Many comparisons can be made between business in the past and business today. This includes the business of life and the business of survival. History is interesting. If you study history, there are many parallels between various periods of time. In this article, let’s consider how history, daily life and business merge. CEOs, presidents and business owners who have the will – drive and determination must understand the number one priority of every business: Survival. This understanding is what puts a company on the pathway to business success.
So let’s take a brief trip back in history to the 1700’s and the 1800’s. It was a time of being self-sufficient. You couldn’t go to the supermarket as such a concept hadn’t been invented yet. Not till 1916 did Piggly Wiggly which would become a supermarket chain open in Memphis, TN. In 1930, what many in the grocery industry consider the first true supermarket, King Kullen, opened in New York. Other innovators such as Kroger’s combined grocery with meat markets under one roof and revolutionized the supermarket business as we know it today but not until the early 1900’s. Till then you couldn’t go into a store and find a shelf featuring a variety of canned soups, for example. Instead, you had to be self-reliant enough to provide for yourself and your family. That involved hunting, farming and preparing your food each day from scratch. As cities and towns evolved, people would go daily to specialty markets – the meat market, the produce market, the baker and the general store for food and supplies. You had to always think about the basic human need of survival. It was necessary to have a fireplace in your house and be able to supply it with wood to maintain warmth and to cook. You ate what was seasonal. Today people just “stop at the grocery store” on the way home from work to “pick up something” for dinner.
When thinking about business, as a CEO, president or business owner you need to think about food also. But a different type of food.
- What feeds the business?
When it comes to what puts a company on the pathway to business success, the food is prospecting and sales. Just like in the pioneer days as wagon trains headed west in the United States, people had to be prepared for whatever came their way. If they didn’t prepare well for the journey, they most likely would not reach their destination. Perhaps they would not survive. In business, if you are not prepared, you will not reach your goals. That’s why prospecting and sales (including the entire sales process) is the food of your business. Without an effective prospecting and sales strategy that is well planned and put into action daily, the company will not survive in the long term.
Selling is most important to the success of your business. The pioneers of the American West settlements were, in a sense, renaissance people. They had to understand as much as possible. They couldn’t call the roofer when the roof leaked. They had to get up on the roof and fix it themselves. They had to grow and hunt for their own food. They had to create their own warmth with a fireplace and layers of clothes in the winter. They made their clothes. Food and shelter were the number one priority. In other words, survival.
As I often say to CEOs, presidents and business owners:
It is the easiest of times to go into business.
It is the hardest of times to stay in business.
The number one priority in your business is survival and profit. You must understand exactly how many prospects it takes to make a sale and exactly where that prospect may be. You need to understand the conversation prospects want to hear and how your company can help them become more successful. That is the food that nourishes your business. If you don’t have prospects and you don’t have enough sales, the business symbolically starves to death. In other words: Goes out of business.
There are many daily priorities when operating and managing a business, including:
- Hiring the right people
- Treating employees well with compensation and opportunities
- Having the right business insurance policies
- Being in the right location with the right equipment
- Having an up-to-date website
- Producing social media content
You can do all the things listed above and much more but the number one priority in your business remains the same: To create profitable business.
If you do not create enough business, then you cannot do all the other things necessary to prosper and to stay in business. You cannot do all the things you want to do with your business. Your business dreams will vanish.
Many times, you may find the day to be so busy with so much going on that you don’t have the opportunity to sit down and to plan an actionable business strategy. The day, the week, the month goes by without thinking your business through to improve business results.
Ask yourself daily:
- What do I need to do to attract business?
- What do I need do to deliver the message people (prospects) will understand and want to do business with my company?
- What did the company sell today?
Prospecting and sales should be the number one priority in your business plan. Prospecting and sales are also the number one reason why a business fails. Some may say it’s because of cash flow. True, but if you consistently prospect, present and close sales, you will have cash flow. Others may suggest it’s because you haven’t hired the right people. True, but again, if you are consistently prospecting, selling and making a profit you can focus even more on hiring and training employees. The ones who are not producing the quality type of work your business demands will find employment elsewhere.
By placing prospecting, sales and profitability as your number one business priority, you will be able to get what you want from your business which includes more success and business longevity. The business will survive because you are, so to speak, feeding it what it needs to live a long, healthy life.
Remember: You are in business to make a profit.
The number one priority is: Prospecting and sales.
This is key to your business success. Make certain you are feeding the business what it needs to survive and prosper.
To your success!
Business expert and strategist, Howard Lewinter, guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States across a wide range of industries, to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress. Business people trust Howard’s vast business knowledge, practical advice, intuitive insight and objective perspective to solve business problems and issues. Get MORE from your business! Talk business with Howard: 888-738-1855.
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