I know your business. Because we deal with clients like you all the time, I’ve got a leg up on all those “gurus”, since I’m right there in the trenches with you. – John R. Helms
John R. Helms here, your tax and accounting professional. I know that we haven’t posted much before, but starting this week I’m hoping that you and I can have a conversation about your business.
You and I both see the headlines. Questionable government decisions, taxes sure to rise in the next few years (whether or not it will really help the economy) your clients and customers are feeling a new pinch, and, well… overall the deck is stacked against small businesses like yours and mine. Right there in your neighborhood, I know that businesses could use a “shot in the arm”.
Not Just “Tax Tips”…
As I look over business tax returns and the books of our clients and associates, I often find ways to help the bottom line with little-known tax savings, etc.
But I also see that if I could help “fix” sales, marketing, management and leadership problems for my clients it would go a long way to help. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I’ll pass along what I’ve seen work for me, and for other clients like you.
And, I’ll be frank…if I can help your business THRIVE during these economic times with my advice, it helps MY business. I like keeping my clients doing well, because it means that our services will be paid for! And as our clients grow their businesses, their need for our services also grows. It’s a true “win, win.”
But the problem is that there’s a lot of confusion out there about how to grow your business right-with cost-effective, powerful strategies which cut through the clutter and create sales. There’s a ton of so-called “experts” out there, and they often give conflicting advice.
So starting this week, we’ll be sending you notes and tips on a weekly basis-offering “Real World” Business Strategy (which you can use) and guidance for increasing sales, improving leadership, and all-around business growth and development. And I hope you’ll forgive me if I lay aside “accountant-jargon” and give it to you straight!
Here we go…
John R. Helms’s “Real World” Business Strategy
First Steps in This Economy / Getting To Know You
In the coming weeks, we’ll discuss both general concepts and specific strategies…but now, in this first week, here’s a good start (plus a question for you):
The fastest way to fix financial problems in your business is to fix the sales problem. Yes, I know – everybody’s business is “different”, but I’ve seen it across almost every business category: Make more sales and a host of problems disappear.
(Now for some of you, I know that your increasing marginal costs are making your sales less powerful, but we’ll address that in the future.)
So how do you do that? Well, there’s obviously a bunch of good answers to that question-but for a quick surge there are three lists to get ahold of right now.
- Existing Clients
- “Lost” Clients
- Targeted Prospects
The first one might be obvious, but I’m continually amazed at how many businesses don’t maintain good records of their current customers. These are the easiest folks to sell to again. They’ve already indicated interest in your business, and have demonstrated it with their wallet. Go back to them this week with a promotion just for them, and the results will be better than any other list.
“But what if I don’t have a list?”
Good question, and if that’s the case: start one now. Whether it’s by giving an incentive at the point-of-sale or client meeting to have them provide you their details, or if it just means hiring a high school kid to compile all the data for you – this list is your most important asset in your business.
I’ll address the other two groups in the weeks ahead, as well as creative strategies for going after your existing customers, but I’ll leave you with this request:
Help Us Help Your Business!
Would you take a moment to drop us a line with one of the following?
A) Let us know what kind of service you’d like to see us provide for you and your business in the future, which we are not currently providing you.
B) Would you write me a quick note about how well we’ve already served you? Businesses like yours are looking for a good tax professional-and we’ve found that what business owners really want to know is what others say about us, not what we say about ourselves. Your note would really help!
We’ll be back again next week!
John R. Helms