When you are in business for yourself, either with a brick and mortar store, e-commerce or as a solo proprietor of some sort, almost every task you engage in, at its core, is about sales. Without sales, whether of goods or services, you are out of business.

How you treat your employees is about sales. If you can’t inspire them, they won’t treat your customers well and that can result in lost sales. Treat your employees like the business partners that they are.

How you manage your inventory is about sales. If you don’t have the products that someone needs when they need them, you’ve lost sales. Get referrals from other small business owners about their experience with various inventory management systems and invest in a reputable one.

How you manage your finances is about sales. If you allow bookkeeping errors, don’t stay abreast of tax changes or invest unwisely, you may have to cut back on expansion, product development, staff-all of which can result in lost sales. Find a stellar CPA and develop a strong working relationship with them.

How you work with vendors is about sales. If you don’t develop good relationships and make your expectations clear, they don’t feel compelled to serve you well, resulting in late or lost product which could equal lost sales. Act in a way that elicits respect. Cut poorly performing vendors loose.

How you manage yourself is about sales. If you don’t continually learn, whether it is management, technology, marketing, or financial education, you risk not being competitive and failing to innovate which can result in lost sales. Set specific goals for yourself each quarter. Learn new skills. Stay educated on industry trends.

How you market your business is obviously about sales. If you don’t research and test and stretch your marketing perspective and try new methods and doorways, you truly risk sales. Try and test new marketing methods. Reach out to old customers.

How you treat your community at large (casual interactions, civic events, friendships) can impact your sales. If people you interact with associate you with your business, and they should, if you treat them badly it can result in lost sales. Get input on your interpersonal skills and work at improving them. Be a good citizen!

Look around your entire world. Everything you do, in business and in life, is in some way connected to reinforcing strong sales. What can you change today?


by Steven Schlagel