One of the most difficult things to master as a business owner is staying focused on revenue generating priorities. If you're an independent professional, you spin multiple plates and find yourself time-challenged on a regular basis. ;-)

In addition, I have found that many small business owners really do not have the time or the skill to implement a marketing strategy. Sales and marketing often get confused. I like to define those two terms as follows:

- Marketing is what you do to get qualified prospects in front of you.
- Sales is what you do when qualified prospects are in front of you.

Below are the three proven areas to focus on when you want to increase sales and revenue.

1. Increase the number of qualified prospects you see regularly
2. Increase your conversion rate of prospects who become customers or clients
3. Increase your average customer worth (Focus on the amount of the transaction, and how often your customers come back for repeat purchases.)

For the last 20 years, small business owners have been seeing exponential growth by following this marketing system.

Here's why:
* A business owner or sales professional that sees 20 prospects a month only needs to see 22 prospects (10% increase).
* A business owner or sales professional with a 20% conversion rate only needs to go to 22%.
* A business owner with an average ticket of $50.00 only needs to raise the average ticket amount to $55.00.

If you do the math, you'll see that a 10% increase in all three areas will bring 33% additional gross profits into your company. Ok...let's work the numbers.

Starting Out -> 20 prospects * 20% Conversion = 4 Customers * $50 = $200.00
10% Increase -> 22 prospects * 22% Conversion = 4.84 Customers * $55 = $266.20
$66.20 Increased Revenue / $200.00 Initial Gross Sales = 33.10% Increase to Gross Sales

The common mistake is to focus only on increasing the number of prospects. If you do that...you're leaving money on the table.

For several years, I sold websites, yellow page advertising, and sponsored ads on Google, Yahoo!, and MSN. I found a large number of advertisers were disappointed with their results. Once I learned how to deliver marketing that produces results, I committed to teaching those principles in order to empower small business owners to make decisions that would increase cashflow.

In most cases, my clients were focusing 90% of their marketing dollars on bringing new prospects into their business. That's great. Their mistake was twofold. First, they weren't developing a plan to go back to previous customers where they had already developed rapport and generated revenue. The second sale -as a rule- is always easier than the first sale.

The second error was not testing. Small tweeks in your existing marketing program will bring exponential returns if you test and optimize your advertising. History proves that changing one element in an ad can increase the conversion rate ten times or more. If that's money that you're already spending, you can get a better return on your investment without increasing your budget if you know what to test and how to make adjustments.

You can make 2010 your best year ever by making these three areas priorities that you commit to improving.

Let's make 2010 a great year!

Author's Bio: 

Ramon E. Dees, creator of 48 Days Marketing Coach, assists small to mid-sized companies to increase sales and revenue 25% or more in as few as 49-90 days. If you're interested in learning the 4 step process that makes this happen, you can download a copy of the free report at www.48DaysMarketingSolutions.com today.