Good Salesmanship – How to raise prices

Entrepreneurs often set their prices too low, and it can take years to get them to the right level. So how do we increase our prices without losing customers?

By David Madié, founder and CEO of GrowthWheel International Inc.

When we as entrepreneurs are not making enough money it may be because we are not setting the right prices. Generally, we are good at producing and delivering products. However, it is just as important to be good at running a business and
getting properly paid for our work. So to run a sustainable business and get the most from it, somewhere along the way we need to learn how to become a good salesman or saleswoman. How do we go about this?


Why are our prices too low?

There are various reasons why we set our prices too low. A frequent “beginners mistake” is that we think we make enough money. We often forget about all the less predictable expenses in the budget or we underestimate how much time we spend on each task. Perhaps we forget that it is not enough to get a decent salary. The company needs to make its “own” money to be able to invest in product development, marketing etc. To tell the company’s earnings from our personal income may be the first step towards setting the right prices.

Want to learn more? Register for our upcoming workshop on pricing and use the code “blog” to receive a $5 discount when registering. The rest of this article will be sent to you for reading when you register. Click here.

Do You Need Space? – We Have It!

When it comes to starting a new business, it takes more than just a good idea – look for help to get you through the bumps. The Emerging Enterprise Center (EEC), a 501(c)3 nonprofit, co-located with the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce provides reduced cost office space, but that’s not the only thing it offers. It also offers educational programs for business owners and regular check-ups to assess progress and set goals for success.

According to the SBA, 66% of businesses will survive their first two years, and only 50% of companies will survive their first five years.

A start-up business needs a lot of support in those early stages, and it is not just financial support. The EEC is one of several “incubators” for startup businesses in Delaware. However, the EEC is a bit different than most in the country. It’s not unusual for a Chamber to offer support to business incubator programs, but it is less common for a Chamber to embed its own home-grown program inside the existing chamber. The proximity to a knowledgeable Chamber staff, and over 900 member businesses, and over 150 Chamber events per year provides EEC’s startups with ample access to invaluable resources and real examples of successful business owners.

The EEC’s incubator program provides a combination of affordable space and support resources, along with one-on-one business and entrepreneurial mentoring, education, networking, and other amenities that are vital to the success of new companies.

EEC’s business growth workshops and seminars are designed to help build the critical business skills necessary for any business to grow and flourish. These interactive workshops incorporate a decision-making tool kit that helps start-up and growing companies to gain focus, set agendas, make decisions, and take appropriate action. Each workshop is complemented by a series of talks and seminars from industry and subject matter experts.

EEC has a network of strategic partners, business relationships, and contacts who serve as valuable resources to incubator members. EEC provides daily access to members of the NCCCC who mentor, teach seminars, and provide access to the banking and other vital industries.

The EEC accepts everything from main street mom and pop to new tech companies. Companies are expected to graduate from the program in two to three years and move on to a more traditional lease office space. For those that don’t need office space, like a retailer, online seller, or distributor, but want to take advantage of all of the other features of the EEC’s Incubation Program, including connection to resources, advice and mentoring, access to business education and networking events, and especially the business skills development, the EEC has a virtual and coworking program. Companies and contractors, can pay monthly and sometimes daily fees, share meeting rooms and certain services, such as wi-fi and a kitchen.

Since the EEC’s opening in 2008, it has generated $69 million in revenue, created more than 231 jobs while they were in the program. For more information on the Emerging Enterprise Center, check it out on www.EECincubator.com, or contact us at info@EECincubator.com or 302-737-4343.

Knowledge Does Not Eliminate Skill: Knowledge without skill is unproductive

exerpt from The Daily Drucker written by Peter F. Drucker

At present, the term “knowledge worker” is widely used to describe people with considerable theoretical knowledge and learning: doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants, chemical engineers. But, the most striking growth will be in “knowledge technologists”: computer technicians, software designers, analysts in clinical labs, manufacturing technologists, paralegals. These people are as much manual workers as they are knowledge workers; in fact, they usually spend far more time working with their hands than with their brains.

So, knowledge does not eliminate skill. On the contrary, knowledge is fast becoming the foundation for skill. We are using knowledge more and more to enable people to acquire skills of a very advanced kind fast and successfully. Only when knowledge is used as a foundation for skill does it become productive. For example, surgeons preparing for an operation to correct a brain aneurysm before it produces a lethal brain hemorrhage spend hours in diagnosis before they cut – and that requires specialized knowledge in the highest order. The surgery itself, however, is manual work – and manual work consisting of repetitive manual operations in which the emphasis is on speed, accuracy, uniformity. And these operations are studied, organized, learned, and practiced exactly like any other manual work.

Action Point: Outline the skills required in your work. Analyze and refine these skills for optimum quality and productivity.

Innovations for Maximum Opportunities: What is lacking to make effective what is already possible?

Excerpt from The Daily Drucker written by Peter F. Drucker

The characteristic of the innovator is the ability to envisage as a system what to others are unrelated, separate elements. It is the successful attempt to find and to provide the smallest missing part that will convert already existing elements. To find areas where innovations would create maximum opportunities, one asks: “What is lacking to make effective what is already possible? What one small step would transform our economic results? What small change would alter the capacity of the whole of our resources?”

