How to Manage Your Pipeline
How is your pipeline structured?
I assume most of you have heard about the sales pipeline. Your pipeline is what keeps your business going. It is a lot like a funnel: at the large end, you need to do lots of activities that will generate a slew of interested contacts; some of these move down the funnel and become coached; of these, a few get qualified, and even fewer go on to be selected and finally closed. Once you have a customer, the tendency is to spend your time at that end of the funnel fulfilling the work. When the job is done, you turn around and there is no more work waiting; you go back to the other end of the funnel and start all over.
The important lesson here is that you need to keep a balance within your pipeline so that you do not run out of clients at the end of the day. Have you ever been in a situation where you were working with one client that took up enormous amounts of your time and you had no time to do your marketing activities? And the client without warning cancelled the project and you were left without any work and nothing in the pipeline? This is the worst thing that can happen to a business. You should always have Plan B and Plan C and Plan D, etc., in the wings at all times.
There are several stages in the pipeline but you must remember to work on it to keep things flowing through. If you get a customer that tends to eat all your time, make sure the client understands that you must take one day or half a day every week to work on your own marketing efforts. You can suggest that they extend the project over a longer period of time so that your needs are also met. You will find that most clients want their project as a first priority and that you will need to schedule your time around your own marketing activities. The important thing to remember is that you must always fill the pipeline.
Your efforts to fill the pipeline while being tied up in other projects may seem difficult but you will find that a number of networking opportunities are either held early in the morning or in the evening. Some events are held at the lunch hour. Take advantage of this and set new client meetings around meal times. Don't let your business dry up; always work towards finding other relationships that can lead to future projects.
Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit http://www.BlueprintBooks.com
How to Promote Yourself to Small Business Riches
You've heard it before; we're living in an information age. The business world is no longer driven by tangible products but on information and ideas. Internet based companies or other companies that use the Internet as an integral marketing tool that don't tap into information-based products or services could soon find themselves without customers or with lackluster sales.
Wichita KS; Anything is Possible in Wichita Business
Just when the entire state was kissing Wichita goodbye, economically speaking, they turn around their economy like a hammer-head stall. The BTK is caught and has gone away and the Aircraft Industry has decided to stay. Last year 40% of all the aircraft in the world were made in Wichita and instead of losing market share they are gaining ground on the other aerospace manufacturing cities in the United States and around the world.
The PR Commitment to Small Business
We're birds of a feather, public relations and small business. Wonderfully compatible and a perfect fit. Usually makes it easy to commit resources to small business success.
Selling Your Business, Entrepreneurs Role
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Get In Touch With Your Competition!
We all know that competition is an ugly word but competitors are a fact of life in business. If your business can't compete with other businesses, don't start it. You have to have some type of an edge.
The Types of Skip Trace Accounts
First, we need to define the different kinds of skip trace. There are three basic types of skip trace accounts, they are:
The Responsibility Conundrum - Where art Thou?
Mr/Ms, 'not me' is often on holidays in your business. Yes come rain or shine they attend the workplace and put in the day for you; coffee to drink, gossip to catch up on, spying on management and colleagues, frequent toilet breaks, long lunches, long phone calls and let not forget the email needs to be checked and replied. Off course the home business needs more customers so a few phone calls here and there are quite appropriate so they think!
Government Does Not Pay Its Bills on Time
Many small companies work very hard to get new accounts. Occasionally they try to get government contracts to supply products or services. Some small business people believe this will help them in case of recession, because the government has to keep going no matter what. They therefore seek a contract as a protection security blanket and guaranteed income to pay their own bills, make payroll and have the cash flow they need to survive at a time when over regulation and hostile litigation is taking its toll on small businesses.
Why Small Businesses Fail (or Fail to Thrive)
Tammy, a skilled and gifted horticulturist, called me to discuss what she needed to know to start her own florist and landscaping business. She had been in the horticulture industry for 10 years and was incredibly skilled at working with flowers and plants ? one of the best. She also had great design skills, as well as good customer service skills. But she had little business management experience and less self-employment experience.
Home Based Franchise Case Study
Here is an interesting case study of a company, which franchised mobile car wash units. It started with the humblest of beginnings indeed. I can say that with complete knowledge because this is a company I started at age 12 years old. It was not until I was nearly 32 years old that we franchised my business. This franchise was great in concept but franchisees would not follow the system enough, they deviated from the plan in most cases. The franchisees that stayed with the plan did very well, the ones who did not, did okay, but could have done better.
