Small Business Sales: How to Start Selling NOW!

Get a pen and pencil and take notes, because here’s the thing about small business sales: the quicker you start selling, the quicker you start making money!

Small Business Sales: Getting the Ball Rolling

Despite what you may have heard, you don’t need to wait for a website/business card/brocures/inventory/insert reason here to start selling. In fact, it’s in your best interest of your small business to start selling as soon as possible! In this webinar you’ll learn:

  1. Why the length of the average sales cycle means that you need that you need to start selling as soon as possible after opening your business.
  2. Why the reasons people give for why we they’re not selling aren’t usually the real reasons
  3. Why it’s a good thing to “fail fast”. Seriously!
  4. How you can quickly and cheaply create a web presence while you’re waiting for your website to be ready
  5. How to create your first batch of business cards/brochures, and why they don’t have to be perfect
  6. Why you don’t need inventory, or even a prototype, before you start selling
  7. How to quickly draft a serviceable client contract
  8. How to choose a business name and how long you should give yourself to do it
  9. Why your business doesn’t need to be a corporation before you start selling
  10. Why you need to talk about your business with other people – lots of other people!

Anything on that list in an action step that could get small business sales rolling within 2 weeks. What are you waiting for?

So, which step are you going to take for your business this week? Let us know in the video comments, on Twitter or Facebook, or email us at smallbusinesssolver@gmail.com. Don’t forget to come back and tell us how it goes!

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Writing a Business Plan to Get What You Want!

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. That’s why why writing a business plan is the best first step you can take toward making your dream of owning a successful small business a reality.

In this recording of our “Writing a Business Plan to Get What You Want!” you’ll webinar, you’ll learn about what you need to think about as you draft a business plan, including the sections you must include.

Decide For Whom You are Writing a Business Plan

Your plan will look very different depending on who will be reading it. Potential readers might include:

  1. Yourself
  2. A bank
  3. Potential investors
  4. Potential partners

If you’re writing a business plan for yourself, you’ll include different information than you will for anyone else. Similarly, a bank may want different information than a potential partner.

Write the Business Overview

The Business Overview is the section to include the following things:

  1. A description of The Opportunity
  2. A summary of why what you offer is a solution
  3. A desciption of your target market
  4. The unique aspect of your business that gives you a competitive advantage over other businesses in your niche
  5. A brief summary of how you plan to keep that advantage

The Business Overview paints a picture of your business at a point in time.

Write the Vision Section

In the Vision Section, paint a picture of how you see your business in the future. Include details about:

  1. Where you see your company in 3 – 5 years
  2. Your ultimate goal for your business
  3. A description of your exit strategy

The reader will appreciate that you have thought about the future.

Write the Marketing Research Section

Drafting this section is a very important part of writing a business plan. Consider including:

  1. Descriptions of the industry trends, consumer trends, and wider general trends (government, economic, technology) that may impact your products;
  2. Your business’ main competitors and their potential impact.

It’s worth taking time to do any necessary research to write this part of your plan.

Write the Sales Projections Section

The webinar recording goes into how to calculate the sales projections that you should include when writing a business a plan.

Write the Management Team Section

In this section, describe why you, as the owner, are the best person to launch your business, given your support team and contacts.

Write the Marketing and Sales Strategy

Discuss your plan to get the word out about products given factors such as:

  1. Price
  2. Location
  3. Size of area to be covered
  4. Marketing budget
  5. Projected sales

If you need help with this part of writing a business plan our Marketing Solver tool can get you started #ShamelessPersonalPlug

Write the Operations Section

The Operations section is a discussion of issues like processes and delivery. You might want to include details about:

  1. How you’ll track processes to ensure completion
  2. Who handles human resources issues like hiring, scheduling, etc.
  3. The processes in place to handle human resource issues

Nailing down processes is dry work, but necessary. Take the time to protect your employees and yourself and get them in place.

