7 Problems That Strangle The Revenue Stream of Small Businesses

Janet Christy

Very often the things that Small Business Owners do not do have more effect on their revenue than what they actually do. 

  • Small Businesses do not know who their real Customers/Clients are.
  • Small Businesses do not follow up.
  • Small Businesses do not take advantage of Subcontracting opportunities.
  • Small Businesses do not network with their true Prospects and Customers/Clients.
  • Small Businesses do not focus on the needs of their Prospects and Customers/Clients.
  • Small Businesses do not get their messages to the proper people.
  • Small Businesses cheat themselves out of revenue.

These are the things that are said by bankers, government purchasers, corporate buyers, small business development counselors, and prime contractors.

The dilemma for Small Business Owners is how to spend the small amount of time and money they have for Marketing in the most effective manner.  Another complication is that for most Small Business Owners, Marketing is not comfortable or enjoyable and is way too complex.  However, the blockade in the revenue stream is something that only the Small Business Owner can release.
Here are a few simple steps that you as a Small Business Owner can take to break the choke hold on your revenue stream.

Identify your real Customers/Clients
Look at your existing Customers/Clients and determine why they buy from you.  Look at the people you think should be your customers and try to find out why they do not purchase from you.  Look at the Customers/Clients of your competitors and figure out why they buy from your competitors.  Compare the results of the three groups.  You will see differences and commonalities that can lead you to the real reasons these Customers/Clients buy – needs/desires, purchase patterns, requirements, obstacles.  Those reasons help you determine:

  • Who your real Customers/Clients are.
  • What they expect of their suppliers/vendors.
  • Ways to show them how your products/services meet their needs and requirements.

Be where your real Prospects, Customers & Clients are
Find out where they are:  What organizations do they participate in? What events do they attend? Do they operate on a job site or in an office?  What blogs, websites, magazines or other publications do they read?

The answers to these questions will tell you where you need to spend your networking time and efforts.  Since you do not have unlimited time or money you need to spend it on things that will reap the best revenue results, including:

  • Places to meet and relate.
  • Places to learn about relevant trends and issues.
  • Places to make your business known.

Follow the processes and directions of your Prospects, Customers/Clients
Remember the phrase “The customer is always right”?  Well, they are.  It is extremely important that you do things the way your Prospect, Customer or Client wants it done.  If they want you to register on a website – then register.  If they want you to provide them a one-page summary of your business, then do not give them a folder with brochures, company history and pretty pictures.  If they want information electronically don’t give them paper.  If they tell you that they need for you to follow-up (remind them) then don’t expect them to remember your business from one trade show meeting.  How closely you follow their procedures and preferences is part of the test to determine if you would be a good and responsive vendor/supplier.

Swallow your pride
If you are willing to be a Subcontractor instead of thinking you must always be the Lead Dog, you will dramatically increase your opportunities for revenue.  You will also increase your profitability.   Here is why.  Large corporations and government agencies often use large comprehensive contracts.  Now, you can debate whether this should be done or not.  But while you are debating another Small Business may be getting hired as a Subcontractor on a project you could have done.  Subcontracting not only increases the number of opportunities for your business; it also makes life easier, because you do not have to be responsible for the whole project nor do you have to do all the paperwork required in the bidding and reporting.  If you do a good job for a Prime Contractor then they will use you again; it’s almost like adding someone to your Marketing staff.

Marketing takes effort and costs money.  Do not waste yours or use it on things that slow down your revenue stream.

Janet Christy, President of Leverage & Development, LLC and author, Capitalizing on Being Woman Owned
Copyright 2010, author retains ownership. All Rights Reserved.

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