Regardless of the stage of your young venture, positive cash flow is always critical and cash can be very tight; especially in a pre-seed venture. Most of your money will need to be allocated for operative and administrative purchases and expenditures (e.g. insurance, interest payments on bank loan, etc.), which results in the need to plan your spending very precisely. This post is a list of tips where on how to focus on your expenses to keep the most in your pockets, for you to have successful start into your venture.
Trust suppliers that offer trials to their product
When setting up shop you will need to install the right tools that will help your business to function and open. Some examples are a bookkeeping, online storage, web hosting, etc. There are tons of suppliers for each of your needs, some offer multiple solutions, others integration amongst products. One thing you should look out for is the option for a trial and an upgrade feature. Start with a smaller version that you can upgrade over time.
Watch Sales and Hot Deals
Try avoiding buying list price on any item you need to purchase. Agreed, it is very convenient to purchase items online with a single click, but with a little bit of research you will most likely find deals on almost any item. Every dollar counts in a small company.
Seek out multiple quotes for amenities and services
Even the smallest of start-ups will rack up decent amenities bills (especially if your business involves manufacturing). It thus makes sense to do your research when it comes to electricity, internet and insurance providers. Aim to receive several quotes and different opinion on your needs. Companies try to you on things you may not need.
Here’s a tip that does double-duty both for the environment and your business budget: save on power! Start by giving your label-maker a work out by printing off some simple instructions to remind your employees to turn off lights and computers after leaving for the day.
Employ an intern or student assistant
Internship schemes or student assistant assignment present an ideal opportunity for start-up owners to get an extra pair of hands on board with no expense to the business, and free positions will be snapped up like hotcakes by university students and grads.
and you can keep up a continuous stream of enthusiastic young workers into the future.
Engage cheap marketingYouTube
Facebook, Instagram and are all free platforms which – if cleverly – can reach millions. The best news for you is that they’re totally free, so get your digitally-literate interns on the job, and watch your business’ reputation grow.
CAPEX vs. OPEX
Buying upfront vs leasing over time is a not-t-forget business expense. Yes, a monthly payment of a few dollars that meets the budget sounds like a very attractive opportunity, compared to a higher price tag when flat out buying. While this subscription model works well for some items, considering a purchase upfront for other items will save you in the long run. Check your options!
Business Development in a Start-Up environment is a challenge most young businesses are facing, especially in the initial stages of their business. Unless being a serialpreneur, entrepreneurs are not very experienced in driving a business. However, Start-Ups can do exceptional business development using these tried and tested tips.
1. Give priority to your clients.
It is extremely important. Your clients are your asset and when a Start-Up generates an unhappy client, the news spread fast. Every successful business prioritizes its clients above everything else. Even if you mess up, your extreme customer service and care will make your clients come again to you. There are many examples when services and products failed to satisfy customers but customer service did satisfy clients.
Start-Ups, who want to extent their business into the global market, have plenty considerations to make. For a successful lift-off into a different market, Start-Ups need a solid runway with strong internal leadership to handle the new responsibilities that will arise. Good timing, global competition and adaption to a new culture are also a critical element to this process. Talent acquisition, new sales processes and modified business models, can seem as daunting and scary obstacles on a path to global expansion. Don’t let these challenges scare you off from global expansion. Below is a brief summary on what elements to consider:
It’s the makings of your worst nightmare: deals that were once on the table disappear, new leads aren’t coming in as fast as they once did… your sales pipeline is starting to dry up.
Anyone who’s been in this situation knows that there are two routes to take. The first is to panic (which I don’t suggest); the second, stay calm and work towards a solution.
In any business, some months are quiet, and others are tough to keep up with—much like the ebb and flow of a tide.
What Not to Do
It’s easy to panic about your dropping numbers, but don’t frantically scramble to fill your sales funnel.
Turning to desperate tactics will likely hurt your business in the long-term. Following these simple rules will help you focus on being proactive rather than reactive:
For any size business, regardless of the age of the company, a great sales operations team is both strategic and tactical. The best time to build a sales operations team will depend on the nature of your sales process and the value you place on effective and efficient selling.
My time in sales operations has helped me connect the dots from start-up to scale. I was part of a 4 people SaaS technology start-up that grew to more than 10 times original size in less than 5 years. I was part of the M&A when that company was acquired by a small to medium business with 500+ employees. In addition, I was part of a start-up from founding to scale in North America.
I’ve thrived in the chaos of a start-up sales team that newly founded. Further, I have also seen what happens when little companies grow up and face common pitfalls. A typical pitfall in sales operations is to take a one-size-fits-all approach and implement a sales operations structure/template that worked somewhere else.
The territories, quota model, incentive structure, processes, and policies that I developed over the past years were custom and not one-size -fits-all. They tightly integrated into our products, services and sales process.