Write the Action Steps Section

Discuss the company’s goals. Break them down into three levels:

  1. Today’s Goals
  2. Short Term Goals
  3. Long Term Goals

Again, this shows that you’ve given thought to your company’s position at the moment and to the direction in which you’d like it to go.

Write the Financial Projections Section

Use this section to demonstrate that the business is financially viable and sustainable over the long-term.

The Last Part of Writing a Business Plan: The Executive Summary

Yes, you write this section last…but it’s the first thing reader sees! Make it compelling! It should make the reader want to keep reading. Are you ready to start writing a business plan?

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Small Business Marketing on a Small Business Budget

When you’re a small business owner just starting out, keeping costs low is a priority. But you also must let people know that you’re in business, offering products and services that that they want – you have to do marketing, and marketing costs money! What’s the solution? How can you do small business marketing on a small business budget?

Fear not – you have plenty of options for cheap and cheerful marketing, and we’ve made the replay of webinar we did on the subject available for you to study and consider. You’ll learn about easy-to-use small business marketing tools that are free or almost free, including:

  1. Your smile!
  2. 30-Second Pitch (Elevator Pitch)
  3. Your voicemail message
  4. Business cards
  5. Your email signature
  6. Demonstrations and examples
  7. Customer follow-ups
  8. Feedback forms
  9. Testimonials
  10. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool

You’ll also learn about Small Business Solver’s Marketing Solver Tool. This assessment uses your responses to questions about your small business marketing needs (your goals, the sort of impact you’d like to create, the time span in which you want to implement a marketing campaign, your budget) you to make suggestions about which of the 300 marketing tools currently out there will work best for you. Each marketing tool suggestion comes with an information sheet you can view about how to most effectively use the tool.

Small Business Marketing Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

Some tools do cost money, but you can keep your initial marketing efforts low-cost until you have some cash flowing into your business. You can then increase your marketing budget as your finances allow. Use what’s available to you effectively and re-evaluate your budget as you become able to – and please let us know what the process is like for you! You can reach us on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email us at smallbusinesssolver@gmail.com.

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Small Business Solver is Better Than Ever!

The Small Business Solver logo - A cartoon man in business attire stands smiling against a blue sky with a cloud in it. "Small Business Solver" in black and "www.SmallBusinessSolver.com" are centred in grey on a white text box next to him.

Small Business Solver has done a relaunch! We’ve worked hard on our website and modules and made some changes to what we offer, and we’re very happy with what we’ve come up with:

  1. 100 new training videos and 105 coaching guides
  2. PowerPoint slides for business centers and incubators
  3. A pay-what-you-can option for business owners and a low-cost plan for coaches that wish to use our materials in their trainings
  4. A new staff member, Sarah Levis, to help with marketing and to respond quickly and efficiently to customer concerns.
  5. A monthly email newsletter to keep all our contacts up to date on company activities
  6. A bi-weekly educational webinar series designed to educate entrepreneurs on a variety of issues affecting today’s small business owner.

We’re very excited about all these things, but in today’s post we want to draw your attention to our live webinar series, which debuted on March 28, 2019. Small Business Solver co-founder and CEO Carla Langhorst did a presentation called “Make It Fly!” where she talked about how to evaluate whether your business idea is a good one, using Small Business Solver’s Make It Fly Idea Tester.

You’ll learn about:

  1. How to test business ideas (and why we don’t, even though we should!)
  2. Questions to ask to determine your idea’s viability as a business
  3. Determining your breakeven numbers
  4. More good questions to ask and things to consider

The live webinar series will run bi-weekly, each one covering a different topic. You can get the schedule for each month, including topics, in our monthly Newsletter. Please do sign up for the webinars, attend, and let us know what you think of them! We would love to hear your feedback.

We post Recordings of all of our webinars to our YouTube channel. Check them out and let us know which one is your favourite.

See you soon!

Non-Disclosure Agreements And You!

A cartoon man and woman hold up a sign that says "Non-Disclosure Agreement!"

