I know your business. Because we deal with clients like you all the time, I’ve got a leg up on all those “gurus”, since I’m right there in the trenches with you. – Sara F Gonzalez
Sara F Gonzalez, your tax and accounting expert, here. I know we haven't posted much in the past, but I'm hoping to start talking about your business with you this week.
We've both seen the headlines. Doubtful government decisions, taxes set to rise in the coming years (whether or not they will actually help the economy), your clients and customers are feeling the pinch, and, well... the deck is stacked against small businesses like yours and mine. I know that businesses in your neighbourhood could use a "shot in the arm."
Not Just "Tax Advice"...
As I review our clients' and associates' business tax returns and books, I frequently discover ways to help the bottom line through little-known tax savings, etc.
But I also see that if I could help my clients "fix" their sales, marketing, management, and leadership issues, it would go a long way toward helping them. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I'll share what has worked for me and other clients like you.
And, to be honest, if I can help your business THRIVE during these difficult economic times with my advice, it benefits MY business. I enjoy keeping my clients happy because it means our services will be paid for! And as our clients' businesses expand, so does their need for our services. It's a true "win-win" situation.
But there's a lot of misinformation out there about how to grow your business properly—with cost-effective, powerful strategies that cut through the clutter and generate sales. There are many so-called "experts" out there, and their advice is frequently contradictory.
So, beginning this week, we'll send you notes and tips on a weekly basis, providing "Real World" Business Strategy (that you can use) and guidance for increasing sales, improving leadership, and overall business growth and development. And I hope you'll forgive me if I leave out the "accountant-jargon" and tell you the truth!
Here we go...
Sara F Gonzalez’s “Real World” Business Strategy
First Steps in This Economy / Getting To Know You
In the coming weeks, we'll go over both broad concepts and specific strategies... But for now, in this first week, here's a good place to start (along with a question for you):
The quickest way to solve your company's financial problems is to address the sales issue. Yes, I know that every business is "different," but I've seen it in almost every business category: Increase sales and a slew of problems disappear.
(I understand that increasing marginal costs are making your sales less powerful for some of you, but we'll address that in the future.)
So, how do you go about doing that? There are obviously a lot of good answers to that question, but for a quick boost, here are three lists to get your hands on right now.
- Existing Clients
- “Lost” Clients
The first may seem obvious, but I'm constantly amazed at how many businesses fail to keep good records of their current customers. Again, these are the easiest people to sell to. They've already expressed an interest in your company and demonstrated it with their wallet. Return to them this week with a promotion tailored specifically for them, and the results will be superior to any other list.
“But what if I don’t have a list?”
Good question, and if that's the case, get one started right away. Whether it's by offering an incentive at the point-of-sale or during a client meeting to have them provide you with their information, or simply hiring a high school student to compile all the data for you – this list is your most valuable asset in your business.
I'll address the other two groups, as well as creative strategies for retaining your existing customers, in the coming weeks, but I'll leave you with this request:
Help Us Help Your Business!
Would you take a moment to drop us a line with one of the following?
- A) Tell us what kind of service you'd like to see us provide for you and your business in the future that we don't currently offer.
- B) Could you please send me a quick note about how well we have already served you? Businesses like yours are looking for a good tax professional, and we've discovered that what business owners care about is what others say about us, not what we say about ourselves. Your note would be extremely beneficial!
Next week, we'll be back!
Sara F Gonzalez