Entrepreneurs know that generating sales is utterly necessary, and this means keeping many inter-related factors moving smoothly through their course. Like a juggler, if you drop any important balls and fail to pick them up, the business spins rapidly toward liquidation. As cliché as it sounds, money still makes the world go round!
Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, and iTunes are examples of how successful a business can become through accurate synchronisation of media and sales, which then births everyone’s favorite offspring – money. As inhabitants of the digital era, we need to ponder the role of the media. One would be naïve to ignore this powerful influencer.
By learning about the three powerful pillars for scaling business growth – money, sales, and media – entrepreneurs can realise their business’ full potential.
Money is the lifeblood of your business. Firstly, you need to know how much money is in your business account every day. If you make this a daily routine as you enter the office – check the balance, assess outflows and inflows – you will plan your day with that data in mind.
Learn how to interpret your financials, be able to read your management accounts. Think about your financial records as your “report card”. The numbers don’t lie, after all. The better you understand your books, the better placed you are to plan and make adjustments in your business.
Pay yourself a reasonable salary. Many SMEs fail because owners either use their business accounts to run personal life expenses or they pay themselves unreasonable salaries when the business is doing well.
Manage your cash flow. Where possible, use credit terms when procuring from suppliers. You will soon find out that the 30-day credit terms offers a much needed lifeline to buy you time till your debtors pay up. Credit is useful, when managed responsibly.
Business development plays an important role in any organisation, because, in the absence of sales, there is no business.
Ensure that you have a pipeline with potential clients (from six months to three years) because the clients you have today might switch to your competitors. Be on the hunt for more business while not forgetting to enhance the service you’re offering your current clientele.
Develop a competitive sales pack. Depending on your sector, have a pricelist, marketing material, a company profile, and an elevator pitch prepared. Provide as much content as you can about your industry, and about your company’s contribution or standing in the context of that industry. There’s nothing more damaging to a business’s reputation as a sales rep who doesn’t know what his talking about. Clients can sniff out a smoke screen instantly.
Always deliver on your sales promise. When things don’t work out as planned, don’t play the blame game. Rather, stand up and take responsibility. If you hold yourself accountable, your clients will probably give you a second chance, recognising your genuine concern for the problem.
Never stop selling. Your word is your honour. Remember to keep it.
Social media and online marketing is a fantastic tool for the modern-day business. Savvy entrepreneurs will do well to manage a professional image on all media platforms.
The first thing people do nowadays after receiving your business card is to turn to Google. Thanks to technology, there’s no such a thing as privacy anymore. Transparency is at a new high. The advantage of this is the bridge you can build between your office building and potential clients. E-Commerce accounts for a big proportion of sales in many businesses, as safe technology enables cost effective and convenient shopping. Consider how best to digitise your offering and service your clients through virtual platforms.
There are many factors for the upcoming entrepreneur to balance, but rest assured that it gets easier to juggle. The longer you do it and the more you practice, the better it getsl.
Neo Malefane is a proud youth entrepreneur. His company, Leano Construction, was a finalist in the 2016 National Business Award. He established his business in 2007 as a second-year Marketing student at the University of Johannesburg. He started actively trading in 2008. After graduating in 2009, Neo turned all his focus on running the business, which has grown substantially in 10 years, operating in Gauteng and Free State, with plans of expansion to other provinces. He currently employs 34 permanent and 42 temporary staff members.
Whenever he can step outside his entrepreneurial duties, Neo enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with his three-year-old daughter, Naledi, and his wife, Reabetswe.