One of the big benefits of todays digital world is that cost of entry into new markets tends to be very low. Joint ventures and virtual stock models minimise the amount of cash that is tied up. And for many small businesses, vehicles are leased and premises are rented all of which help to provide a very low cost business model. But what does that leave that a business actually owns – in other words, where is the value?
Clearly, the idea owner and the employees are a huge part of the value of a business, and there may be some stock and ancillary assets.
But the ‘big’ asset is the customer (and prospect) database. In almost any acquisition conversation, it is the size and quality of the customer database that will determine the value of a business.
And yet, for most small businesses, developing and nurturing this critical asset features very low on the list of management priorities.
This is a great article from our friends at CRM specialists, Infusionsoft, who have listed the 4 tell-tale signs that a business needs to invest in a CRM system.
1. You are entering the double letter columns in your spreadsheet.
It’s no surprise that a business starts recording information on Excel as it is such a useful tool. But when a spreadsheet gets so big that it becomes simply a mass of data, this can be a problem. There is a big difference between data and information – and information is what you need to make good decisions!
2. The spreadsheet is never 100% up to date.
As a spreadsheet gets bigger, a growing company will find it more and more difficult to keep it up to date – often resulting in multiple versions of the same file or a suspicion that the file is never accurate.
3. You say “I wish I could…” a lot.
This is a really good indicator. Gap analysis is a great way to accelerate business growth – what else could I sell to our existing customers? How often would there be a conversation along the lines of; “I wish I could identify which of our customers might buy this new product!”
4. You’re hiring employees.
As a business grows and new staff come on board, is an Excel spreadsheet going to capture all their new interactions with customers and prospects – and are they going to have all the information at hand that they need to maximise the opportunities they uncover?
Whatever tool is used, investing in building a strong, versatile and productive customer database is critical to the long term value of any business.
You can see the full article written by Christelle Hobby here