Archived Story

Looking for ways to increase your business

Published 9:57pm Thursday, February 7, 2013

By KEN SCHWENK
In the current economy, standing still may mean you are going backwards.
You may have opportunities to increase your sales that you haven’t yet discovered. Right now, you probably know who your best customers are and what they buy from you. But what you sell and who your customers are is not necessarily going to continue. Products and services are changing. Re-examination is vital in today’s economy.
I have worked for and run several businesses over the past 50 years. Most of the businesses were hi-tech, and what was current at the time the customer bought it became obsolete in several years. We had to develop the next generation to keep our business going. Changing circumstances kept us on our
toes.
I recently advised a company that had been successfully manufacturing a product line used in most homes. It was selling these products through contractors who did not service the equipment. The downturn in the economy was hurting its sales. I asked the company if it could service this equipment to end-users. It had not tried to do that, so we constructed a plan to try that approach, and it succeeded, increasing its business 25 percent.
If you are having a downturn in products or services and you are not meeting your forecasts, review the market you are dealing with and see if you can augment your products and/or services to add to your sales. Your costs are possibly going to go up because of taxes and/or medical insurance. So, your sales will have to increase to cover these costs.
Our SCORE counselors are available at no cost to help you either as a sounding board for your ideas or to review your possibilities based on their own experiences.
SCORE is a national, nonprofit organization that offers confidential and free counseling to small businesses. In the greater Washington area, contact SCORE by leaving a phone message at 252-974-1848, by visiting the website at www.EastCarolina.Score.org or visiting the office on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the JobLink building, 1385 John Small Ave., Washington.

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