HTF Lesson #1: Sell, sell, sell

Let’s face it, nothing happens until something is sold.  Therefore it is really important to make sure that you never stop trying to drive the top line.  One of my first mentors told me “Get the order first, then worry about how you are going to make it”. At another time, I asked him when his business really started to take off.  His answer was “When the bank called me to tell me they were foreclosing”.  Obviously, he knew what he was talking about and never stopped selling no matter how little gross profit he made, no matter how short his production runs became and no matter how tight his cash flow became.  The point was that the top line was growing so eventually the bottom line would take care of itself.  You are always one big customer away from breaking thru and until that time comes, at least make sure that prices contribute to overhead.

Selling to drive the top line will also help with your concentration risk (having too many eggs in one basket) because it will ensure that you have a revolving door of customers and lots of them.  You will require a large customer service department and they will get great training making lame excuses to small, pain in the ass customers so that when they have to deal with a big one, they will sound confident.

Production will love it too because they will get to push the boundaries of what can be done since you will be taking in business that is increasingly outside your company’s core competencies.  Employees will love the OT.

The only parties that will be concerned with your strategy are other stakeholders such as investors or lenders.  However, since you obviously are good at selling, you will be able to handle them on your way to being very profitable. So don’t worry about it, just keep selling.

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