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How to manage sales within your business

charttwo30340387.JPGIt is important not to overlook the need to manage the sales of your business. Many times business owners are content to sit back and hope that sales are happening. While they may adjust the price, a little here or there, few business owners understand that managing sales needs to be a proactive function, within their management duties. It can be overwhelming to try and be managing a business, and then it becomes even more complicated when the budget is tight, and you still must be making sales. However, since sales are the lifeblood of your company, and affect every aspect (salaries, inventory, production etc.), it is crucial that you are managing them. When you have fewer dollars to spend on promotion, you need to still be able to get the information out there about what your company can offer, for the lowest cost possible. Here is what you need to know about how to manage sales within your business-

Put together a sales forecast-In order to effectively manage your sales, you must be aware of past history, future trends and any other factor that can affect your sales. This is done by putting together a forecast for future sales. In order to do this correctly you should consider the following factors-
1. Current economic conditions
2. Sales figure from past years
3. Any back orders that you currently have
4. Any satisfaction ratings that you have from your customers
5. Trends in the market and in the industry
6. What your competitors are doing
7. How well seasonal promotions have done
8. Whether or not you have new products that are ready to be launched.

Understand the costs of making a sale-There are costs to every product that you sell, that goes far beyond the costs of production. If you are effectively managing your sales, you will also be effectively managing any costs that go along with it. There are basically four different areas where costs can be reduced without affecting the quality of the product, and putting your sales at risk. The bottom line is that if you can control the costs in these areas, you are much more likely to be making a more profitable product. These areas are:
1. Raw materials-You should know exactly how you are paying, for every item that is being made, within your business. This is the only way to clearly determine if your markup is covering your costs and allowing you to make enough profit. Keep in mind that there are number of ways that you can reduce the costs of the raw materials that you use.
2. Suppliers-One way to reduce your costs is to talk directly to your suppliers. Make sure that you have shopped around and have gotten the best prices possible. You should not hesitate to let your suppliers know that you will be doing business with whoever, can provide you with the lowest cost possible.
3. Shipping-You should take a close look at how much you are spending for shipping. There are many more options available today, so if you are willing to take the time you can save yourself a lot of money and make your sales even more profitable.
4. Marketing-This is a place that you need to make sure that you are getting the most, for every dollar that is being spent. You want to make sure that your marketing is the most effective that it can possibly be. If your marketing is not providing you with a high return on investment, then it is time to go back to the marketing plan and make some changes. Cost-effective marketing is an integral part of managing your sales.

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