Using Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) is a smart move for any small business owner. As you run your business, you’ll work with a variety of people in a variety of contexts, and you may have to share confidential information with them.  You’ll want assurance that the other party won’t share that information with anyone else.  Situations where this concern arises include ones where:

  1. Your employees have access to company secrets, intellectual property, future strategic plans, customer pricing, and many other pieces of information that you don’t wish to have shared.
  2. You’ve shared financial information and future plans with business partners or investors.
  3. You’ve given an accounting firm your financial information, including the debt and equity information, so that they can do your taxes.
  4. You’ve shared information with suppliers on pricing or marketing tactics to be a good strategic partner.
  5. Anyone else with whom you share information with that you want to keep from public knowledge. 

Consider using non-disclosure agreements any time you’re sharing confidential information, especially if keeping that information secret is crucial to your success – if your baking tastes better because you use an ingredient that no one else does, or your product lasts longer because you use a manufacturing technique that no one else has thought of, you don’t want that secret getting out so that other people can also start benefiting from what makes you superior in your market! 

Learn More About Non-Disclosure Agreements and Download a Template 

Thanks to Cobalt Lawyers  and ClauseHound. The information provided may not be relevant to your jurisdiction, this information is not a substitute for obtaining legal counsel, nor does it create a lawyer-client relationship with you, the reader.

Have you checked out our webinars yet? Head to our webinar channel and check them out! Tell us which one you like the best!

How to Build Strategic Partnerships

Strategic partnerships are critical to any small business’ success. Regardless of whether you are a small business or a small non profit, building relationships is critical.

Find out the basics of if you need to build a partnership, how to figure out who is the best to partner with, when you are ready to form the partnership, and how to maintain a healthy partnership.

Walking through these stages and ensuring that you keep focused on the last part – maintaining the healthy partnership.

Contact The Expert

The Small Business Solver Team
www.smallbusinesssolver.com
info@smallbusinesssolver.com

Succession Planning for Small Business

Succession planning is all about planning your exit strategy and maximizing the value that the small business owner receives for their effort (which often amounts to years and decades of work).

It also protects the small business owner, family, and the business from any risk.

Learn the process and your options in 20 minutes!

Contact the Expert
Mike Hook
mike@intrepidlaw.ca

SEO 2015 and Beyond

Search Engine Optimization keeps changing! Small business owners need to keep on top of this to make sure that their small business is found online.

There are some significant changes that happened in early 2015 that you should take note of right now!

Watch this less than 20 minute video to learn everything that you need to know now.

Contact the Expert
Allan Pollett
allanp73@gmail.com
www.allanpollett.com

Writing a Small Business Contract

Small business owners need to know how to protect themselves. A contract is not designed for when the two parties agree, but for any potential time when they don’t agree. That is the key!

In this 25 minute video we focus on sales and vendor contracts, but contract best practices in general. What are some of the clauses and what should be paid attention to? The specific clauses that we walk through are;

1. Parties of a contract
2. Description of the product or scope of services
3. Fees and charges
4. Tax responsibility
5. Rejection or acceptance of the product
6. Warranty period and exclusions
7. Payment terms, due date, interest rates
8. Customer promises
9. Vendor promises
10. Limitation of liability
11. Indemnities
12. Dispute resolution mechanism

Contact the Expert

If you have more questions and need more specifics, please contact Rajah Lehal directly!
rlehal@cobaltcounsel.com

Business Clarity Questions for Small Business

The New Year is a great time to plan to ramp up your business.

Getting ready for 2015 involves getting your business ready with a solid foundation to move forward. Your foundation is based on answering these 7 critical questions.

In 20 minutes, walk through the business clarity questions and answer them for your business. Make your 2015 more impactful!

Contact the Expert

Charles McFarland
Email: cmcfarland@focalpointcoaching.com
Website: http://www.charlesmcfarland.ca
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/coachingbusinessandartsleaders
Twitter: https://twitter.com/charlesmcf

SBS Clarity 14 Jan 2015