What I have learned and applied consistently is to not assume, look for the differentiators and the uniqueness of each situation.
There is a lot of great business to business sales content available on a weekly basis. I often find that much of the B2B sales strategy content is targeted at large and medium sized organizations.. Sometimes articles like these over complicate things for growing firms. I have created my own list with tips for B2B key account management for startups.
Set-up review sessions
Set-up semi-annual or annual review sessions with your accounts. Review the good and the need for improvement. Using metrics and quantifiable information is often the best. This is an excellent opportunity to get feedback from the client outside of the regular day to day; it is also a good time to talk about future solutions or features you will be adding. If you have smaller accounts, do it over the phone versus in person.
Connect with your key account contacts
There are often a key or a couple key contacts within the account. Connect with them on Linkedin, Twitter, and with email newsletters. Are they opening your emails? Have they taken a new position? Are they commenting on a business pain? Information from these tools can help update you to what is going on with your key contacts.
Get wider and deeper in the account
Try and connect with other contacts within your key accounts. Wider refers to across to new business or functional areas. Deeper refers to getting higher within the accounts. This could help you find new opportunities and also protect your business if a key contact leaves. If a contact moves to a new organization that could open up opportunity at the existing account if they were a road block or if they were a great ally then there could be an opportunity at the new account.
Use a customer relationship management (CRM) system
A CRM will help organize your contact with the account. The emails, calls, meetings, issues, and resolutions are all important examples of interactions with the account and key contacts. This will allow your organization to be proactive with accounts based on your interactions.
Often the easiest path to new revenue is with existing accounts.
These simple key account steps you should build better relationships with your Key Account. That should lead to happier customers and more consistent revenue.
When building a sales function, sales and account management teams can meet or exceed your goals. As a technology company grows, senior executives must begin to "take their hats off" and delegate responsibilities to senior executives in their organization. At the beginning of the company's life cycle, the CEO will probably hire a sales manager or a handful of salespeople and "leave your sales hat" to focus on corporate strategy.
A great sales operations team knows how to influence business strategy and make tactical changes helping field staff to be more productive.
This can manifest in several ways:
1) your average deal size goes up,
2) your closed-won deal count goes up,
3) both (which is preferred) and your revenue contributed per active sales rep or demand gen rep may go up.
You should expect efficiency gains through simpler processes and documented policies. You should also expect a hungrier front-line team (Sales Representative + Account Manager) that is motivated by your incentive plan to attract new customers and protect or expand your business book. You have a Chief of Staff, a strategic partner in building a first-class income team.
Finally, you should expect to make important decisions based on relevant data. If done correctly, sales can help replicate and reinforce the success of your equipment while helping to "build a better space rocket," which makes your launch engine not only a unit, but also abandon the stratosphere leading your team to scale start.
Sales is fundamental to a business that needs to move from a chaotic sales process to a more strategic goal of its sales resources, to accelerate your time in the market; and to create a flexible and scalable business base.
In my opinion, a big sale does not mean sticking to comprehensive interruption initiatives that fit well with the CEO's annual execution plan (although this could be politically smart), but sales operations must apply guerrilla tactics to evaluate and implement changes quickly To boost the organization: to help sales sell more (at a lower cost of sales) to the right people. It also means helping your account management team develop strategic processes and programs to reduce service costs, reduce customer turnover, improve customer satisfaction, increase customer expansion and create enthusiastic supporters.
Finding the right time to start selling is difficult. Executives with experience in sales and account management know that their main function is to efficiently manage, train and develop their employees and help their team achieve their sales goals by attracting new customers and satisfying customers.
The same experienced sales executives realize that if they spend most of the day doing operational work (territories, policies, processes, analysis, training, incentives, etc.) they do not have bandwidth for their own tasks, equipment and prospects. / customers. good This is useful when building a dedicated Sales Operations team. But do not wait until your teams obviously need support. Hire a sales expert who can manage all aspects of Ops.
Ups and downs in the sales cycle and business climate? If you understand that leads can dry up and businesses have bad months, then you can be proactive in your sales strategy and avoid potential nightmarish situations.
How to make sure your sales pipeline is always full:
Instead of panicking, use the above tactics as a part of a larger strategy to ensure that your sales funnel runs over for many quarters to come.
All software companies need software developers. It's almost as easy as it gets. He also needs business development and marketing personnel. But a person who will forget very often is an Account Management / Business Operations person. These are the five main reasons why all new software companies should have a person to manage accounts / commercial operations on the team:
1 Ensure smooth onboarding process
This seems like an obvious statement, but you would be surprised how often a new client signs the dotted line and then falls into the customer's abyss. Avoid the frustration of new customers, make sure the customer always has someone they can talk to, who can explain the product, and who is not the founder, you already have too much on your plate, and if the customer base grows, too it will be his lack of time to dedicate himself to the client.