January Sales for Business

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Inevitably - and surely rightly - business men and women take their eye off the ball while they take their holiday break. The business community can at last be human again, spending time with family and friends. The turn of the year marks a universal celebration where we look back at what went before and look forward to the future. Just as inevitable, though, the whole cycle starts again and business cranks back into gear a few days into January.

In early January many business people have one great big cloud over their heads. This cloud represents budgets. The cloud may be darker for some than for others. Many companies roll up their financial year at the calendar year end. Many others have April as their new financial year. If you are in the first category you may be in the process of spending your new budget, careful to ensure it is spent wisely and not all at once! If you are in the second category you will be in the final throws of planning for next year's budget, probably negotiating for this or that project that you just know will bring great benefits to your company.

For those in the business of selling products the budgeting process can be akin to the January sales where you should be making a strong pitch for business. Why? Because many have a brand new budget, coffers full and others are planning next years budget. You will either be selling your product to budget holders that are flush with money or you will be attempting to insert provision for your product in next year's budget. Whichever way, January is a good time to act.

Businesses selling lower cost items for which little authorisation will be required will particularly benefit by selling to those companies who have a new established budget. If you are selling higher cost items you would be best targeting those companies that are in the process of planning next year's budget. That said, there is an argument for all companies to target large company's individual budget holders towards the end of their financial year. Some budget holders will wish to use up their allocation for fear of setting a precedent and having the following year's budget slashed. Of course, targeting a company that doesn't really need your product seems to me to be a waste of time, but it amazes me how many marketing drives are so broad that these wasted contacts are made. This is the case even when a budget holder is trying to use their allocation. There surely must be a genuine need for your product.

I am the marketing man for Arkay Hygiene from the UK. The pest control products sold by Arkay are increasingly required by both the private and the public sector. The variety of products for sale start at a few pounds and range to four figures. The kind of strategic marketing described above is essential to Arkay in order to achieve effective year-round sales volumes.

Vernon Stent is marketing consultant to Arkay Hygiene. An example of a low cost product are Bird Control Spikes. Examples in the higher range include Industrial Glueboard IND35 Fly Killers


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