What's Black, Green and Purple?

As many of you know - I love reading and for some strange reason have a memory for quotes. One I love is "The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions." I know you have been working hard this year. I know you have been working smarter this year as well. I also know - you feel like you are banging your head against a wall at times. You're getting some bruises and you're frustrated. Here's a piece of Diva advice...SNAP OUT OF IT!

Don't Look Out - Look In

I want you to take a mirror and reflect it directly on your business. Do you want to increase your bottom line? Then have a look at these areas:

1) Increase Your Rates. Are you charging enough? If you think you are - I have a quote directly from my 6 year old niece Megan - " WHO SAYS?" When and how did you develop your pricing? Where do you sit within the market? Are you giving away too much without enough return?

2) Who Has Purchased From You In The Past? One of the best places to look for new business is - you guessed it - from previous and current customers. On average a new customer costs 6-20x more than growing an existing one. Review the past 2 years of sales. Who were your bread and butter customers? Who were the heavy hitters? Who did you love working with? Who can you ask for referrals?

3) Expenses. You need to look at expenses very seriously. What is providing a solid return on investment and what is wishful thinking? Are you with the best supplier? Cheapest does not mean better by the way. Review your suppliers and see who is really working for you and interested in helping you grow. Do the Diva cut to everyone else.

4) Eliminate/reduce the problem clients. I will let you in on a Diva Secret "I Don't Work For Jerks or MicroManagers." Too often these people can suck the living life out of you and they have a tendency to not value your product or service. Have any of these customers found their way into your business?

Wallowing In The Mud Is Only Good For Mud-Packs

First of all - you can do it! Feeling blue, angry and frustrated...really just leaves you feeling blue, angry and frustrated! Life is too short for tight shoes - so kick yours off and investigate the 3 areas where growth can happen immediately. Why 24 hours? Because I want you to take action TODAY. Remember - 20% of the people you deal with are generating 80% of your revenues. By adjusting your rates higher even by 10-20%, contacting old and current customers and watching your bottom line - you can create positive momentum very quickly.

Talk To The Wall Instead

One of my favorite movies of all time is Shirley Valentine. If you haven't seen it - rent it tonight. There are a few scenes where Shirley talks to the walls - she actually even asks for their advice! I laughed when I saw the film, as I am a HUGE wall talker. You can laugh out loud, bounce out ideas, sing, swear (oh no - not me!) and brainstorm to your heart's delight. I guarantee you it is a better alternative than banging your head against it.

Go Have Coffee/Tea With Someone

Walls are great but I find a greasy breakfast with a strong cup of coffee really gets my imagination going! Go have breakfast or coffee with someone in an unusual spot and brainstorm about your business. Identify all the areas of revenue. Are you still in love with them? What needs to be added? What needs to be let go?

24 Hours

The clock is ticking. What are you going to do with your business in the next 24 hours?

Copyright© 2005

Author's Bio: 

Kim Duke, The Sales Diva, provides savvy, sassy sales training for women small biz owners and entrepreneurs. Kim works with clients internationally, showing them The Sales Diva secrets to success! Sign up for her saucy and smart FREE e-zine and receive her FREE Bonus Report “The 5 Biggest Sales Mistakes Women Make” at http://www.salesdivas.com