I was reading through Mark Cuban’s 12 Rules for Start-ups and Rule No.4 really caught my attention, “Sales Cure All”. I thought to myself, “Could this really be true? Is sales really the answer to everything or are the folks at Entrepreneur.com simply agreeing with these rules because Mark Cuban said so?” The more I thought about it, the more logic lent itself to the argument. Let’s be fair: I did agree with most of the other rules in the article. It was only this rule that took some time to assimilate. “ALL” is pretty broad. Basically, this means that if your organization is not well-structured, sales can solve that. If you are bad at time management, people management, prioritizing, etc., sales can cure all of that. Really?
Yes. Really. If you have no money to stay in business, what structure will you be fixing? If you can’t pay your employees, soon, you’ll have none. What then will all your people management skills be good for?
Please note: we are talking about Start-ups here. These rules may not apply to Coca-Cola, but if you’re Etim John & Sons, looking to grow your business, you may want to pay attention. The logic is fairly simple: No sales, no revenue. No revenue, … need I go on? Yes, you may have a small (or sizeable, all fingers are not equal) war chest to begin with. However, if you don’t make any money, the war chest is bound to run out. Resources are finite. There is no wisdom, faith or grace that will make your money not finish if you remain unproductive.
One of the major keys to business growth is to save and re-invest your income. If you don’t have any income, what will you save and re-invest? How then will you grow your business?
Right from the beginning, when you’re putting together your business plan, think about how you’re going to make money, how you’re going to sell your product or service. The following questions may help guide you:
- Why do people need this product/service?
- Why should they pay for it?
- Why is it important for them to get it now?
The last point is how you turn your leads into conversions. If there is no sense of urgency in your sales pitch, your customer might as well leave and come back tomorrow, and you know what that means. Your bills are not going to leave and come back tomorrow. So, if your outgoings are not going to ‘come back tomorrow’, then neither should your income. Capiche?
…And sell some more.
Let’s look at some logic. If you want to grow, you need more income. And in order for you to get more income, you need to … [come on now, chorus answer] … SELL MORE! Exactly.
The fact is that inflation is a reality. Therefore, even if you do not want more revenue (you must be very special if you don’t), the economy requires you to up your game, just to stay in business. You’re going to need to outgrow the start-up phase one day; you can’t be a start-up forever. And in order for you to do that, you need to grow your business. You need more revenue. You ought to be selling more. This is how you go from ‘start-up‘ to ‘established‘.
All said, I understand that selling is easier said than done. There isn’t a single entrepreneur that doesn’t appreciate the challenges of selling. If it were that easy, we’d all be millionaires, no?
However, we must all start somewhere. And the three points that we mentioned earlier are a good place to start. Draw up a plan, try it out, hone it, review it, do it all over again. And let God bless your hustle.
Until next time…