As we approach the new financial year and with the country clawing its way back to economic stability now is the time to focus on your business’s growth and development.

Keeping your product or services offering fresh and new is always important to keep you ahead of your competitors and retain your existing clients. It gives your sales staff a reason to talk to your customers about upgrading to new products or services and also gives them a reason to talk to potential customers to encourage new business.

Keeping and developing your existing clients will form a bedrock on which your company can build, however, new business sales are essential to ensure that any organisation moves forward.

Unfortunately there are still too many companies failing, making all organisations vulnerable to bad debt. Adding new customers gives new opportunities for growth and will provide increased stability and security.

New business sales are achievable in many ways and all avenues should be explored to maximise results. Your existing customers should be your biggest advert; they should be referring their friends, clients and associates to you if they are not, why not? If there is a problem with their service or their experience with your company then you need to remedy the situation – you don’t want lose your customer and you need to make them a referral opportunity. However referrals, even from happy clients, do not come easily and you often need to ask more than once. You may also want to consider offering an incentive for referrals to spur them along.

When your company is busy it is easy to forget that networking always leads to new opportunities. Not only can it develop new business sales but it can also lead to new initiatives and innovations and can be done outside normal working hours. There are many different opportunities for networking and depending on your business will depend on where you focus this energy. Are all the local networking groups being exploited? Are you dealing with all the relevant associations? Are you exploiting all networking opportunities that are available to you?

There is however no substitute for hard work the hardest work of all is getting on the phones and cold calling. However as the economic climate improves, potential customers will be more receptive to your offerings. Cold calling is about two things – the quality of the data you are calling and the amount of calls you are making – it is as simple as that! It can help to send letters or leaflets to a database and then follow up the mailing with a telephone call. The potential customers will then have had some introduction to who you are and what you can offer them, it also provides the basis for your initial conversation.

The last two years have been the most challenging many of us have experienced but the green roots of recovering and forcing their way into the light and we can attack the new financial year with vigour and optimism. Remembering that hard work, ingenuity and dedicated in our flourishing economy can make 2010 the best year ever.