So you’ve come this far, you’ve done all the hard work, had the signs made and erected, unpacked the stock and placed it on the shelves, but now is not the time to take your foot off the peddle. The day the doors open and you start trading. Whether you’re a virtual business or a physical one you need to be prepared for the very first trading day.
This is the final part of the 10 days to starting a business series. In case you missed the earlier articles in the series you can catch up here.
Have a checklist
Start with having a checklist for all the tasks and operations which need to be carried out on your opening day.
Create a checklist for daily and weekly activity that you want to happen as part of the operations of your business. You may wish to break this down by area of activity, eg cleaning, cash operations (including banking), who is going to do each task and when is it due to be undertaken.
For example if you’re operating a food shop you aren’t going to be doing deep cleans during busy trading times.
Simply create a spreadsheet in Excel or Google Docs and list all of the activities that need to be undertaken over whatever time period the checklist relates. Ideally the list of tasks should be grouped in a logical order (which could be by area or it could be by type of activity), then in the column next to the task list, put the name of the person who is responsible for completing it.
At the top of the column put the days of the week, or if it’s a daily checklist put the hours or time that the task needs completing.
The checklist is a valuable tool to ensuring consistency in service delivery to your customers. If you’re using in manufacturing your products then it will ensure a high level of quality in your products.
Don’t overlook the power of the checklist.
Whilst you don’t want your sales staff to sound like robots, you will need to have prepared a “cheat sheet” listing all the features and benefits that the product or service provides. For example
The camera comes with telephoto lens
Which means that you can take photos of objects a distance away.
You may also wish to draw attention to your service standards or unique selling points, for example a 60 day no quibble guarantee, free XYZ, gym membership for a year or whatever.
Make sure that your staff can tell your customers why they should be buying from you and not your competition.
Closing the sale
Closing the sale is often about overcoming peoples objections. But in order to overcome these objections you’ve got to understand what the underlying problem they have have and then frame your answers so they directly address your customers problems.
Problems should be seen as opportunities. If you can identify a problem then you can identify a solution which your product or services meets. If your product or services are seen as valuable to your customers and in solving their problems then you are seen to be valuable to your customers.
The best sales professionals invest substantial time and effort in positioning themselves as experts in your field.
So, that’s it. 10 lessons you can apply to starting your own business. What has been useful to you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.