What are you spending most of your time doing?
Pretend you recently started a new business. What do you picture yourself doing?
Are you cleaning up your new office? Sorting your staff into departments? Ensuring all of your equipment and computers are up to date or planning numerous meetings with your accountant and banker to talk about financing?
I hope you are doing none of those things, or at least spending very little time doing them. You should be dedicating at least 95% of your time to one thing: sales.
Yes, sales. Nothing will keep your business alive for long if you don’t have sales.
You can organize your employees all you want, you can talk about financing with your accountant for hours on end…you are just delaying the inevitable: sales will keep you in business.
Sales are so important for some very obvious reasons, but it still needs to be said.
Sales will bring you cash
Yes, that’s right. You business NEEDS cash. Cash is the lifeblood of your business. Your business cannot run if it doesn’t have cash. In fact, you cannot do anything if you don’t have cash.
This is why it is so important that in the beginning stages of your business, you need to focus on bringing in cash more than anything else.
The more you grow and the more cash you begin to bring in, the more you can start to delegate, organize and the like. But this can’t happen unless you hit the ground running and make a beeline to bring in sales.
You need cash for your operations to continue
Sales will bring you cash and cash will allow you to continue to fund your business operations.
You cannot manufacture products or provide services without cash.
If you cannot fund your business operations, your business shuts down, period.
This is why it is so important for you to gun for sales, and bring in cash FAST. The faster you starting bringing in cash, the faster you wont need to heavily rely on outside sources for funding.
You need cash flows for financing
This is slightly less obvious. Unless your bank offers start-up financing, the only way you will be able to get any funding from your bank, be it a line of credit or a loan, is if you have income.
If you have sales, you have revenue. If you have revenue, banks will be more comfortable lending you money, since there is a greater chance that you will pay them back.
You need cash to free up your time
This is especially true if you have started from scratch. You cannot be doing everything in your business for too long without burning out and quitting.
You are going to have to hire staff as soon as you can so you can start acting as the leader and chief marketer of your new business instead of the lead salesperson.
The only way your business is going to grow is with you at the helm, not on the front-lines. In order for you to remain at the helm, you need cash to hire a staff to handle the day to day sales and marketing for you.
. . .
If these points are so obvious, why do they need to be said? Of course you know that you need cash, but you need to consciously recognize how high of a priority sales should be to you at the early stages.
You should always be consciously looking at what you are doing and ask yourself if this is contributing to generating sales for your business. If your current activity isn’t, quickly switch gears and move on to an activity that does.
New businesses especially need a culture that is centered around bringing cash into the business. You want everyone to prioritize sales so that bringing in cash is in the forefront of everyone’s mind. If this remains a priority in everyone’s mind, your staff will remain committed to bringing in the lifeblood into your business.
The beginning stages are going to be messy and disorganized. Some work well in that type of environment, others (like myself) do not. It is important to adapt if a messy and disorganized environment bothers you, because you are going to have to get used to it for the next five years.