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The Basics We Can't Forget

Everyday we seem to read about a different approach to business. Some recommend a focus on one-upping your competition, while others say it’s best to be original - identify your Niche, and the rest recommend innovating, reinventing the wheel and forgetting about competition altogether.

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“In a business environment that is changing faster and becoming more uncertain and complex almost by the day, it’s never been more important to choose the right approach to strategy,” and at the chamber, recently we have been thinking; why not stick to the basics - the simple principles that have stood the test of time. Focus on improving sales techniques, understanding you businesses finances, effectively and concisely marketing you products and services and finally for yourself mastering and harnessing the basics of leadership.

SALES

Selling requires a set of skills which, when combined, make people trust you and believe in your product or service. These skills include listening to a customer’s requirements, building rapport, and presenting ideas and closing a sale. If you are planning on growing your business by adapting a basic approach to sales then these are our tips:

1. Listen to your Customer: Let them tell you how you can help them. When you're having a conversation with a customer, your main goal is to figure out if and how you can help that customer. This is impossible when your mouth is open.

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2. Condense your Pitch: Why do customers choose your product? and why you do what you do better than anyone else? If you can't encapsulate your sales message down to these two short sentences, you're not selling, you're just chit chatting.

3. Build Trust: It is important to remember that in order gain and to retain customers it is important to build a relationship with customers. Customers will only buy from you if they trust you, respect you, and like you.

FINANCE

Understanding finance is key to the success of every business. Additionally you will need these records for tax purposes. Whether you DIY or use an accountant to keep track of everything you should understand the importance and the basics of your finances. Here are a few basics to remember, that we think should be standard practice:

1. Record Everything: When you have a lot on it is easy to put receipts or invoices to one side promising to record them later and then forgetting. If you keep good records of operations it will alert you to any cash flow issues and potential problems and all of your records will be up to date making your year-end tax prep much simpler.

2. Tax and PAYE: As a business owner it is important that you gain an understanding of the end of year procedures and your accountability to HMRC.

3. Preparation Is Key: With your books in order, prepping for taxes should be a breeze. With everything in order from the beginning it saves you from having to go back to try to figure things out.

As your business and profits grow, it’s smart to have absolute control and visibility of your business, making sure that it’s set up in a tax-efficient way and you can make sound management decisions based on accurate, timely figures.

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To be continued ....

Watch out for the second instalment of this Business Basics Blog where we will look at Marketing and Leadership.

If you feel like you need to brush up on your business basics, The Chamber is running a series of 'Back to Basics' business workshops in February.

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