Where are all the Sales Targets?

I was visiting an agency this week, once again no-one in the business knew the sales target or the split between the target for new-new business and the sales target for existing clients.

As crazy as this sounds it’s just all far too common among those of you with smaller (and even some of you larger) agencies.

At Bluhalo (my former agency), when were a six-man agency; we regularly turned over about £20,000 a month. At that stage, I confess, I didn’t know or even have a sales target.

I knew my costs were around £18K and just aimed to beat that number each month.

A seasoned sales person before owning an agency, I’d lived my whole life to sales targets right up to the point I owned a business. Now I owned an agency I strangely decided the work we delivered and clients came first not my business priorities.

As you can imagine at that stage cash flow was terrible. I hadn’t even paid myself for three months at one point.

Around that time I decided I needed a business adviser. Once I finally appointed someone, he came into my office with a flip-chart (it was a few years ago now), and he scribbled the number £22K in big writing.

He then asked me a couple of other questions, set me a task and left.

That month we aimed for and subsequently hit the £22k target he had written on the flip chart. My net profit doubled in one month.

The next month he came in again, and this time he wrote £24K. Guess what? Yes, we achieved a sales number of £24k. This situation repeated and again, and from his first visit in June from when he came to help, to the following January we went from £20k a month to £42k, doubling our sales in just over six months.

We had just simply forgotten to set and visualise every day on a sales targets.

And then like a unicorn had arrived, my business was suddenly profitable, the cash started to follow the profits, I started to pay myself once again.

60 months of targets later we hit £3m.

I challenge you now go up to the key people and ask them what’s the company target and see how many know or remember?

SG