How do I increase sales quickly? Monthly overheads and repaying banks' loan had eaten all the cash.
As an Architecture Products Contractor, the requirements on projects become tougher and the contracts' values awarded are very low. In addition, competitors are lowing the price further to compete the contracts.
Understand such condition, can anyone advise how to increase the chance to grab more contracts in order to increase the sales (assume that there isn't issues in delivering the work)
I'm late to the party but that's an understandable question. Also, a lot of great answers here.
Unfortunately, the answer to this isn't simple. In my view, a sales focus is a great way to start. If it isn't out of the question, look into contracting a few sales people in exchange for a commission.
Also, look into how efficient/inefficient your marketing and advertising practices are. There are many surprising, inexpensive ways to increase your exposure in the marketplace.
Lastly, I would look into your online presence. I've personally seen clients of mine reap successes just after tweaking their online marketing. If you aren't familiar with SEO, look into it. I'd be happy to help you out. Just send me a message.
If you want to provide more details about your business that would help me, but here are some general ideas to consider.
When cash is tight it might seem like you should try and land any deal out there because you need the cash. Do the opposite. Focus you energy and proposals on prospects and clients that "believe in your value" and are ready to buy. Don't go after those just shopping to compare your price to the vendor they already prefer.
If you commit to working deals that fit your value offer and working with people that can buy sooner than later it will free up some time to do some educational or informational marketing to attract more of these folks.
As you now know there are not guarantees in business but desperation usually does not work. Things will either work out or not, but working in a smart way with the type of customers you would prefer to have will build a business you enjoy coming to work at. Beating your head against the price shoppers will provide you an income but at what price to you and your hopes for the business you want?
You are welcome to call me if you need more guidance. I hope my answer will provide some help. It's not easy but it's worth it.
Rene Zamora - 916-596-3713
If your only value is your price, you need to rethink being in your business. In EVERY industry I've studied, the highest price firms grow the most and make the most profit - even in a difficult economy or with tough competition. You'll need to focus on your strengths and points of differentiation -- and yes, you have them. Some people buy their clothes in Walmart, some in Macy's, and some in Nordstroms - for the same short sleeve white shirt. People pay higher prices for different reasons - but you have to provide the reasons - even in bid situations. You can pay less than 50 cents for a stamp to deliver a letter in roughly 3 days or you can pay $15 to send it overnight. So many people naturally overnight their letters for impact or a bit of speed . . . at a 3000% increase in cost -- yes, in today's difficult economy.
Tell me more about your business and your strengths and I'd be glad to help you gain more business . . . at higher prices. It is ALWAYS possible!
I can help you based on my 15+ experience in sales, passing from the lowest levels to the top in sales expanding in different industries and global companies.
I have ready solutions for all cases based on personal experience.
Have you ever considered Business Modeling to develop a sales growth strategy?
We take a clients through a 4+ hour session leveraging the disciplines of general systems theory to develop a graphical depiction of how their business and operations actually work today. This common operating picture highlights potential choke-points as well as risks. By creating a dynamic system model you are outfitting your company with a clear, concise, and unique way of viewing your business and process and will allow your team to get clear on how different aspects of the business affect the overall business. The system model becomes a foundation for growth and future innovation - It's hard to increase sales (sustainably) and grow the business without these foundations. - Depending on where you are located there are several good resources for this - Look up "Business Physics" or system modeling.
Get known quickly through your presence online using special Google search keywords that put your company in front of more Buyers of your services. Traditional SEO for your web site would be too expensive, but you can have a Video Marketing campaign, even without a web site much cheaper. Check it out here: http://youtu.be/dyra8vHlwZI
This problem are being faced by almost everyone in the world in most of the industries. I always tell clients when you pay peanuts you get monkeys. I am not sure whether my comments will be able to help or not.
First of all if I am in your position, I will cut whatever overheads which I need to face every month. Then I will negotiate with my suppliers to get a better costings that they will be able to provide. If not try to package in whatever services that you are offering instead of breaking it down in detail. Example; assuming that there are 3 services which you are offering, try to bundle it together so that overall you still be able to obtain profits in every project. Most important thing is your business development personnel must be able to understand your clients requirements and motives.
I would look for supportive sales or services where the cash flow would help you survive during the bad times. Just an an example start up a business that helps your current customers in some other ways or add new products to your current offering.
I am enthusiatic about Lean Six Sigma and its possibilities to develop your internal processes. Make sure that your processes are streamlined and cost efficient.
hi Joseph and Kevin
thanks for the input.
This is a mature market and what Fazal had mentioned a buyers' market. Both sellers and buyers have good knowledge of the products and the needs. The price cutting throat exercise normally happen every 3 years and last for around 2 years. After the exercise, contractors that cannot survive will leave the market and turn it into a sellers' market.
In our market, working with existing customers does help to a certain extend where we keep receiving small orders, but in current environment, existing customers also trying to squeeze us dry. Cold call doesn't really work for small jobs (existing customers will provide most of the time), as for big job open tender - we need to compete openly with the rest of the competitors.
Cold call and follow up. Ask the customer what you can do to get the business's from them today. They will tell you and just do it!