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A 1,000-point success system

By Al Bagocius    

Starting a new business, especially from your home, creates many challenges and needs for behavioral control. Goingpoints from a job situation to a self-employed endeavor, you find unlimited freedom but at the cost of not receiving a paycheck two weeks.

Working out of your home to start a new business has so many distractions that you could fail in a very short period of time.

When I started my own business, I adopted the following fail-safe system. If you incorporate it as one of your planning tools, you’ll find it will help you keep afloat and successful. The system is based on accomplishing a quota of activities that ensures success in as short a time period as possible. The quota is defined as a weekly point goal; I suggest you aim to “earn” 1,000 points each week.

Point values

To tally 1,000 points, you earn points for various types of activities:

• Phone calls, 1 point. However, you only earn that point for each call that results in talking directly to a prospect or customer.

• E-mail, 1 point. These must be directed to the prospect or customer.

• Mailing marketing information to a customer, 1 point. Because mailing is a black hole that too often gets little or no response, its point value is low.

• Account visitation, 10 points. Meeting the customer face-to-face in most businesses is so important that has a value 10 times that of other activities.

• Order entry, 33% of the dollar value of the profit. The calculation for points for order entry should only be made on profit above cost. For example, if the profit on your $1,500 order is $500, the calculation would be: 33% x $500 = $166 (that is, 166 points).

• Invoice to customer, 33% of dollar value of the profit. (Calculated the same way as for order entry.)

• Checks received from Customers, 33% of dollar value of profit. (Same as above.)

The order cycle develops in three stages: order entry, invoicing the customer, and finally cashing the check that is received from the customer. A sales mentor of mine many years ago only defined an order as one in which the customer’s check clears. How right he was.

Too often, new business owners snooker themselves with a false sense of security, counting the money made at order entry and spending accordingly. If you use the point system, however, you will track all of the components of the order cycle each week, and you will have a clear picture of how well you are doing, how well you did in the immediate past, and what you need to do in the near future.

One more thing: Along with maintaining a high activity level to earn points and ensure success, you should also find a way to give back to the community. You don’t earn points for this activity, but it will pay you pay tenfold in the long run. Consider donating products, service, or time to local organizations.

Al BagociusAl Bagocius is owner of A & I Consulting Group: Creative Marketing Solutions, www.aicreativepackaging.com. He can be reached at 904-367-9322 or al@aicreativepackaging.com


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