To describe the need is not to satisfy it. But describing the need gives a specification for the desirable results. Whether they are likely to be obtained can be decided. Innovation is applicable to finding business potential and to making the future.

Action Point: Ask yourself the three questions above.

Jump-Start Your Start-up. Strapped for cash? Consider these approaches.

written by Rich Sloan of StartupNation.com and highlighted in Costco Connection Magazine June 2018

For all the talk of tech-savvy, independent-minded millennials embracing entrepreneurship, statistics show that many of them aren’t. The US Small Business Administration (sba.gov) reported that in 2014 fewer than 2 percent of millennials were self-employed, compared with 7.6 percent of Generation X and 8.3 percent for the baby boomer generation.

High student loan debt and other economic issues may be contributing factors, making it challenging for many 20 and 30-somethings to start companies.

If you are among the cash-strapped millennials who could use use some street smarts and jolt of inspiration, here are a few options to get you going.

Bootstrap your idea

If your’re low on cash, consider pursuing a business idea that doesn’t require a large amount of upfront capital.

Plenty of successful startups get off the ground without big infusions of cash. For example, Hannah Lavon, the 33-year-old co-founder of Hooray Hoopla, which sells and manufacturers quirky mismatched socks, called Pals Socks (palssocks.com), started up at the end of 2015 with just $600 for prototypes. Now, Hooray Hoopla‘s Pals Socks product line is sold in over 300 stores nationally. That’s a full-fledged business started with less than $1,000.

Start a side hustle

Working on your startup while still employed is a great way to advance your business idea, giving you firm footing while you confirm some key assumptions and generally de-risk the opportunity.

Let’s say you’re planning to create an ACT counseling business. You could start as a part-time tutor for kids in their early teens. This ideally would not only generate incremental income, but would help you build your brand in our community, give you experience and insights, and, most importantly, develop a prospective client list, all of which you could parlay into momentum for your startup.

Consider crowdfunding

If you have an idea for a product and a knack for getting people excited about it, crowdfunding through a site like Indiegogo or Kickstarter could be another viable way to solve your capital needs. Crowdfunding can come in the form of actual investment and ownership in your company or – amazingly – in the form of prepayment by customers who want first dibs on your cool product. Yes, people will park their money with you even though you’re not even in production yet.

Article notes:

Crowdfunding:

To be a successful crowdfunding campaigner, you’ll have to demonstrate your marketing savvy and know-how.

Online marketing plays to millennials’ strengths as, relatively speaking, they tend to be well connected on social media, which is ground zero for crowdfunding campaigns.

The challenge in the crowd-funding landscape is to break through the noise by telling a compelling story and demonstrating the irresistible nature of your product-to-be.

You need great images and video, as well as editorial content that showcases the product and your know-how, so people will naturally want to pass them along to their own networks.

Tunnel-Vision Innovation

Excerpt from The Daily Drucker written by Peter Drucker

Often a prescription drug designed for a specific ailment sometimes ends up being used for some other quite different ailment.

When a new venture does succeed, more often than not it is in a market other than the one it was originally intended to serve, with products or services not quite those with which it had set out, bought in large part by customers it did not even think of when it started, and used for a host of purposes besides the ones for which the products were first designed. If a new venture does not anticipate this, organizing itself to take advantage of the unexpected and unseen markets; if it is not totally market-focused, if not market-driven, then it will succeed only in creating an opportunity for a competitor.

The new venture therefore needs to start out with the assumption that its product or service may find customers in markets no one thought of, for uses no one envisaged when the product or service was designed, and that it will be bought by customers outside its field of vision and even unknown to the new venture. If the new venture does not have such a market focus from the very beginning, all it is likely to create is the market for a competitor.

Action Point: When innovating, go with the market response, not with your preconceived ideas. Don’t marry your pet ideas about a new venture.

Social Studies: Being socially responsible is a key element of running a small business

Written by Rhonda Abrams, featured on Costco Connection Magazine

Small businesses have long been the backbone of their communities. Small businesses support local charities, Little League, food drives, school fundraisers and more. Most small-business owners don’t have to be told to be charitable-they already are. But being charitable is just one part of the wave of interest and increasing demand for businesses to be socially responsible.

In addition to focusing on the bottom line, being socially responsible is a smart part of a company’s strategy for success.

Social Steps:

  • Create an inclusive workplace with fair pay.
  • Donate a portion of profits. Choose an organization and make it clear a small percentage of your pre- or post-profit sales will go to that cause.
  • Think and work sustainably. Look for ways your business can reduce waste, consume less energy and lower its carbon footprint.
  • Donate time. A good way to build team morale as well as contribute to your community is to have your employees volunteer-on paid company time-for a good cause.
  • Donate products or services to causes you believe in.

The Mentor Mentee Relationship: A Two-Way Street

Article taken from “Chamber Executive Fall 2018”

This article is written by two chamber executives from the Texas coast who have shared many years together in the same office but now get to share on a different level. The mentee has been at the helm of the Portland Chamber of Commerce (Texas) for a little more than a year. Prior to serving in Portland, she worked at the Rockport-Fulton Chamber (Texas) for 13 years. The mentor has led the Rockport-Fulton Chamber for almost three decades. The two communities are 25 miles apart.