Consistent sales versus frequent sales: Are you focusing on the wrong one?

If you ask a new entrepreneur what they should be striving for, they’ll probably tell you that one of their goals is to sell with as much frequency as possible.

And at first glance, it might make sense to an entrepreneur to try to get as many sales as possible to rake in that money. However, at this stage in the life of a new business, frequency of sales is not nearly as important as consistency of sales. That is: You shouldn’t be striving to make a whole bunch of sales tomorrow. Rather, it’s better to make a consistent, predictable drip of sales every day (or week or month or whatever).

When you focus on frequency, you end up with bulges in your sales funnel; you end up with a boom/bust business that suffers from inventory shortages and overages. You create a business that is unpredictable and ultimately wasteful as it reacts to one problem after another. You sometimes end up with more costly inventory than you can afford to keep (and a resulting lack of cash flow, and perhaps the need to sell at unprofitable prices) and you sometimes end up with no inventory at all (and a resulting lack of cash flow from upset buyers who desperately want what you have to sell… and who will take their business to the competition).

Frequency, at least in the very beginning stages of a business, is not a preferred goal.

The better choice is to focus on making consistent sales (even if they aren’t very frequent in the beginning). The goal shouldn’t be to get as many sales as soon as possible but to get as predictable as possible. Rather than trying to get 100 sales tomorrow (and then worrying tomorrow about what you’ll do the next day), try to get 3 sales a day for the rest of the month.

By doing this, you’ll generate a smoother flow of cash into your business, as well as a smoother flow of your inventory out of your business. You’ll wake up with the confidence each day that you know what is going to happen. That kind of predictability is invaluable for any business because it allows you to plan, to invest, and to grow in a way that makes sense. You’ll gain an understanding of the efforts required to bring in a certain amount of income each and every month. And, consistency can help you grow profitably: When you know that you will generally make so many sales in a given period, you can work to increase it slowly, without risking your inventory.

If you’re starting out in business and you’re hoping to be around next year at this time, work on consistent sales.

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