18 Key Points for Creating an Effective Sales Attitude

(Submitted by Patrick Dengel, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center and Adjunct Instructor, University of Rio Grande MBA Program/OSU South Centers Collaboration, OSU South Centers)

Sale Sale Sale SaleYou need to have an effective sales attitude to be successful in sales. Staying motivated through the ups and downs of the sales cycle is a must. It is imperative for you to be able to cope with rejection and move quickly to take advantage of opportunities to impress potential clients. Here are some insights that have been found to be effective:

1. See that every day is a new opportunity to sell.
2. Know who and where customers are located.
3. Believe in the products and services, which will truly help customers’ needs.
4. Know that customers must first trust before they purchase.
5. Listen to customers. They will tell you what they want in the first 15 minutes.
6. Be consistent, persistent, and follow through with on-going and new customers.
7. Treat people with honesty, integrity, respect, and dignity.
8. Never talk badly about the competitors.
9. Smile.
10. Write down customer details after a sales presentation.
11. Use time appropriately. Learn the right time to sell and the right time to do paperwork.
12. Establish Daily – Weekly – Monthly Sales Goals.
13. Recognize that small successes over a short period of time lead to large successes over a long period of time.
14. Pay attention to small details.
15. Keep track of trends.
16. Take time to recognize successes. Too much time can be spent on what is not accomplished and not enough time on what has been done.
17. Participate in business organizations such as Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Kiwanis and other groups that can help you network and ultimately make more sales.
18. And finally, NEVER GIVE UP!

Does Everybody Know?

(Submitted by Brad Bapst, Director, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

Does everyone in your organization know the financial situation of the company they are working for? If not, you may be setting yourself up for turmoil. This type of management is called open book management. Many successful organizationsOpen Book share important operational and financial information with their employees so they can effectively do their jobs.

What information, how much and how frequently it is shared varies widely from one organization to the next. In its simplest form, open book management includes sharing some level of financial information with employees so they can understand “the big picture” of how the organization is doing and how the employees’ individual actions affect the results.

The primary objective of open book management is getting the employees to both think and act as though each individual is a part owner of the business. Sometimes this can be a difficult process, because it is not as simple as handing each employee a copy of the most recent financial report.

They must be educated about all of the financial information of the company and learn about how their efforts contribute to or adversely impact the bottom line. Employees in this setting must have motivation and want the company to succeed, if not, the sharing of the financial information could cause many other issues for the company that could have counterproductive results. Critical financial information could fall into the wrong hands and put the company in financial jeopardy.

Potential benefits of open book management can impact many areas of an organization:
• Overall culture of the organization improves (teamwork, innovation, morale)
• Employees are more engaged in their work
• Reporting and budgets become more accurate
• The organization’s adaptability to change and adversity becomes much greater

ManagementIf your organization is struggling as a result of employees who have become disengaged and have lost overall trust with the company, consider open book management as a possible solution. It may not be the answer to all of your issues in the company, but it can help employees to feel more valued and assured that they are getting the whole financial story.

Use Smart Phone Apps to Manage and Pay Employees

(Submitted by Melissa Carter, Director, International Trade Assistance Center, OSU South Centers)

Smart Phone Clock in

More and more businesses are turning to smartphone apps to simplify their operations. Here are two great apps to use to manage and pay employees.

The first app is called TimeStation. This app allows employees to clock in and out using their smart phone. It will also map your location, ensuring your employee is clocking in from the office or job site. If you log onto their website (which is mobile friendly): https://www.mytimestation.com/ the owner can run over 15 reports, follow their activity map, and calculate pay for the week. For 10 employees, the app and online program are free.

Next up is Cash. When the employees have clocked out for the week, and you’ve calculated their pay on TimeStation, it’s time for Cash. The Cash app (https://cash.me/) allows you to securely transfer money from one account to another. It is very easy to set up. After entering a debit card number, you can send or receive money from anyone on your contacts list. When money is received, you will get a text alert saying it is not in your account. Cash is from the makers of Square, the program used to also accept credit/debit cards from your smartphone. Smart Phone Pay

Cash is available for both Apple and Android. TimeStation is available for Apple right now but will be adding Android soon.

Business Plan Overview

(Submitted by Chris Smalley, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

2015 4-2 Business Plan Overview - C Smalley

A business plan is a roadmap to how your business operates; or if you are a start-up, how you envision it to operate. If you are seeking financing, it is generally required that you develop a business plan to some degree. To what extent your plan is developed is typically driven by the amount of financing you are requesting, coupled with your financial history and how the funds will be used.

A business plan usually consists of an Executive Summary, a Business Description, and the 3 M’s – Money, Marketing, and Management.

The Executive Summary is just that a brief overview summarizing the entire plan including the compelling reason the business will succeed. If you are seeking financing, the summary also includes how much is needed for what and from where.

The Business Description describes why the company exists and its relevance in the industry. It also discusses the products or services you will offer and what sector of the industry you will serve (are you in wholesale, retail, etc.).

The 3 M’s – the Money Section (or Financial Section) is typically coupled with a financial projections model showing the cash flow projections, profit and loss statement and descriptions of how each is achieved. It is best to not only show these numbers but also discuss how you arrived at them. To demonstrate your accuracy, utilize figures from industry standards or factual numbers from your current business or a like business. This Section is also where you will discuss details about the break-even and ratio analysis as well as where needed funds will be obtained. You will also need to include your personal financial statement; since in most cases, the business is not the only thing lenders look at and a personal guarantee is required for financing.

The 3 M’s – the Marketing Section can be a plan all on its own as the information supplied in this section is possibly the most important. You may have the best product or service in town but if not marketed properly that product or service doesn’t matter. You will want to answer questions like: Who is your target customer? What is your competitive advantage? What is your strategy on positioning your product or service? What marketing mediums will serve your business best? What kind of marketing budget are you planning? How will you gauge if the type of marketing you are doing is working? All of these are some very in depth questions that call for some detailed and well thought out answers.

The 3 M’s – the Management Section is also very important; however, it may come a little easier to most as this is the area that most business owners already have intact. Although, there still needs to be some leg work done in developing resumes that show the experience of owners and managers. This section should also include an organizational chart showing who is responsible for what and how the decision making process flows: How many employees are needed? What skills do they need to possess? How is risk managed? What professional support is needed?

A well put-together business plan can better your chances of securing funding at a financial institution as well as lead your business to success.

Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for more in depth assistance on developing a Business Plan.