First Things First
An opening check list is a great place to start. Remember that airline pilots are required to use a checklist before they take off!
Here are items you should have on your opening checklist. Add additional items that would be appropriate for your own business.
Do I have a one-year cash flow projection prepared to insure there will be ongoing liquidity?
Do I have the necessary e-commerce tools in place?
Are all insurance policies in force?
If I plan to sell on credit terms, is my credit rating policy in place to avoid taking on customers with poor credit ratings? (The last thing you need is to have customers who don't pay on time, and good ...view middle of the document...
Are the following elements of my business structure in place:
Is my accounting and bookkeeping system in place? Accountant selected?
Are my premises ready? This includes including having a signed lease and my tenant improvements completed.
Have all permits and licenses been secured?
Has the business name been registered? Check with my attorney.
Are computers, telephones, cell phones, fax and utilities operating?
Are graphics for advertising and promotional materials ready?
Is the website name registered and website on line?
Is infrastructure in place for e-business, if appropriate?
Are all security systems in place including protection of premises, shrinkage control and internal security?
Have I selected and trained the number of employees I will need?
Have I determined my personal work schedule?
Have I included my requirements for managers, consultants, independent contractors, agents and sales representatives?
Take time to recruit and then train your employees thoroughly in marketing skills.
Finding the good employee.
Most employers agree: the toughest part of being an employer is finding and keeping good employees. Begin your search for the good employee as soon as you decide that you are going to be an entrepreneur.characteristics you require.
Network: get the word out that you are looking for help.
Develop and maintain sources for building your workforce.
Consider family members, retired workers and students.
Your customers need to feel confident that they are dealing with people who are knowledgeable and helpful. Five characteristics customers like most when dealing with a sales or service person are:
Product or service knowledge
To achieve these qualities, look for marketing employees who:
Like what they do
Are quick learners who have curiosity to expand their knowledge
Project a pleasant and positive image
Like people and relate well to them
Are helpful to customers as well as to fellow associates
Are ambitious and hope someday to have your job
Here's a checklist for hiring and training your marketing team:
Know who you will need to hire.
Have a hiring policy in place that includes salary structure, incentive compensation and perks.
Create job descriptions for everyone (including for yourself), including specific skills required for each employee.
Maintain a schedule of ongoing staff meetings to discuss product information, sales techniques and customer service.
Develop policies and procedures on handling customer complaints and concerns. Keep in mind that you will get your best marketing feedback from an unhappy customer.
Develop clear protocols for handling customers via telephone, fax or e-mail.
Continuously re-define the skills and requirements needed by new employees.