When you own your own business there are reports to be filled out each quarter such as federal withholding forms and sales tax forms. Some businesses must file sales taxes monthly but for the sake of this article I will assume that as a small business we would file quarterly.
You would only have to file a sales tax report if you offer a product or taxable service for sale.
Now into the fourth quarter of the year, this report usually brings about some reflection on how the year is going so far and how it compares with last year.
Usually I start by generating a profit and loss statement. Right away I can see if there are any areas that need my immediate attention. How does income look? Are there any expenses that have glaring discrepancies? Am I making a profit? If so, how does it compare with last year? If the report shows a loss, why is that?
If you do an analysis of your income and expenses and they seem to be in line then the problem could very well be that you simply need more sales to cover expenses that always to seem to rise, however small the percentage.
If it looks as though your sales have remained steady and your expenses have remained about the same, then I think the problem is that you need more revenue. And this is a good time of the year to increase sales. If you are in a service business or sell a product, the holidays are coming – now is the time to market what you have to sell.
Even if you have been in business for many years and are making what you think is enough money without too much effort, you should market your product or service.
Increase the amount of business you do. An economic downturn such as we have experienced for the past year and which will probably continue for a little while longer, can close a shaky business.
There is a big push right now for Americans to spend money. You want them to spend money on what you have to sell. You need to get their attention.
Prepare a mailing offering an incentive for people to shop with you. Offer a percentage off or two-for-one or something for free to attract people to your product or service.
There are mailing lists for sale covering every area of the country. You can look on the Internet or contact your local chamber of commerce. If you belong to a professional sales group, it might have materials you can send out that would be better looking than any you could produce quickly.
This certainly isn’t going to be the only thing you do to increase your sales, but it will be a good start and something you can do for little or no expense – and the results should be obvious quite soon after the mailing has gone out. Keep moving forward!
Article © Copyright 2001 Stanley I. Mason. Syndicated by Paradigm News, Inc.