When you run a small business, you should always be concerned about how to find new customers and keep your sales numbers healthy, as your company is probably not yet a household name and may face some stiff competition in your chosen industry. At the same time, you don’t want to waste a limited budget when it comes to marketing and sales strategies. To ensure you’re getting all the customers possible through your doors or to your website this year, consider 5 key strategies for increasing sales and improving your company’s overall bottom line.
1. Set smart business goals
Small business owners are notorious for either having no business goals, or having too many goals that are simply out of reach. You may be thinking that your goal is to make as much money as possible, but smart business goals are going to be more specific, and attainable. For example, you might make it a goal to increase your profit margin by 5%, or decrease your cost of raw materials by 3%. A smart business goal might be opening a new location, or increasing your product offerings to better suit your customer base. Work with a management or marketing consultant company to create smart business goals that will help improve your company’s market presence, profits, and customers.
2. Improve the content of your website
When was the last time your website got a complete overhaul? Today’s web browsers work with different criteria than they did even a few years ago, so your site may not be so readily found by potential visitors searching for your product or service online. Interactive content such as quizzes or entertaining content such as videos can keep your potential customers and clients browsing your site; this will improve your site’s search engine ratings and reduce the risk of potential buyers clicking away too quickly.
3. Use social media wisely
Many businesses know to be on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter but there is a difference between using these sites and using them wisely. For example, posting surveys or open-ended questions that ask for a person’s opinion can be a good way to engage your audience on Facebook, rather than just posting information about your company. For Twitter, ensure your customers and clients will want to re-tweet or share your posts; interesting facts or questions can get followers engaged and encourage them to re-tweet, further increasing your social media presence and potential customer base.
4. Create a brand
A company’s brand refers to its trademark; this can be a symbol, logo, slogan, and the like. The Nike “swoosh” and slogan, “Just Do It,” or sayings such as, “Credit Karma; it’s free,” are brands. These symbols and trademarks help to create awareness of a company and, in turn, its product or service, and help to reinforce a potential customer’s desire for that product. If your small business doesn’t have a brand, it’s time to create one; your clients and customers will instantly recognize your company’s presence and be more likely to frequent your business versus any other with the right brand.
5. Check and monitor your online reputation
Your online reputation includes reviews left on sites like Google or Amazon, the content of your Wikipedia page, and if your company is mentioned in blogs, on referral websites, and other such places. Not only should you have a strong presence on these pages in order to build a reputation with potential clients and customers, but you should also be monitoring them for misinformation, poor reviews, and anything else that may need to be corrected. This should be done regularly, as customers and clients may leave reviews, modify your Wikipedia page, write new blog posts, and everything else on a regular basis as well.