The countdown is on.
Only 15 days until the big Xmas at the time of this post being published. Now you have only 3 short weeks to end the year on an amazing note, and to plan for next years success.
So…..let’s continue our advent for business.
The next 7 days the Business Advent Challenge will take a little more focus. A little review, a little planning. A lot of growth.
Cool tips and tools to save you time and money.
Got here late? You can still do the challenge! Go for it!
Take Durham AV Group’s Business Advent Challenge!
Part 2: Review, Plan, Act!
Day 8: Review your contact list
Take a good look at your clients. Past, present, future, potential clients, & those people whose business cards you’ve stashed away. Sort every contact out. Get into your LinkedIn account, & any other accounts you have that you have potential clients / contacts that relate to your business (or ones that SHOULD)
Now, sort them out! A,B,C,D or 1,2,3,4 – whatever works for you.
A: Contacts that purchased from you and/or sent you referral business in the last year.
B: Contacts that referred your business in general and people that have purchased from you over a year ago.
C: Contacts that you have been meaning to reach out to (why haven’t you?) Or contacts that have large networks of people that you could sell your product or service to. —- P.S. everyone is a potential client!
D: Contacts who you really don’t need, or haven’t spoken to and have no really reason to (these will be really very clear and there are probably only a few)
You can just delete them from your data base (it’s ok, really!)
Day 9 : Plan of Action!
Start contacting your clients. Send them Holiday cards, give them a call or email them if that isn’t possible. Tell them you are updating your records and actually update them in your database.
Add things like their birthday (you will send them a card if you do this, be prepared – plus you’ll have another reason to contact them again)
Add them on LinkedIn. (and actually communicate with them ON LinkedIn)
Ask about how their business is going. Be interested in what they have to say – take notes so the next time you speak with them you can refer back.
Tell them you appreciate the referrals they gave in the past and if they never have it’s ok to ask if they know someone that could use your services.
They may even ask for your business again themselves, or if you see an opportunity, tell them you have just what they need.
If they are “C” clients DO reach out! These are people that you thought gee there is potential here. Whether it’s through LinkedIn, email or another way, just do it.
“Hey Mike, it’s Darlene from Durham AV Group – we connected via (LinkedIn) and had meant to get in touch with you to learn more about your biz. I’ve been updating my contact list and I can’t believe I hadn’t reached out to you yet. How is (their business) going for you?”
Build that rapport and relationship. Keep on it.
Lastly, tell them you enjoyed talking with them again and to keep in touch!
Day 10 : Review your last 15-20 sales and your system
Do you have a consistent method you use for each and everything that you do that makes your business run smoothly? (Is your business running smoothly? Going back to Day 2) Write down some things you feel you should start doing.
Write out the process you use for each service you provide and the tasks you have to do to to complete this process. (like a checklist)
Compare it with how your last 15-20 sales have progressed. Do you see consistency, or did you miss some steps?
Now you’ll refine your checklist to make sure that every customer you deliver to gets the exact same amount of care and attention as the next one.
Make sure you start at the beginning – from point of contact, during the sales process, delivery, follow up, asking for referrals, keeping in touch, and contacting them for the next one.
Imagine if you are a repeat customer and you get completely different service than you had the first time around – for example, you get amazing service at a restaurant and an awesome steak dinner.
The next time you go you’d be pretty dissapointed if you didn’t get the same experience. And you’d tell your friends. Now imagine if you did get the same experience. You’d tell your friends.
Which scenario would you prefer?
Now when you get in touch with clients you have a list to check off!
Day 11 : Review your Workflow
Now that you know what you need to do and added some to-do’s to your system, you’ll want to take a look at your workflow.
These are the steps and tasks you take to get things done. These are the things that in turn make you money.
Review the tools, programs and procedures you do to complete your tasks. Is there something better out there that will save you energy, time, money?
Is there something that is just easier, smarter or better for you or your company? Your team? Your customers?
Take a look at my other posts for some really great tools that can save you time, money and energy, for the sake of time, here are a few things that I use and recommend:
Day 12 : Review Your Expenses
Hopefully you’ve got a handle on where you are at for the year in sales. And your P&L report. Now lets look at this carefully. And hey, if you STILL haven’t worked on this (mentioned in Part 1) Try using Wave Accounting.
What are you paying for to keep your business going? What are things you should invest in? Do you have things that you don’t need – subscriptions to cancel?
Can you negotiate better deals on things like your phone and internet service?
Even online services have deals right now.
December is a great time to invest in your business and yourself.
Maybe you want to learn how to market your business better or figure out how to maintain your WordPress website. (Or you can hire us to do that if you want!)
You get the picture. Make a list. Go for cancelling what you don’t need first. Then negotiate better deals (or see what else is out there)
Be sure to check that list you made on day 2 to see if there is something you’ve written down to take care of here.
By doing this now you’ll make time to sell in January instead of focusing on your expenses.
Day 13: Check out the competition
Take some time to update yourself on your competition. Who is your competition and why?
You’ll want to look at their websites, social media pages, flyers, online reviews, their blog and comments from customers.
Pick 2 or 3 of your largest competitors and ask yourself:
What do I admire about them?
What do they do better than you?
Why would someone choose their business over mine?
Why would someone choose my business over theirs?
This will give you an idea as to what you need to do to improve your business, the ammo you need for when someone says “I’m thinking about going with XYZ co.”
Day 14 : Review your Services & Products
Look at what you offer and compare it with your sales for the last few months.
What are your customers buying?
What do they see the value in?
What makes you the most money for the least amount of time and effort?
What can you do to improve and be your competition’s competition?
Are there things you should stop offering that have become too much hassle or your business has evolved past a product or service.
See if you should be focusing more on one product or service than another, and also look to see have you been overlooking some of your own services that might be a hidden goldmine?
Consolidate, figure out what you should be focusing on – looking at your competition should help.
Offer something they don’t that makes you irresistible, or just do it BETTER.
Part two of the Business Advent Challenge is finished!
Like my Mom would say “HOLY MACKEREL” !!!! That was a ton of really amazing work you just accomplished! If you’re still working on these tasks, that’s great! You’re doing awesome!
We’ve made way for new projects, new goals, more sales, bigger returns! You should feel excited!
Next Wednesday we will post the next set of Advent days to get your business into gear. You’ll have to come back and see what we have planned! Hint: It’s all to do with your online presence.
Thanks for reading. I hope you feel excited about the next week and congratulations on completing your second set of Advents!
Oh, and treat yourself to an advent calendar chocolate or two… You deserve it!