When you first launch a small business, you may be tasked with a variety of responsibilities. These may include renting a storefront, acquiring inventory, employing employees, and selecting a banking institution. However, if you ask Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank what you should prioritize as a new small business proprietor, he will most likely say “sales.”
Why powerful initial sales are essential
At first inspection, it is understandable why O’Leary would advise small business proprietors to prioritize sales. If you do not make transactions, you do not generate revenue. And revenue is necessary to develop and sustain a business.
O’Leary states that this is not the only reason to focus on sales, especially during the first two years of operation. You are demonstrating the legitimacy of your business and validating your concept by focusing on sales, which is an important factor.
Entrepreneur quotes O’Leary as saying, “If customers are willing to purchase your product or service, that proves you have the right idea; now you just need to scale it up.”
In addition to focusing on revenues, says O’Leary, you should also concentrate on expanding your consumer base. This, he says, may require some creativity and a willingness to provide incentives, such as discounts for recurrent purchases.
Consider also offering discounts to consumers who pay in advance for your product or service. Thus, your business receives early foundation money, which you can use to expand your product line and — wait for it — maintain robust sales.
Do not travel alone
Following O’Leary’s advice to focus on sales is sound advice, but you shouldn’t be the only one striving to increase sales. If your top skills are creativity and organization, but you’re not precisely the aggressive sales type, you may want to delegate this task to someone whose personality is better adapted to it.
Employ a sales team or even a single representative to promote and market your product. Thus, you can devote time to other issues that must be addressed when your business is in its infancy.
Keep in mind that as a small business proprietor, you may sense the need to do everything, but you actually cannot. That could very well result in exhaustion. Therefore, if sales are not your forte, locate someone to assist you. And even if you’re a sales prodigy, you may still need assistance to manage issues that are best handled by a business proprietor.
O’Leary insists that sales and loyal customers will ultimately be the key to expanding your business. Therefore, if that is your objective (which it presumably is), it is worthwhile to focus on sales, even if it requires you to seek assistance.
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