There is a difference between being informed and inundated, the prevalence of depression and suicide have increased. Yet through all of this small businesses in South Africa are pulling in their belts and getting on with business, some are doing better than ever.
As a consultant and training facilitator in the Small Medium Enterprise (SME) market, I am forever enthused at the resilience and creative thinking of the small business owners.
I am employed by companies to help them implement, new systems which help business‘s manage better in the new economy. I also re-train staff and management on creative ways to generate business and create positive leads. Yes re-train I have to train people not to invest their time and energy into how bad things are and instead activate and enforce new motivated ways to think out of the old box and into a newly shaped one.
I am not saying you need to put your head in the sand, like an ostrich, but do you need to listen to the same thing over and over every waking moment of the day. That is the difference for you as a Small Business Owner having the motivation to continue finding new ways to do business and promote your services.
So I thought I would share my insight and 12 years experience with you. During challenging times the first thing that gets cut is the marketing and then the training budget. The two tools that could possibly get you through the tough times, its like MacGivers trusty Swiss army knife.
One of the most important things to do is keep in contact with your customers about products that could possibly help them in this time, products should be specifically poised to help people do better business. SME’s tend to forget about their most important asset their customer base and cash flow management products.
That’s where I come in, there are some software products on the market that are relatively inexpensive that will help you manage and grow your client base, record history of contact with clients, create and schedule appointments and follow up on possible opportunities in the future. Its like your best PA in a box, they will remember everything remind you about appointments, take notes about particular deals etc. This product, just like your PA, will become your most valuable asset and at the same time all notes appointments and other information is in one place.
Now that is called organization, something SME’s battle to get done. The system also helps you keep in contact with your client by allowing you to send out regular product reviews and other important information.
This is a bit of a mind shift especially for sales orientated people much of the business done today is done in casual conversation, the problem is we don’t take note of the details. That’s the second secret training your sales and telesales staff to think differently and follow up on potential leads. Business in general has relied on the come to me attitude, as in there was so much to go around that you would get sales anyway. That pattern has changed to a look for me pattern, look for clients at every opportunity that need your product or who might know about someone who may use your or need your product.
The other secret is managing cash flow which is quite a difficult one especially now, you need to keep your eye on the prize. It’s an add on product for Pastel Accounting users which allow you to record information about debtors against their account, manage the collection process and what action has been taken. Why is this useful ? well you can get a report daily that tells you who has promised what, when and how, this becomes vital in managing your inflows with your outflows. In an SME environment this is the second heartbeat of the business, keeping your accounts and accounting systems accurate and up to date with detailed information as regards payment deadlines.
The last part of my job is to analyse systems and staff to ensure the best performance of the business, training and motivating the staff is the key to success. With things such as Muffin mornings we can together change the way people are feeling about business and the stresses and strains of everyday. Learning to listen to each other and create a way forward for all concerned. This is the most exciting prospects as people are one of the most important valuable assets. Motivated staff = Good Business.
For more information on the products mentioned please contact our office as indicated below, or if you just want to get motivated and feel good about what you do again drop us a line if you are interested in one day workshops or if you would like to receive our newsletter telling you how to create business in the new economy, email us today.
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