a log of what works, what doesn’t, and when you have used various marketing techniques.

There is a difference between “resting” a marketing tool and failing to remember that it has worked for you before and probably would again.

Make a list of all the different marketing ideas you have used over the years.  Then, next to each one mark whether it was cost efficient, a loser, or just break-even.  Also, mark down when you have used those techniques.  Going forward, add to the list as you try new marketing ideas.

Now, are there some ideas that have worked in the past that you haven’t used in a while?  Have you been successful with a program in the past but failed to use it in a long time?  Maybe now is the time to pull out that proven technique and put it back into your arsenal.  What a great way to implement a successful idea and not have to reinvent it from scratch!

 

2. Sales

After over thirty years of sales experience, and over one hundred million dollars in product and service sales I’ve learned several undeniable truths.  Two really stick out.

First, it takes a proven sales system to be able to achieve your very best in any selling environment.

Every great sales professional that I’ve ever known had a system.  They had a step-by-step approach that they followed to achieve their success.  Some of them created their system, but most of them were taught a system by another proven sales professional.

Selling is a planned campaign.  You don’t just “wing it” and make it big.

Second, over time sales professionals tend to take shortcuts.  They get away from their proven sales system.  They think that they are good enough to eliminate this step or that.  The truth is that they are good because they have all of those steps in their system.

What I’ve discovered is that in the short-term you may continue to enjoy success as you trim steps or take shortcuts, but long-term, the changes add up.  Before you know it you have significantly deviated from your proven system.

After a while, sales level off or even decline.  The sales professional starts thinking that the market has shifted, that customers are changing their buying habits, that competition is growing, or that their price is too high.  In reality, the only problem is that the sales professional needs to get back to the basics.

Look at your sales system.  I teach a nine-step system.  Some people I know use a seven-step system.  What do you use?  Have you adapted your approach over time?  Are you taking shortcuts?

Make a list of the steps in your sales system.  Is there something missing?  Are there some basic steps that you need to go back to or include?  Get back to the basics and get your sales moving up.

 

3. Strategic Planning

Before most people go into business they spend significant time planning.  They create a well thought-out sales and marketing plan.  If they have a retail store, they plan the layout and flow of that store.  They plan for financing, and they plan for challenges along the way.

There is a lot of time spent thinking not only strategically, but also tactically.

After someone opens his or her business it is not uncommon to see the tactical thinking completely take over.  The strategic thinking is pushed out the door.  The rush of everyday problems is the only thing that the owner has made time to deal with.

Many times, the owner is experienced in a trade or skill and doesn’t have the business training to think or plan strategically.  Delegating and creating time to work strategically may be the most important commitment an owner can make.  It is great if you can think and plan strategically on your own, but if you can’t, then get a coach to guide you.

Strategic thinking is what you build your business foundation on.  What are your company’s values and goals?  What is your company vision?  How does everyone around you fit into your vision of the future?  What will have to happen this year for you to be happy next year?

These are all tough questions, and you must spend time dealing with each of them.  Strategic planning is at the heart of every great organization, from a one-person sales company to a company with thousands of employees.  Make the time to create your successful future!

 

In the rush to get ahead, don’t forget what has worked and what events have brought you to where you are today.  Maybe it’s time to take your business back to basics, recapture successful ideas, and put yourself on the road to Building a Better Biz!

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