Franchising Pros and Cons
Last week's question from Anthony R. on how to choose the franchise that would best fulfill his life-long dream of owning his own business sparked a number of emails from other readers wanting to offer their two cents on the subject.
Solving the Late Paying Customer Blues
Nothing can drive a business down faster than customers who don't pay their bills as agreed. When you sell to customers on credit you are making an agreement with them. You will provide them with goods or services in exchange for their payment within the terms you agree upon. Period.
Starting a Virtual Assistant Business
If you're organized, smart, capable and willing to work with deadlines, you could start a virtual assistance business and cash in on your skills without having to commit to an employer (you'd be your own boss instead) or the "cube life". A VA (virtual assistant) is basically like an administrative assistant (or whatever duties need to be filled, such as writing, link building etc) that serves in a virtual capacity. What this means is that they are independent contractors, and not employees of individual companies.
Carwash Franchisor Case Study
There are only a handful of car wash franchises in the world. This might offer some insight on how car wash franchises come into existence. This is a crazy story. It is the history of our company and how we ended up in the Carwash Franchise business. One of our franchisees of our mobile car wash business; The Car Wash Guys, was in Idaho, was the son of a wheat farmer, the areas largest farm family land holder in Idaho's banana belt. About a month before he called us I put up this web site called www.detailguys.com and said what the hell, I will put up a form in case someone wants to buy a franchise for only auto detailing and not mobile car washing we can make a sub franchise out of it. Previously I did a couple of trade shows. The Black Expo and a BizOp/franchise show, great results and really I did not need any leads. But what I learned was their were significant people wanting low-priced franchises. So I put up the website and put a form on it and the very next day I get a lead from Phil the farmer in Idaho, looking for a simple business. He wanted to start a business, but stick more with auto detailing on a mobile bases, which was slightly different than that of our mobile care wash franchise. So he wanted a franchise ID. But heck I was in CA and ID seemed like another World at the time. It was. Things went good, because we made it work and Phil then bought a car wash guys mobile truck and later an auto detailing trailer and hired on some more workets.
Tips and Tricks for Legal Debt Collections
If a customer owes your local business money, it's hard not to feel angry, like you want to do anything possible to get your money back. But the days of going all out to collect on a debt over. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, designed to protect consumers from harassment or intimidation, sets firm limits on what you can do to collect a debt from a consumer. The federal debt collections law even prohibits practices that were once standard, and that you might not consider harassment at all.
Does Your Business Need a Toll-Free 800 Number?
Should your business have a toll free number for customers to make sales, service and billing inquirers? The industry began in the early 1970's and today most customers expect you to have it. Providing a toll free line can bring in a number of benefits to your business.
The Perfect Mission Statement
One way to determine your companies mission statement is based on a general overview of the company. Some important questions are asked like: Why does the company exist and what kind of business is it in? Is there a particular market or niche that it will concentrate upon? How will the company be distinctive in its business methods? Once these questions are answered, the focus moves to the accomplishment of these broadly expressed objectives. What actions will the company take toward increasing and maintaining profitability, innovation, market standing, or productivity? What financial and physical resources can be depended upon? How will the company oversee and assure manager performance and development while also controlling worker performance and attitudes? In what ways will the public be responsible for determining the success of the company?
Franchising Companies Relationship Strategies
Franchising Corporations need to maintain an iron fist when it comes to certain things in order to maintain absolute integrity of the system; Consistency, Quality, Cleanliness and Customer Courtesy or Service. Ray Kroc in his book; "Grinding it Out" made that point perfectly clear, some called him a hard ass on the details and indeed it served him well and turned 11,000 franchisees into millionaires along with some 1500 executives early on. That of course is one side of the game and it is difficult to maintain control of such important quintessential items in an age of over regulations and constant lawsuits. The best strategy we have found after surveying many franchising companies at; Franchising.org is to have a strong franchise relationship policy, which enhances communications and prevents lawsuits, as litigation is the lowest form of communication.
Small Business Grants - Tips from the Pros
Every business starts with an idea or a dream. To implement this idea or to turn your dream in to reality you require finance. A grant supports the business ideas and turns the dreams of an entrepreneur in to reality.
Time to Sell your Restaurant? Some Advice from Restaurant Consultants, Inc.
As a specialist in getting restaurants open, it is surprising how many people ask, "How can I get out of my restaurant?" Reasons for this question vary greatly, from a death in the family to a merger with another firm, to the end of a lease.
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