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Thread: little sales

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    little sales

    i made a small purchase last week from one of my suppliers...and he made a comment which made me think (it not gona pay my rent)...i have joked about it many times...but the reality of it...is that after many years my bussiness is still aorund...how i got here...well i dont know that there is one set rule to lasting more than 20 years in bussiness...it could be because i am stuborn...but it could also be because of all the little things...like not getting involved in under hand dealings...doing a good quality job...never ripping off my customers ( a lesson taught to me in the early days)...but one i would like to discuss in this thread..."those little sales" which sometimes pay the rent

    we all strive for that big contract...big sale...etc...but at the end of the day i feel that if it werent for those little sales which keep me going in between bigger contracts...which pay the rent when the economy is on its basckside...i find that as a compnay grows...being around for os many years i have seen many companies grow from a small backyard bussiness to a medium to large enterprise...and fall faster than they grew...my theory is that it is because of the little fella who they shunned away as the company grew they didnt need the little sale anymore.

    i was standing chatting to someone about what i do...he then made a statement...oh well you are too big to do my little job...i made a point of telling him that there is no job tooo small for my bussiness...in fact if it is so small you might even get it done for free...i have learnt that those little sales sometimes lead to huge contracts...you just never know who you are dealing with.

    my point...dont lift your nose to that little sale...because one day all those little sales could be what make the difference between paying your rent and being evicted from your premises...or even better still that little sale could be for the MD a huge corporation...and becuase you made the effort to make the little sale he decides to sack the person who is busy servicing his corporation and offer you the contract...food for thought.

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  3. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Many, if not most of my "big sales" came from a client's positive experience of us for a little sale...
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member Mike C's Avatar
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    Couldn't agree with you more Murdock. I also think it is very important not to sideline your "bread and butter" clients while busy with a big contract because when the big contract is over your little sales will have disappeared.
    An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't. - Anatole France

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    There is a contra argument too. Lots of little jobs create too many distractions. I have my own product range and that my time is better spent developing a R10,000 product than wasting time on horders of little jobs. It comes down to oppertunity cost. If I was to spend 1 hour to make R50 then that hour is worth more to me if I spent the hour developing a new product. Now one might say that there might be a time when one needs to spend the hour to make the R50, maybe, but I try to avoid it at all costs. If one can develop enough R10,000 products then that hour might be worth R10,000 if one spent the hour marketing rather than making a R50 sale.

    I think that one needs to be careful not to churn i.e. being busy with lots of little things that don't make any real money. I choose to stay away from things that do not produce the required profit within the appropriate timeframe.

    So, what is the bottom line. It is this: weigh each job carefully in terms of oppertunity cost vs (profit within timeframe) and remember to consider the value of your own time. You might be surprised to find that two hours of your time may be better spent watching a DVD with the family that going out and making R50.
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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    I believe Murdock is right, but you must consider the small sale/job as advertising not as income, even if you just cover your costs.
    You never know maybe that that little old lady you helped is the mother of the manager of the company that is going to give you the next big job, if you didn't do the first thing your name would never have come up.
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Or maybe that old lady is just an old lady living on her lonesome. The problem is that one needs to determine the value of each hour spent without adding wishfull thinking to the equation. Once you start adding wishful thinking then one could argue that you run the risk of missing the all important phone call at the office that could be the big job while you are out helping old ladies who may or may not be the mother of the manager who will give you the next job.
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    Platinum Member Mike C's Avatar
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    I suppose a lot depends on the kind of business you are conducting. Some businesses can consciously make the decision that they will not cater for the "small" client, while others find that those are the very client's that keep their business ticking over. Arguments can be made for both sides, but there is something inside of me that rebels against turning down business just because it is too small - particularly if you are not oversubscribed at the time.
    An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't. - Anatole France

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I think though that there is a limit to "too small" - the reality is that none of us can afford to operate as charities, be it with our time nor our invoicing.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wynn View Post
    I believe Murdock is right, but you must consider the small sale/job as advertising not as income, even if you just cover your costs.
    i dont agree with you...and why i say this is because i have been involved in some contracts which involve a few million rand and some which are yearly contracts...BUT... between these big contracts or when the ecomony takes a dip or when one of your customers go bankrupt and liquidates on you...the rent money has to be generated somehow.
    Last edited by murdock; 14-Jul-12 at 08:28 PM.

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