Getting Your Numbers Right

A life long relationship with a good or very good 3M supplier can be vital to the success of any business. They may be the people who tell you about how they helped them last year. They may be the people who help make your business grow by providing low cost information and services that you could not have come by without.

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Unfortunately, in today’s economy, most people don’t have that kind of support available to them. Those businesses which rely on such suppliers are the ones that are struggling the most. Yet, the people in charge of these businesses often seem to believe that the solutions to their problems must be found in a few short conversations, a few quick emails and in some cases even the sale of their own companies.

One of the worst and most poor ways of thinking about any issue is to think that it can be solved by using a few numbers. Those of us who have been in the marketing business for more than ten years know that those numbers that are reported over again, that are the very things that create that impression is rarely the truth.

When we hear the numbers, we automatically picture ourselves as the owner of the company and of course this is the mindset that cause our problems. If our numbers do not work, then what we thought was working doesn’t work.

It’s important for any marketer to learn to look at the numbers not as part of the equation but as a reflection of the true state of the business. If we stop looking at those numbers objectively, we see that the statistics show that the customer base has declined.

When the numbers show that customers no longer want our products, we do what many of us do. We blame ourselves.

In this case, we automatically believe that the reasons for the decline in the customer base are more than likely the same reasons that caused the decline in the customer base a few years earlier. In other words, it’s the same old problems that keep coming back.

There are only two choices for a business and they are to continue to produce old products and hope that there is a market for them or to try to attract new customers. Although it might not be pleasant, it’s the only way to solve the problem.

A company that is trying to grow must look for ways to reduce the high costs of overhead. This means finding a supplier that will be willing to cut the costs to help your business grow.

There are many great ways to get involved with your supplier that will cut costs. For example, a good idea would be to get an agreement that your suppliers will give a portion of the money that they sell in your business to you.

Finding a good supplier is a step in the right direction for any business. Just because you can’t count on that business from last year does not mean that you should not be doing your best to find a company that will give you the support that you need to succeed.