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It’s a Balancing Act

Even though my training and career has been in engineering, I recognize the importance of sales and customer relations.  Now that I am investing more time and effort into the entrepreneurial world (rather than the intrapreneurial world within large corporations), it becomes even more obvious that sales becomes a priority very early in the life of a company.  Finding an angel investor is just about the first thing that anyone must do that is thinking of taking a product or service idea and making it a reality.  Whether it is a retail store, an import/export venture, software for analyzing tweets, a new food idea or a menu for a restaurant, the first issue is packaging that idea into a sales pitch to investors.  Those investors might be family and friends, or more true angel investors, private equity and venture capital people.  Or, it might be the newer crowd funding approach of Kickstarter and others like it.  A company grows profitably, only if it can increase its sales.  There are many consultant organizations that specialize in helping you understand your customer and the sales process that gets them to pay you money.  For sure, you should invest time, effort–and money–in increasing your sales.  But, too often I have seen explosive growth in sales overshadow other problems in an organization.  Growing sales might cover up the fact that costs are increasing faster and margins are deteriorating.  Growing sales might cover up the fact that you don’t have another winning product in the pipeline.  Growing sales might cover up that you are expanding so rapidly that the new employees don’t have the same culture you had when you started the business.  Growing sales might put pressure on operations to the point that quality is put at risk, or delivery times get longer.  So, get out there and market your product or service every day and bring in those sales that drive everything–but balance that by keeping a watchful eye on everything else in the business.