5 Actions to implement in your biz from #IceIdeas

The IceIdeas forum gathered a sellout crowd of 600 entrepreneurs.
Below are my pick as the top 5 messages that owner managers should take away from the day and action.

            Sales – the No.1 source of capital

  1. “Spend as much on sales and Marketing as product development” – what is your sales and marketing budget vs development budget?  In my experience the cost of sales and marketing of successful companies is more than the R&D budget.
  2. “Sales is more about the customer and customers procurement process than the product “  –  This is particularly true about selling into large companies. Who are the influencers in the decision, is budget approved and planned ?   “People will do what they want when they want “ – this was a great quote on the day  – I still see companies expecting businesses just to buy because it exists.
  3. “Be the newspaper not the ads”– in your communications spend 25% on sales 75% on value for your client. Too often I see people in the social media space bombarding us with messages of buy – buy – buyPeople
  4. Why should the 20th person join your team?” – This is a great concept, often in growing companies we get so focused on the hype of getting started yet  we  do not put enough effort into talent management. For many businesses that have great sales pipelines the marketing effort needs to go into attracting and retaining great staff.
  5. “Every one should know – what every one else does on the team” So true, it’s important that across disciplines everyone has empathy for each others role in the company. To often the techies and science people absolve responsibility to the sales effort and vice a versa
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First Impressions Count – 8 Tips

The real world says first impression count – how much business are you missing out on because you are maiking 8 basic mistakes?  Here’s 8 turnoffs for me (or a potential client)…

  1. Do you have a dedicated domain email address?   
    Sorry but there is no excuse for a @gmail or worst still @hotmail account any more. Register a domain name (costs $40 per year). Hell I would recommend getting a family domain for your kids.  www.freeparking.co.nz
  2. Does your web site exist and not look like a child made it at school?
    Too many companies use large homemade web site that say nothing of relevance for their customers. At very least commission a graphic designer to develop a simple holding page with your contact details on it. Less done properly is better than lots of crap. This is the best place to spend your next $5 – $10,000 of marketing money. Also make sure it can be viewed on an i-phone and i-pad – people who use these devices buy stuff.
  3.  Do you exist on LinkedIn?  Linked  is the easiest way to build an online profile that will help you get clients, qualify staff, suppliers and much more. Start a profile today www.linkedin.com
  4. If I Google your business name or your name something comes up? Failure to have any online presence today is suicidal.
  5. What does your business card look and feel like?
    Make sure people get an idea about what you do from your card. Use the rear of the card as well, use quality print stock and finish.   
  6. Is your mobile phone no. on your business card?  
    Having your mobile phone no. on your card says I am open for business.
  7. Do you post clients stuff that can be emailed?
    Don’t post me something that can be emailed; most business people today are mobile, paper gets wet- lost and ignored. My suggestion is email everything. Last weekend at a trade conference, I heard someone say since they started emailing bills out they get paid faster.
  8. How you look, appear and smell?  Tidy & not smoking in my presence?  Style matters, it doesn’t matter what the look is – but remember it reflects your company and personal brand. Young entrepreneurs soap and deodorant are necessary. Old guys it may be time to throw out that sports jacket that has served the last 10 years  🙂

 As a footnote – remember the world does not like plastic flowers “perfect in every way” have a personality – brand and stand for something.