Joshua Schultz's avatar image.

Focused on optimization & efficiencies in business, fun, and life.

My name is Joshua Schultz, I'm a small business consultant working with teams looking to grow sales, raise margins, and streamline their processes.

Anonymous profile image
  • How can a small business effectively manage a plateau in sales?

    My small business is not suffering, but it isn't flourishing either. Do you have any tips on how I can reorganize my infrastructure for growth?

    Joshua Schultz's avatar image.

    Many times, focusing on sales actually isn't the answer. Now is a great time to go back to your internal processes and structure and redevelop some of your core principles. These in turn will assist in driving sales.

    For example:I dealt with one supplier which dealt in high precision components for aerospace. After digging deep into their present state and seeing what was and was not driving revenue, we chose an inside out approach.

    We developed 7 basic processes to manage orders, external communication, and quality. We then documented these and shared them online with all of the current customers. Finally, we created a basic piece of software which gave transparency into the quality aspect of the supplier for customers.. a type of web application / portal. Sales doubled within 2 years after implementing this. Why? We noticed: * Employees felt more confident in the business being able to handle more due to processes, and this led to more confident communication about the firm to current and prospective customers. * Current customers were wow'ed by the portal which gave them transparency, they loved this... and word traveled. * The firm was able to go after a more technical crowd now having a way to give them transparency in the process. The customer no longer felt that they were giving up control.

    Knowing to make the changes above was the end result of a real deep fact finding project on my firm's behalf. Once the real needs were established from an outside perspective, knowing what to do was clear.

    Often times, you can boost sales by focusing inward rather than outward. Some places to look for ideas: * systems and processes where there could be efficiencies * Look for what could be automated through software or paperwork * Communication both internal and external * Look for what your customer is really looking for (what is the pain they are trying to solve by using you). * Use current data you have to find the people you are really helping. There are prob 20% to 30% of your customers that are actually ideal. Focus on setting your business up for these individuals. * Understand how to position your firm to meet these needs, and correctly develop your message to make that clear. * develop internal tools, forms, or other media which can help you run your business.