Startups need sales to survive. The tricky thing is that for the first part of your new business’s life, your sales probably won’t be steady. And you don’t have a sales history you can use to look back on and predict the high- and low-volume sales periods. Periods of high-volume sales can be exciting, but also a stressful experience. There are some things you can do to handle them successfully, however.
Build the Infrastructure
When you are getting your business designed, organized, and off the ground, it’s important to build the infrastructure and organization into it in order to handle high-volume sales. In other words, you need to make your business scalable. Look at where your business is at now. You probably have the staff, technology, and goods to handle sales as they currently stand. Now think about what would happen if your sales suddenly increased. This can help you figure out what you need to do to prepare for high-volume periods. Once you’ve identified measures that need to be taken, take steps to ensure that you aren’t caught flat footed by a sudden increase in sales.
One of the things you’ve probably already figured out is that you’ll need to adjust your staffing to accommodate periods of high-volume sales. You don’t want to assume that your current staffing, as amazing as they may be, are enough to handle a sudden influx of sales. Bottlenecks in customer service negatively affect your bottom line. This can happen because you run out of time in the business day to get to everyone, or because consumers become dissatisfied and impatient and decide to go elsewhere. The fact is, you’re probably going to have to increase your staffing. Be sure to train them well too. It’s just as frustrating to work with an employee who has no idea what they’re doing as it is to have to wait for what feels like forever for the next employee to become available.
Use Staff Effectively
Making sure you have enough staff is all well and good. It’s arguably just as important to know how to use your staff effectively though. All the staff in the world won’t do you any good unless you organize them well and know how to delegate properly. When you have periods of high-volume sales, make sure everyone knows what their job is and how to do it well. Consider cross training your employees. If workflow in one area slows, they’ll be able to jump to a busier area to help with the workload.
Periods of high-volume sales can take startup businesses by surprise if they aren’t careful. There are ways to prepare for this, however. Make sure your business has the infrastructure it needs to support periods of high volume. Staff your business properly and make sure you know how to use them effectively. This will help you successfully handle significant increases in your sales volume.
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