Smart Support – Your Chance To Influence
Just before and just after Christmas we surveyed our database of more than 10,000 business owners to try and understand what they saw as their major challenges and opportunities in the coming year.
The results were very interesting and will help us develop what we offer to better meet the needs of business owners in the South East. In the meantime, we thought we would share some of the responses with you and our initial observations:
76 % of business owners expect their turnover to increase in 2013, 90 % expect to sell to more clients, with 43 % expecting margins to also improve and 57 % will increase their selling prices. In the current climate, where there is so much intense competition these seem to be a little optimistic. We often talk to business owners about challenges in their business and the ones that frequently recur are:
It’s hard to materially grow sales due to competition
Margin pressure is huge and margin erosion is a constant challenge
Sales prices are restrained due to cheap competition
So, what are your expectations for the year ahead? Do you expect your sales to increase, will you increase your number of clients? Will your margins improve and selling prices increase? If not what are you doing about it, because your local competition are ahead of the game!
90 % of business owners expect product costs to remain the same or rise and 71 % expect their overheads to increase. This seems to be far more realistic. We think it’s safe to expect costs across the board to continue to rise. The days when business people were prepared to make short term losses to make longer term gains are largely gone. In these days of the internet, where it is possible to check pricing instantly, more and more of us operate ‘Auctions’ where the lowest price wins the business.
Again what do you believe will happen in your business in 2013? Do you have a handle on your costs? Do you evaluate your sales price against your cost price and a process to make sure you are improving or maintaining your margin?
93 % of business owners think tools to help grow their customer base are important (52 % understandably stated this as essential) and 89 % think tools to help improve sales conversion rates are important (57 % stated this as essential).
So the question here is do you have tools and strategies to grow your customer base? How many marketing leads do you generate? What is your cost per lead generated? Do you have a plan, or do you make it up as you go along, and are you monitoring your results?
Likewise, do you have a robust sales process? What is your conversion rate? How many new clients do you sign a week, month or year and, as importantly, how many prospects don’t become clients?
A survey offer for you
The one thing, above all others, that our survey has shown us is that a one size fits all solution isn’t what our clients need or want. Therefore we are developing new evaluation programmes that focus on the specific needs highlighted by our survey and are now offering the following:
SMART Sales and Marketing Review Meeting
We analyse your current lead generation strategies, the sales process, sales reporting and make suggestions on how you could improve it and how working with Smart Support we can help you build and improve your sales and marketing processes
SMART Finance Review meeting
We meet and review the current financial status of your business, your financial reporting and explore how you could improve it and how we would help your business be more financially robust
SMART Business review meeting
We meet with you and explore where your business currently is, where you would like to take it to and how we can work with you so that you achieve the business you desire.
These exploratory meetings will last for around two hours and are free. We believe that once we have explored the opportunities in your business together, you will be so excited by the possibilities and impressed with the support that we can give you, that you will then want to work with us. Your risk is simply your time.
If you would like to take advantage of our review meeting programme simply get in touch and we will arrange to come in and spend some time with you exploring how to improve your business.