Thursday, January 26, 2006

Four simple things

My friend Donald Cooper, the Toronto-based retailer turned consultant and public speaker, had a dynamite newsletter today. Here's a condensed version of one of his articles: "4 simple things you can do, right now, to grow your business this year!"

Thing #1: Make a list of the top10% of your customers by sales volume. Call or visit them personally and thank them for their business. Ask what you can do to be more helpful and more valuable to them this year.

Thing #2: Make a list of the bottom 10% of your customers by sales volume. Call or visit them. Find out if they have potential or if you’re doing something to limit their business with you. If they simply aren’t and won’t be profitable, deal with it.

Thing #3: Make a list of your most important suppliers. Call or visit them and thank them for looking after you so well this past year. Ask if there’s anything you can do to be a better customer. Then ask if they have any thoughts on how they can be more helpful to you this year: opportunities, special terms, co-op programs.

Thing #4: Ask each of your staff to give you three to five ideas about things that you need to fix, create or stop doing in the business to serve customers more effectively, increase sales, reduce waste, increase efficiency or improve working conditions.

And they say business is getting too complicated... Donald Cooper has a way of getting to the heart of the matter.

Click here for Donald's full newsletter.
And visit his website here for lots of great articles and insights.

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