Mine Your Own Business
Marketing professionals know the value of a CLIENT list. In fact, they will insist it’s the most valuable asset in a business—a virtual GOLD MINE. That being the case, why would you search out NEW clients/customers, before you have thoroughly mined your existing client list (database)?
Before you go prospecting any further, I suggest you dig a little deeper to get the most out of your “gold mine,” rather than simply using it as an address book.
What steps should be taken to MINE your own business?
First, of course, all client data should be entered into some type of electronic database—i.e. an MIS system, Microsoft Outlook contacts, accounting software, etc.
The next step is to ensure the value of your PROSPECT database by making it a high priority to systematically secure, update and maintain it for maximum use.
How many times have you:
- Sent an e-mail or made a phone call only to find the person’s contact info has changed?
- Lost client data due to computer viruses, failure to backup data, or some other disaster?
- Shipped an order to a customer only to discover the company has moved?
- Mailed a promotion piece only to get it back stamped “Return to Sender?’
How do you ensure the integrity of your “gold mine?”
Any process that needs to be completed consistently and error-free should have a control checklist. It should not be left to a hit-or-miss, Russian Roulette approach. Inputting your data is a process that needs to be done consistently and without gaps.
Control checklists are systems!
Below are a few types of control checklists that will ensure—even guarantee—that your data is updated, secured and MINED regularly to add value to your business:
• Data Entry Checklist
When a customer service representative (CSR), sales person or estimator enters an order into production or does an estimate, the client/prospect information should be complete, not missing any data—(i.e. company name, address, e-mails, phone numbers, contacts for orders, invoicing and production issues, emergency numbers, etc.).
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Beyer Printing and Ebiz Products LLC in Nashville, TN, is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant, author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business," and an InterTech Award recipient for the design and development of System100™ business process management software. Philip speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses.