Sunday, December 11, 2011

Help Clients Start a Business Right by 8 Tips

When clients fail to plan, they plan to fail

Starting and running a profitable business is not rocket science. The 1st reason many people fail is they fail to follow a well-established business development process. Below are 8 tips to business development that, when followed with purpose, will significantly help your business clients and customers improve their chances for growth and long-term success:

1. Test the Waters: Encourage client so close a sale. While this is not possible for all ventures, making a sale validates the business idea on multiple levels, such as who will buy, why they buy, what they'll pay, how much it costs and how much profit will be made.

2. Research, Research, Research: Encourage clients to Web surf and shop the competition to learn how similar businesses define, price, market and sell their offerings. LIttle is new. Take advantage of what works.

3. Connect Clients to Experts: There are over 33,000 "volunteer" business mentors in the U.S. that offer all types of expertise, such as tax, funding, marketing, import/export, govt. contracting, etc. Introduce and help clients to connect.

4. Write the Business Plan: Require clients to write their own plan and invest the time, hard work, learning and focus that will be the keys to their future success.

5. Fund Innovatively: You well know, banks are rarely lending. Get creative. Will customers invest or prepay? Is joining forces an option where client have "x," someone else has "y" and together they're better off? Is contracting for a service versus buying equipment an option, such as a delivery service instead of buying a truck.

6. Recordkeeping: Require clients to demonstrate that they understand and have arranged for reliable expertise for maintaining breakeven, forecasting, cash flow and bookkeeping records. Business success lies in the details of managing the numbers.

7. Defeat Fear Through Knowledge: Asking for the sale is scary. Maintaining financial records can be intimidating. Investing in ones future is risky. Yet millions of people are doing this every day with success. Help clients connect with no-cost business assistance networks to learn how they can do it too.

8. Focus, Focus, Focus. Profitability is the first objective in business. Focus on a sales cycle where revenues exceed expenses. Assist clients with refining and repeating this process before they start something new.

Like most things in life, the more purposefully you engage, the more likely you'll get the results you seek. Good luck!

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