Thursday, March 25, 2010

Patience Is A Virtue When It Comes To Building A Business

A few years ago when we hosted a speaking event for sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer, one of his most important points came at the end of his presentation: "It takes time," he told the audience. "Sales takes time."
What? Takes Time? Are you kidding? We want it now, yesterday, last week...
David Siteman Garland of Rise To The Top said it best when we interviewed him about one of his challenges growing his enterprise: "Patience," he said. "I lack it."
He's not alone. Most entrepreneurs could say the same. Over the years, however, as I've met and interviewed some of the area's top business owners, patience was one of the most striking characteristics they all shared.
It all goes back to the corridor theory. Imagine, as an entrepreneur, that you are walking down the hall of your grammar school. There are doors every 10 yards or so and each contains opportunities that may help you. You peek your head in one door and check it out. If you like what you see, you stick your whole body in and maybe even stay awhile. If not, you head back down the hall to see what other opportunities are available.
The point is simple: If you are not patient enough to really find out about the opportunities in each room and if they can benefit you, all you are doing is aimlessly walking down the hall.
--Ron Ameln, SBM

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Raising Your Prices. Where to Start

The economy is still stuck in neutral and you've cut every expense you can possibly consider (goodbye two-ply toilet paper). Now, it's time to generate some revenue.
One option many owners never consider is raising prices. I know, I know...the economy, blah, blah, blah.
Dale Furtwengler, author of the book, "Pricing for Profit: How to Command Higher Prices for Your Products and Services," says now is the ideal time to create long-term profits and finally get paid what you are worth.
So, let's say you want to raise your prices tomorrow. Where to start?
"You start by ascertaining which of your product or service offerings generate the highest margins," Furtwengler said. "Then, identify which of your customers in that group are providing the highest margins. Next, you determine why they're willing to pay this premium--is it image, innovation or time-savings? Calculate the value in real numbers that these customers get that make them willing to pay the premium. Set your sales script to communicate that real number value, and then revamp your marketing to attract those customers."
--Ron Ameln, SBM

Monday, March 22, 2010

My Favorite Quote

"Life (personal, business) is a circus. If you fail to get a kick out of all three rings' worth of entertainment and can't accept the fact that NOTHING ever goes according to plan, you're in trouble. It's not that every cloud has a silver lining (lots don't); it's that every success is built on your taking advantage of the unexpected detours, setbacks and embarrassments that life routinely serves up. If you can reap joy from the mess that surrounds you, you've gone a long way toward stardom and happiness."

(Tom Peters)

--Ron Ameln, SBM