Many small business owners are struggling to increase their sales and profits. You may have tried doing everything right, but it may seem like your business is not making enough sales. You are not the only one; this is a common problem for many businesses. On average, only 9% of small businesses manage to achieve revenues of $1 million or more.
But being a small business doesn’t mean you can’t scale up or sell more of your products or services. In fact, small businesses are often more flexible and creative than larger businesses, which gives them more room for growth. If you’re looking to increase sales for your small business, there are a variety of strategies you can explore, each with its own level of risk.
Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all plan that will transform your business. As a business owner, you are the one who decides how, if, and when you want to grow your business. It takes dedication and consistent effort to take your business to the next level. Here are some practical strategies and dozens of tasks to get your growth plans off the ground:
In their book “Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days,” Jay Conrad Levinson and Al Lautenslager make a strong point: “Benefits sell. Benefits clearly answer customer questions, such as ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘what results will I get that will improve my current situation?'”
Customers need to feel good about their buying decisions. Sometimes, they need to convince themselves. Other times, they need to justify their choice to their bosses. Make this process easy for them.
That’s why it’s important to highlight how your solutions will help them. Show them how your product or service will make their lives better. When you focus on helping others first, it comes across as more genuine than just being in it for a quick profit. Let your value proposition do the talking.
According to the principle of Loss Aversion, urgency is a powerful psychological tool that motivates people to take immediate action. It’s deeply embedded in our minds and is closely linked to the fear of missing out, commonly referred to as FOMO.
From a scientific standpoint, urgency revolves around the idea of time, pushing us to act quickly.
It’s a fundamental part of human psychology that individuals are naturally drawn to things that are scarce.
This directly relates to the “Law of Demand,” which states that when demand is high, supply is low.
Many customers are more likely to buy something if you create a sense of urgency, such as special offers that expire soon or limited-edition products. There are many ways to do this, depending on what you sell online. Consider offering financial incentives to customers who make an immediate purchase, such as free shipping or a discount, if selling a limited-edition product is not possible. The idea is to convince them that they must purchase right away or risk losing out on the value you are offering.
It’s a proven fact that storytelling is the key to capturing your lead’s attention. Sharing a compelling human story that involves your products is a surefire way to keep the prospect engaged. People have always had a fascination with great stories, and in the world of sales, it’s no different.
Storytelling can also help you build trust with potential customers. When you tell a story, you are taking your audience on a journey that they can relate to. You can use metaphors and analogies to tell stories. These can help you create vivid images in your audience’s mind.
If you can use these techniques to paint a picture in your audience’s mind of how their lives could be better with your product or service, you might just be on your way to sealing the deal.
It’s always a good idea to request feedback from your customers about your products and services. This information can help you make improvements that will make your customers happier and more likely to do business with you again. Find out where you might be falling short or where customers are facing challenges. Customer feedback can open up new opportunities that you might not have considered, potentially leading to more sales.
For example, consider a popular printing company that makes promotional brochures that their clients use to promote their business. A client who wants to make the process easier might want the printing company to handle envelope printing and addressing, or even taking on the entire mailing process.
If you can offer more services to your current customers, you become more valuable to their business. That means more sales and a better relationship.
User-generated content is a highly engaging form of online material, and as a small business, you can use this strategy to boost your sales.
Let’s consider the case of a local eatery or restaurant owner.
They can encourage their takeout customers to snap photos or create short video clips to share on Instagram. Anyone who posts and tags your Instagram page can get a free dish or a discount code for their next order.
Whenever a customer shares their experience on their own social media, they’re basically endorsing the restaurant to their followers and friends. If the food looks delicious enough, others will also want to order from you, increasing your sales. This tactic helps create an organic promotional channel for your business, which is always beneficial. A happy customer’s word of mouth is valuable for your business.
Sometimes, a fresh approach is just what you need. One way to do this is by finding creative ways to combine services into packages or multiple products into bundles.
If you own a salon, you could put together a value bundle that includes a haircut, color service, and a manicure. When you offer this bundle at a discounted rate, you’ll not only attract new customers but also increase your overall sales.
With packages and bundles, your customers will appreciate the convenience of the whole package. Plus, they will feel like they are getting more value for their money (which we all want). Just make sure to price your bundles carefully and avoid over-discounting your products, as that can lower their perceived value. Using deals to clear out old inventory or promote new products is also a great strategy. This can help justify the discount while still generating interest.
Your business needs a presence on social media because that’s where your customers and potential prospects spend their time. So you need to optimize your social accounts to make them more appealing and effective.
Your social media profiles offer more than just basic contact information. They are an extension of your brand, and each profile should be tailored to fit the specific platform it’s on. Properly optimizing all your social media profiles is key to increasing your chances of attracting potential customers. When people visit your social profile, they should get a clear idea of who you are and why they should get to know you better. You want your message to resonate with them and make them curious about your business. Make sure your social profiles are consistent with your brand but different in style for each platform. Only use the social media platforms that you plan to use to find potential customers.
Attracting new customers to your business is a proactive strategy, and one effective approach is to solicit referrals from your existing customer base.
These customers already belong to your target market, which means that people in their social or work circles are likely to be your target market as well. This makes them a strong access point for new customers.
To obtain high-quality referrals, it’s important to invest time in identifying potential prospects in advance. LinkedIn offers a helpful platform for this purpose, allowing you to explore connections and their previous affiliations. It’s important to note that, your customers will naturally spread the word about your business won’t necessarily grow your customer base. Actively seeking referrals is key. can make it easier for your customers to give you referrals by providing them with a referral form or by giving them a list of potential referral candidates.
It usually costs between six to seven times more to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing ones. This means that businesses should focus on keeping their existing customers happy and engaged.
One way to do this is to upsell or cross-sell to existing customers. For example, if you sell software, you could upsell a customer to a more expensive plan that includes additional features. Or, you could cross-sell the customer a subscription to your customer support service.
When upselling or cross-selling to existing customers, you need to customize your offer to their individual needs. Only this time, you have more information on their previous interactions and how your products or services can meet their needs. This makes it easier to personalize your pitch. Increasing the lifetime value of your existing customers is often less costly and time-intensive, with a higher likelihood of success.
If you want to make sure that customers keep coming back and spreading the word about your business, you need to do more than they expect. This does not mean that you have to do something that costs you a lot of money. Sometimes, it’s the little things that matter most to customers. Over-delivering can take various forms:
1. Providing a delightful experience.
2. Offering a product that truly wows.
When it comes to delivering top-notch service, think of it as a long-term investment in your customers — one that sets the stage for repeat business. Consistency is key, no matter if you are working with new or loyal customers or how big or small your business is. When you commit to serving your customers and prospects beyond the initial sale, you’ll increase sales, get repeat business and happier customers, and have a more stable sales process.