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Small Business Sales Strategies

Updated on September 13, 2012

Big Cos. Strategies for the Small Business Owner

Chain clothing store, Montreal Canada
Chain clothing store, Montreal Canada | Source

Small Business Sales Strategies

How To Create More Sales

There are many large business strategies that translate excellently to the small business.

Big businesses spend a great deal of research and development money, and time on creating successful sales strategies. Here are two methods that are the foundation of sales strategies for any business.

Do what you love New Mexico style.

New Mexico products and businesses
New Mexico products and businesses | Source

Doing what you love for two generations New Mexico Style

Empenadas are fruit filled pastries
Empenadas are fruit filled pastries | Source

Do What You Love To Do

You should be doing the business that you love to work in. This will go a long way towards your personal satisfaction and success. It needs repeating that we do what we love the best.

Love making candy, then start, own, or build a candy company.

Love bicycle touring, then start, own, or build a bicycle tourism business.

Ah, but there is more to it than selecting the business. No matter what the business you are starting you will need various business systems. Let’s discuss the accounting system. Accounting is only one example of supporting areas that businesses require.

Say you have started a candy company and are blissful making candy. If you start a candy company because you love making candy, yet, find yourself spending a full half of your time and energy as the accountant for the business, you are no longer doing what you love! You have become an accountant for a candy company not a candy chef!

This does not make good use of your expertise. You are the candy making asset not the accounting asset. In the beginning you may be able to keep a simple set of books to manage the sales. However, as your business becomes more successful, hire an accountant to handle the accounting end of the business.

Finding accounting help does not need to be prohibitive in costs. There are also start-up accounting firms that are looking for their first clients. You can find these companies by calling city business groups, accounting schools and accounting teachers. Retirees are also a good source for part-time accounting expertise.

See’s Candy Anecdote

After my first retirement I worked a season in corporate sales at See’s Candies. One of the things I observed was that See’s Candies kept full in-house control of their signature chocolate candy line. At that time they did not hire out any other person or company to make their chocolates. (This was before Warren Buffet purchased the company, so I cannot speak about what they are doing today.)

Yet, See’s Candies needed to be shipped from California to their markets. See’s hired a professional trucking company to do so. The trucking company had rules written into their contract. No other items were to be shipped in the trucks so no unwanted smell or unwanted flavor leached into the chocolates. The trucking company had a tight contract regarding the temperatures in the truck and the allotted delivery times, too. That must have been one tight contract!

See’s Candies was making sure they spent their precious resources on making fine quality chocolates and not on running a trucking company. They were doing what they were best at which was making chocolate candy.

You should evaluate your business in those terms too!

So, if you are a candy company, make candy! The books should be kept by someone building an accounting company.

Resource Management, Managing Employees

Employees come with expertise too. You should manage their abilities as adroitly as you manage your own. If they are good at sales, let them sell. Too many companies hire an extrovert sales person and then give them draconian sets of sales charts, expense accounts and the like to fill in daily, weekly, bi-monthly, quarterly, yearly, and even five year plans. They place the extrovert in an office filling out forms.

See the problem? Yes, your company needs records. Hire someone as an administrative assistant who is happily and merrily detailed oriented. Let their job description be very clear. They are to assist the sales people by collecting the information and filling out those reports for the sales person. The administrative assistant’s job description may include many things even performing accounting functions.

You must coach the sales person and the accountant to be professional and appreciative of each other. They have no job without each other!

Always hire and respect professionals in marketing, public relations, operations, and other areas. Again, if you are not that big, hire out the functions that you can.

For example, you may not be ready to hire someone full time to fix the candy making machinery, so put a good person or a company on a contract whereby you pay a small monthly fee for the right to be placed at the top of the service list when you call. That way you have expert repair and insure there is no downtime in production.

Outsource creatively and well in order to protect your most valuable resources. You will be helping to grow other businesses.

One last thing about employees; Appreciate them.

Anyone else recall the scene in the1951 Scrooge movie where Scrooge is taken back in time to Fezziwig’s Christmas Party? Old Scrooge was delighted with how much fun the employees were having and yet commented at how little Fezziwig spent on such a party.

Meanwhile, old Scrooge was denying Bob Cratchit a scuttle of coal to make his work space warm.

Okay, you would never be that bad.

Do keep in mind it costs so little to show appreciation to employees. The hourly worker would like a bonus now and then, a free lunch, or a paid afternoon off. The professional while liking bonuses (who doesn't like money?) would also like to be included to a Chamber of Commerce meeting or given a membership in a pertinent business organization.

Be Fezziwig and not Scrooge.

Coming soon…..

· Independent start-up or franchise?

· How the Sales Floor can create more traffic and sales

· How to use the Internet for sales

· Understanding Market Niches to Create More Sales

· Service Retailing

Do what you love!


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    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 5 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      thanks toknowinfo

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      This is a well written and very informative hub. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and putting this article together. I most definitely learned some new things. Rated up and useful.

    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 5 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      Thank you Maddie!

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 5 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Great advice for anyone pursuing a small business. I think many people burn out precisely because they find themselves caught up in doing everything themselves. Knowing how to delegate (and who to delegate to) can save your business, and your sanity.