ways to sell in a new business

While talking with my consulting clients about sales and most importantly, increasing them, I often find myself advising them to do one thing before all else:

Pick just two major income streams and stick to learning and growing those avenues first.

You see, there are thousands of ways to make money. And in most businesses, there are at least three to five ways to make sales. For product based businesses you can sell:

  • to stores via wholesale (door to door, sales reps, trade shows)
  • to customers in person (customer referrals, art shows, trunk shows, home parties)
  • to customers online (online shop, Etsy, Ebay, etc.)

And of course, that is just a few of the options.

I find a lot of new business owners at the outset want to pursue and grow every single avenue for sales possible.

Why not make as many sales, in as many ways, as you can?

However, I don’t think that is the best way to approach a new business in most cases.

I advise my clients to consider their intention for their business (What do you want your business to look like? What do you want to spend most of your time doing?), and then pick the two sales avenues that fit their business intention the best.

By learning the ins and outs of just two business avenues, for example online sales and wholesale, I think it helps them narrow their focus, execute at a higher level, and learn more in a shorter time. It takes a lot of work to grow any arm of sales, and to approach every sales avenue with the same effort dillutes the overall effectiveness and prowess of the business owner.

And I also find that by getting really good at two sales avenues, the third sales method eventually comes quite naturally when the first two are being executed at a professional level. By creating a bustling online shop while doing art shows locally, a company could easily be approached by a wholesale customer interested in purchasing for their store.

Or, someone could be so stressed by trying to do everything all at once that they end up accomplishing very little or have less than solid results.

It also goes without saying that a business owner can change their course and intention for their business and decide after pursuing one avenue of sales that they’d like to shift and work toward another. I’ve done this myself with Jess LC. For the first eight years I sold via wholesale and directly to customers. Then in 2009, I shifted away from wholesale towards online selling and have been continuing to narrow, focus, and evolve my sales plan ever since.

At least that’s my two cents.

 

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. YES! I started my business online and am concentrating on just that. I made a foray into wholesale last year and quickly learned how time-consuming it was – so I stopped. Good decision! Online is a cleaner transaction.

  2. YES! I started my business online and am concentrating on just that. I made a foray into wholesale last year and quickly learned how time-consuming it was – so I stopped. Good decision! Online is a cleaner transaction.

  3. Great advice! There are so many aspects of running your own business and selling that there is no way you can go full force on everything. Even just one of these can be super time consuming and intense!

    Can’t wait to see you on Nate! xo!

  4. Great advice! There are so many aspects of running your own business and selling that there is no way you can go full force on everything. Even just one of these can be super time consuming and intense!

    Can’t wait to see you on Nate! xo!

  5. Great perspective on this Jess! Unfortunately, I think it might be slightly more complicated in a service business, but I couldn’t agree more with your point about trying to do everything at once and accomplishing very little. True not just in selling but in all parts of running your own business. I’m still learning how to be selective about where I place my focus.

  6. Great perspective on this Jess! Unfortunately, I think it might be slightly more complicated in a service business, but I couldn’t agree more with your point about trying to do everything at once and accomplishing very little. True not just in selling but in all parts of running your own business. I’m still learning how to be selective about where I place my focus.

  7. Jess

    I agree with all of your sentiments, ladies! And Alyssa, I think you are very right; service industry can be pretty different and requires different focus.

    Nichole, I think it should air February 13th or thereabouts!

    Amanda, thanks! I hadn’t noticed that since it didn’t get caught by spell check!

  8. Jess

    I agree with all of your sentiments, ladies! And Alyssa, I think you are very right; service industry can be pretty different and requires different focus.

    Nichole, I think it should air February 13th or thereabouts!

    Amanda, thanks! I hadn’t noticed that since it didn’t get caught by spell check!

  9. Lauren

    Jess, I told you this before, but it seems that your posts always come right when I need to hear them. For months I have been trying to figure out how I can get the time/funds to do all three, and I don’t even have one of those three aspects of my business up to my expectations! This definitely helped me realize I just need to focus on one or two sales avenues for now. Thanks!

  10. Lauren

    Jess, I told you this before, but it seems that your posts always come right when I need to hear them. For months I have been trying to figure out how I can get the time/funds to do all three, and I don’t even have one of those three aspects of my business up to my expectations! This definitely helped me realize I just need to focus on one or two sales avenues for now. Thanks!

  11. Great advice! I can easily get overwhelmed when I think of all I would like to do in starting and growing my own my own business, which isn’t bad, but I do need to simplify. 🙂

  12. Great advice! I can easily get overwhelmed when I think of all I would like to do in starting and growing my own my own business, which isn’t bad, but I do need to simplify. 🙂

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