“If this is the recovery, then I’m really in trouble”, a small business owner recently confided. Many small business owners can sympathize with that sentiment. While the stock market is up nearly 50% from March, unemployment is still growing and most importantly, sales are still down compared to last year. The good news is that you have made it this far; the bad news is that the recovery may be slow and uneven. If this sounds like your situation, it may be time to improve your current level of profitability and position your company for revenue growth, despite a challenging economy. Some of the following initiatives may be in order: Profitability Improvement: Evaluate the profitability of your business by customer, product, project, territory, salesperson, etc. to find out where you are making money and just as importantly, where you are not. This sometimes leads to benchmarking your pricing and product offering in comparison with the market. Oftentimes this work identifies pricing opportunities that lead to a quick boost in profit margins.
Sales Management and Compensation: The profitability analysis can lead to a change in the size and/or composition of the sales force or sales compensation plans to ensure that your company has the right number of salespeople focused on where your company makes money.
Business Development Plan: Finally, this work sets you up well for a more formal business development plan (especially if bank financing will be required to finance that business development effort). In today’s market, this effort requires a more systematic approach:
Define your company’s target markets, current and desired customer profile, competitive strengths and weaknesses and unique selling proposition
- Identify and prioritize business development strategies designed to leverage your strengths with your target market
- Develop implementation timelines and resource requirements
- Establish metrics and measure results
How do you get all this done while still focusing on your business? Give us a call; we have experienced professionals ready to help. Contact Paul Breimayer, our Director of Business Consulting at 415-408-5021 for more information.