How Solopreneurs Can Succeed At Sales is a question I get asked frequently when I meet with a business client for coaching. When you’re a solopreneur you have to wear many hats and one of those hats includes making sales and closing deals. If you don’t do it and if you’re not devoting a specific amount of time a week to the task of sales, your business — obviously — won’t succeed or grow.
How Solopreneurs Can Succeed At Sales
- Set aside time for marketing. Don’t “wait for time” to open up. Put specific hours to market for new clients into your calendar and be dedicated to your marketing during those hours.
- Set aside time each week to attend networking events. Be of service to those you meet and they will likely be inclined to want to work with you or buy your products when they are in the market to do so.
- Have a sales process and strategy in place.
- Have a smooth onboarding process for new clients and follow that each time.
- Build templates for your sales and marketing strategy.
- Have a follow up system and process in place and follow through. If you say you will call a potential client at a specific time, don’t be late. These initial contacts are what shape the course of your relationship.
- Reward or thank long-term clients.
- Recogize and thank new clients.
- Offer “rewards” for clients who introduce you to new potential clients. Word of mouth is the most valuable advertising a business owner can have.
Know that, in order to grow, you have to get out of your comfort zone and talk with potential new clients. It is always nice when a new client finds you, but you can’t wait for that to happen, you have to proactively take steps to grow your business. As a solopreneur you will wear some hats that aren’t as comfortable as others, but they are all necessary parts of growing a viable business.
Need help crafting your sales message, follow up strategy or other sales-centric questions? Let us know in the comments.
When you’re an entrepreneur, you need to know how to manage business debt. When I work with business clients, one of the first things I advise them is to start out on a shoestring. If you don’t truly need to rend office space when you’re a start up, then don’t. Anywhere you can cut costs without impacting the quality of the goods and services you require, the better it will be for your bottom line
If you find yourself struggling with business debt, here are a few solutions to get yourself out.
- Inventory your debt. Look at total debt, interest rates, repayment terms of all the money you owe. If it’s for a product you purchased — a computer, for example — make note of that. If it’s credit card debt or a revolving line of credit, note that as well. You need to know where and how you’re spending your business’s money before you can put a plan in place to reduce debt.
- Grow your sales to address debt. Reward long-term customers with discount prices if they “renew now!” Incentivize customers to stay with you and get a quick boost of cash to help your bottom line.
- Cut costs where you can. Again, if you don’t need an office or don’t need an office as large as the one you have, downsize. If you aren’t seeing results from various advertising, stop paying for it. If you have signed up for online groups or courses or classes that you simply don’t use, cancel the subscriptions.
- Talk with your business banker and ask about consolidating high costs debt and refinancing to obtain lower interest rates and better terms.
- Shorten the payment terms with your clients. Rather than having clients on a “net 45” switch to a “net 30” or “due upon receipt” as a way to infuse your cash flow.
Don’t let your business debt crush your spirit or your efforts to grow. Simply take a step back, take an inventory and move forward with more fiscal responsiblity.
Morning Success Routines For Entrepreneurs. If you start your morning early, you just might be more successful! You don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn — unless that is your wont. But there are some things that I have found from reading and from running my own business that simply make people more successful.
Morning Success Routines For Entrepreneurs
- Wake up! Some entrepreneurs wake up at 5 am, others “sleep in” until 6 am, but they all wake up with a positive attitude. Waking up early is a habit you can cultivate. Many entreprenuers find that if they wake up early they are more productive. You could wake up early and exercise, or eat breakfast or read a bok. Waking up early means you need to stop hitting the snooze button and just get up. Make sure you go to bed early enough that you get between seven and nine hours of sleep so you can face the day.
- Stay off of your phone and email. Don’t get on your phone or check your email or get on social media first thing in the morning. Don’t let an email put you into a “reactive” mode. Start your day, then get onto your phone or on socila media. Turn your notifications off so you can undertake your morning routine without interruption.
- Eat breakfast. Your mother was right. Eating a healthy breakfast is the best way to start your day. Breakfast fuels your brain and your body for the day ahead.
- Before your feet even hit the floor, think about the successes you anticipate with the coming new day. A positive attitude upon waking will carry through the day.
- Take time each week to set your goals and priorities. This will keep you on track and focused. I suggest preparing your next day’s to do list before you leave the office so that when you get to work you aren’t faced with multiple decisions — you can sit down and get right to it.
Once you’re in the office, get down to work. Train your mind to equate your butt in the chair with focused attention to your business. Let me know how these routines work for you.
Stress less, focus more. Does that seem like an impossibility? If you put plans in place in your business and your life, you will be able to do just that — stress less, focus more and get more done. How do I know? Because I practice what I preach and when I work with my business coaching clients, we work on focus and priorities.
Stress Less, Focus More
Priortize. If you don’t know what you truly care about, you will fly from project to project and may not be focusing on those items about which you have a deep, meaningful connection. If you can’t focus, take a step back and write down what your priorities are? Then write down what you’re focusing on. Are there places in which those two intersect? If you’re focusing on non priority items, you need to determine why you’re letting yourself get distracted then work to get back on track.
What are you striving for? Are you ambitious? Are you seeking the correct items? Are you finding your efforts being scattered because you don’t know what you’re aiming for? In the book, “Essentialism,” author Greg McKeown writes that success is about “getting more focused and aligned.” He writes about the “disciplined pursuit of less.” This doesn’t necessarily mean you disregard tasks that need to be completed, but instead you focus more fully on priorities and work on non essential items after you’ve completed the essentials.
Where do you rank? When you look at your daily priorities, where do you and your business rank? If you are performing tasks for clients and disregarding your own tasks and priorities, why is that? You need to “put on your oxygen mask first” as they tell us on board airplanes. Take care of yourself and your business. If you and your business aren’t healthy, neither will thrive.
Delegation. If you’re still struggling to keep up with tasks in your business that aren’t generating revenue, why? You need to delegate those tasks for which you aren’t well-suited — even if they’re necessary to your business — and outsource. You need to focus on your core competencies. If bookkeeping isn’t your core competency, delegate it to someone who has that expertise and focus on your own expertise.
Look at your business, your priorities and where you rank on your daily to-do list and see if you need to shake things up in order to thrive.