This month, we review an important series within this study: looking at our business with a clear focus. You might have other areas you want to include in your business tool box-I would encourage each of you to think about your personal business and what works or doesn’t work for you. Every business is and should be different.
Remember how important it is for you to build your own system, not my system or anyone else’s system, but one that works for and with your operation. You can take from a lot of different people to build your own system-write down what has worked for you and what hasn’t so you don’t do it again.
HOW ARE YOU PROTECTING BUSINESS SALES?
Our business is a lifeline to the success we want to personally accomplish. However it is not enough to just want something-a lot of people want success. We need to locate the key(s) that enable us to unlock the future as we personally design our system so it works.
Think about a number of areas to consider and keep in mind you might want to expand your system to include what you need to organize it. This takes a lot of thought, and each of our businesses can be a little different, so be creative and work at making your system different and attractive to the buying public by servicing your clients better than the competition. It will pay off big if you stay with the program and commit to constant improvement.
The following are for your consideration. Think about how your system is set up with these three areas then think about what you can add to your system to make it more personal:
- Forms of marketing offering to buying public
Many of you have a showroom that is the main avenue for selling to clients. This is how it has been done for decades: set up samples that are well organized and marked with clear pricing. Great, but is there a better way? How long has it been since you looked at your showroom and what and how you are offering clients your products and services? This is not to say that the showroom isn’t important, because it is, but I want you to think of additional ways to market your products and services.
FORMS OF MARKETING
I can assure you that over the last 50 years, marketing of recognition has changed. But in some ways it has stayed the same. The outstanding array of warehousing across the nation, the improvements in shipping, and knowing that our delivery now has many more options then it did in the past has all changed. A couple of decades ago, you might order with a delivery date of about two weeks, and the products were in peril until arrival. Today, we can call by 3 or 4 p.m. on Thursday and it will arrive Friday morning.
Thus, most shops work on “just in time delivery,” which works the vast majority of the time. The good is that dependable suppliers’ delivery has helped our businesses keep the clients we have satisfied. On the other hand, it has kept us dependent on what the suppliers develop for our offering instead of using our creativity to come up with unique and creative concepts to help many of our clients grow and be dependent on our abilities to help them.
If we don’t create an offering that is special and unique then our clients are more apt to shop common products for the best price. It is so easy to keep doing the same old thing because it has made us a living. But think of what you might be able to do with just a few additions or corrections-it might just be time to adjust to the marketplace or to lead the marketplace in your area.
Here are three questions to examine. Consider what is best for you and your business and your clients. Remember our businesses are nonexistence without clients.
Does your showroom really show what you want to sell your clients?
All of us have a signature product(s), but often we don’t show our prospects those items we do best. Our showrooms take up some major square footage, but is it paying for itself in proportion to our total square footage?
All showrooms have hotspot areas; use these special areas to display your key high-profit products that have appeal and fulfill a need for the client. These are the unique items-maybe they are items you make in-house or items you are known for in your area. These items that are highlighted in your showroom are so important to the branding of your individual stores, so use this space wisely.
Have you rotated the samples in your showroom?
It doesn’t always cost to change your showroom. Moving items and changing colors can give your showroom a quick change that will brighten things up. Simply moving your showroom products around can make a big difference.
If you aren’t sold that this will work, think about when you attended a trade show and saw something that caught your eye. I’ll bet those of you that have been in business any length of time have asked about a particular product when you went into a trade show booth just to be told, “That is a product we have had for years.” The product wasn’t in the right place to catch your eye, but when it was moved you saw it, you liked it and maybe even bought it.
Moving product around in our showroom can make a big difference. Try it, but be aggressive and make several changes at once so your showroom really takes on a new look.
How do you use the best space (hot spots) in your showroom?
We all have prime real estate in our showroom where every client can see what we offer. We hit upon this a little above, but do you have the best, most profitable items you offer highlighted in this special area? This is often something you specialize in or is a product that brands your business. Maybe you have a line of custom badges you have made for your best client and it would be easy to slightly change the process and adjust for other clients.
Earlier this year, a friend of mind showed me his display of badges on his front counter. He said he makes a badge to include in every order. The badges are custom made to have the group or organization’s logo on them with a personal name(s). He might look up the CEO or president of the company, and then he makes a badge for that person as well as one for the person picking up the order. This has made our friend’s company a lot of sales and has opened doors to other business.
Everyone likes seeing their name on something. I am sure that you have or can come up with an item(s) that make you and your company different. Try it and the make sure those items are in the best traffic area.
If you have any questions, feel free to call 1-317-546-9000 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write me at
Stephen L. Capper
A-1 Awards, Inc.
2500 North Ritter Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46218