Web Based Sales Training Can Get Your Business Back on Track

Two forces are working together right now to cause a perfect storm for small businesses. 1 – Small businesses have a cloudy view of their market. 2 – Small businesses don’t realize that they have this cloudy or distorted view of their market.

You could argue that there are more than just two forces creating this perfect storm. We are in the mist of a gripping recession. Layoffs are still occurring; unemployment is hovering nationally around 10%. Fuel prices are still high and groceries are not getting any cheaper. Customers have gone out of business.

On top of all that you have a political climate that has lead to a stalemate. Even the small business champion – The Chamber of Commerce has been shut out of the legislative process.

However given all of the above small business people are still out there working everyday and they are as optimistic as ever. I try to meet as many small business people as possible at least 4 times a month through my own networking efforts.

I love hearing their stories. How they are overcoming the obstacle and pressing their businesses forward.

In my own 25+ years of being in and around businesses of all sizes I have noticed that a lot of times businesses bring on their own problems and have their own perception of their market.

That perception of their market may or may not be correct. It is this perception that gives us the cloudy or distorted view of the market.

What we have all probably noticed is that people in general get shaped by all of the outside influences that surround them. Recessions happen, unemployment goes up and down, prices rise and a thousand other factors tend to cloud a persons view.

They get themselves and their businesses boxed in by this view. Once they are in the box it is hard for them to let in the fresh air so the business can advance.

This is not just a small business phenomenon. Big businesses have the same issue. They can get boxed in with a cloudy view of their market.

There is a way to break out of the box.

You need positive outside influences to get your business back on track. You need someone with some business acumen to help you clearly see your market.

In any town there are people who have the business acumen to help get your business back on track. Typically they have “consultant” or “trainer” printed on their business cards. These people can help you redefine your market and to help you seek out new customers.

In my own work as a sales trainer in the Atlanta area I regularly conduct custom training classes or new hire sales training classes to help businesses succeed.

One method of consulting and sales training that is currently catching on is e-learning. These web based sales training classes are economical, topical and are broken up into smaller segments that take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes.

Being affordable is obviously a big draw to companies that know they need to break out of the box. Our web based sales training is also LIVE. It always been my feeling that there needs to be an interaction between all of the participants. Being live and being lively helps stimulate the conversations that allow all the participants the ability to see their true market.

The point of the training and/or hiring a business consultant is to bring in new ideas into a firm which will help it get it out of the box. The added benefits are when a sales training is completed the sales representative are ready to go and hit the ground running.

If you can get your salespeople to hit the ground running, and running in the right direction then you will ride not only ride out this storm but you will come through even stronger than when you began the ride.

Web based sales training is just one way to seek out new ideas which will get your business back on track. Talk to your local business consultant if you find yourself in a perfect storm.

Take Your Business Back to School

It’s August and that means parents everywhere are beginning the annual back-to-school rituals. Every parent knows (and sometimes dreads) the process. If you have school or college aged children, you’re probably dealing with it right now. Or maybe, yours are “grown and gone”, but you still remember the drill.

For business owners this adds more chores to your regular list. But have you considered that your business may need a back-to-school brush up as well? Once everyone is settled back into the classroom routine, it might be a good idea to have a chat with your VA (virtual assistant) or business advisor, while the issues are fresh in your mind.

While customs vary from family to family, and from region to region, there are certain necessities that are universal back-to-school activities.

New Clothes: Your students look forward to a new fall wardrobe when the school year begins. Everyone wants to start off right by looking their best. The same may apply to your business. Is it time for a fresh look for your website or updated info on your brochures?

School Supplies: Many children – and not just in the younger grades – really enjoy getting new pencils, notebooks, crayons, backpacks, etc. This might be a good time to evaluate and/or plan for business supplies. Do you often find yourself with too many or too few of needed items? Or maybe there is a big-ticket item that you would like to have. Now is a good time to plan for how to get these things to improve your business.

Health Check-Ups: With sports physicals, required vaccinations and developmental testing, a visit to the doctor’s office is often a part of the back-to-school routine. It’s important for educational progress and safety to make sure students are healthy and ready to learn. It’s also important to periodically assess the health of your business. Do you have adequate cash flow? What type of marketing will you use to ensure the health and progress of your business? Are you prepared for growth?

New Friends and Contacts: One of the exciting parts of a new school year is the opportunity to meet new friends and re-connect with past ones. And of course there are new teachers with policies to sign and contact forms to fill out. Your business can also benefit from new friends and contacts. What’s the current state of your social networking site pages? Do they need updating? Or perhaps you could benefit from a more regular schedule for these activities.

Enjoy August as a time of new beginnings for students and businesses.

Repeat Business: The Art of Bringing Business Back

The balance in potential business income is easy to understand, but hard to nail. If you provide a service that only requires one visit per customer or one visit every few years, you need to charge a rather high price just to keep yourself out of the unemployment line. But if you have a service or product that customers will constantly want or need, you can charge low because you know they will be back the next day or the next week.

The best franchise opportunities to get into are the ones that can possibly serve each customer every day. Fast food vendors top the lists every time. Subway, McDonalds and the like actually have repeat customers on a daily basis. Janitorial services are also rather regular repeat business transactions. An office might require your services once a week and you might have ten offices a week. My art workshops are great for regular repeat business because my students come back weekly for a workshop and they go from workshop to workshop. This provides me with the chance of getting to know them on a more personal level.

Construction and real estate top the lists for one stop customers. A big time tycoon might need more than one house a year. But, the individual home owner might average a house per every seven years. Construction and real estate are great businesses to be in when the market is good, but you will rarely work with the same customer on a monthly or even yearly basis. Tax consultation is another great business to be in, but you will only work with your customers once a year. These types of businesses can be very lucrative if you position yourself in the right place at the right time and are on top of your game.

So, when you are looking for that perfect entrepreneurial opportunity, I suggest you narrow your search down to the type of business that pulls customers back in your doors more regularly. Low overhead, minimum inventory business opportunities get you into business with little start up capital. And there are great opportunities in place that meet that criterion.

What is actually required to start an art workshop center? You need a location. I’ve seen plenty of art workshops run out of the home until enough money was generated to move the location. Actually, it helped promote and attract my students. Starting one in your home is a more welcome atmosphere to get to know your initial students. Plus, they feel more at ease about taking your workshop.

Students can easily be required to bring their own art supplies unless you actually want to add a small supply shop so that students have supplies readily available to them just in case they need something during the workshop. You can also add bonus supplies that come with signup to any of your workshops. It’s easy to cover if you just add the cost to tuition. You can get the supplies fairly cheap when you order in bulk and you can require students to pay in advance so that you are not coming out of pocket for anything.

Now, all you need are the students. My art workshop franchise has everything in place for you to get started from marketing to training. It’s a step by step process that comes with constant support. I’ve even personally walked several of my students through the process of starting their own workshop. But, we have so many more resources in place since those beginning days.