For small businesses that survived the last two years, it’s vital to stay on target and continue to make sales. As with any business, more sales fosters growth.
If increasing sales is on your list of new years resolutions, here are a few things to implement now to increase this year’s sales numbers.
1. Know your numbers
In any year, a business owner must understand the state of a company’s financial health. You need to know what’s working, what isn’t working, and what you need to improve.
Being continually aware of your company’s numbers is crucial. Without knowing your company’s numbers, it’s impossible to know whether anything you’re doing is working. Your tax accountant isn’t the person to put in charge of your company’s daily numbers–you are.
An accountant can help give you the tools you need to help you keep on top of your daily, weekly, and monthly cash flow numbers, but ultimately it is up to you to keep an eye on them. In addition, you should also be aware of current trends in the world, your industry, and your local community.
Once you understand your company’s cash inflow and outflow, you’ll be better able to manage that cash well. Then implement strategies that will help your business increase sales.
2. Eliminate what isn’t working
Do you have a service or product line that just isn’t working for your company? Does it cost the company money every time you sell one?
Another number to know is the profit margin on each product or service your company offers. If you’re losing money with the product or service, it’s time to reevaluate. Reconsider and eliminate what isn’t profitable.
3. Improve your business sales skills
You may overlook this one skill, but it’s vital for bringing in more sales. Of course, bringing in new customers is always a good thing. Having good, strong sales skills can help make that happen.
4. Review your marketing for needed changes
How is your company’s marketing? Does your website draw consistent visitors? Are those visitors converting to paying customers?
This information can tell you if your marketing is doing everything you need. The answers to those questions indicate whether your marketing is working or not.
Your website is there to attract prospects and leads, give them the answers they need, then turn them into customers. As your company’s “digital front door,” a website introduces visitors to your company, tells them how you can solve their problems, and make their life better. Without relevant content, FAQs, self-help answers, and other helpful information, you have just another website.
Whether you haven’t started any marketing or need to refresh your marketing efforts, now is the time to start.
5. Keep in touch and stay top-of-mind
How often do you talk to your customers? Maybe you don’t call them daily. But do they know what your company has been doing since the last time they heard from you? Let them know that you’re still here and may have additional products or services they may be interested in or need.
Regular email newsletters are a great way to send helpful and timely content to your customers. Send an occasional email to let them know about additional services you offer, special sales, or how you can help them with a specific problem.
If your company begins receiving phone calls asking about a product or service you’ve never offered before, it’s time to pay attention. If you see an uptick in requests, mention it to the rest of your customers in your newsletter.
6. Content marketing
A static website is no longer the right way to build your brand. Your website should include fresh content such as:
- Blog posts
- Other written content such as downloadable PDFs
- Links to social media postings such as sidebars with your company’s current Twitter feed
Visitors who see activity and responsiveness are more likely to interact with your brand, either on your website or social media.
For instance, a personal injury law firm can offer a free PDF checklist on what to do after a car accident, short videos or podcasts with similar content, or hold longer webinars with more of the same subject matter. Visitors understand what you can do for them and build trust long before they call.
7. Establish or update social media branding
If your business is not on social media, now is the time to join. If you haven’t been active, start now. Deploy that same content on your website and YouTube to Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other sites. Social media can help you engage with your audience, build authority, and create trust.
Social media is highly effective and less expensive than traditional forms of advertising. Putting your company on social media means getting right in front of your audience, where they are most likely to see you.
8. Pick your platform
Which platform you use depends on your target market. The best place to start is with the largest social media networks:
- Facebook: with 2.89 billion active users every month, it’s the largest platform in the world. Ideal for both building relationships and generating leads.
- LinkedIn: primarily for business networking, LinkedIn is also ideal for both B2C and B2B businesses to engage, create trust, and build authority.
- Twitter: the in-the-moment site that relies on “stream of consciousness” blogging and posting short content.
- Pinterest: Pinterest allows users to share pictures and them to topic-specific boards. Businesses can sell right from the platform using pins.
- Instagram: like Pinterest, users can upload pictures and short videos directly from their mobile devices. Like Pinterest, users can save posts to individual collections as a list.
- Snapchat allows users to post, but the content expires within 24 hours. Use Snapchat to offer promotions, exclusive access, provide personalized content, and build relationships with influencers. These relationships drive loyalty as well as brand recognition.
- TikTok: the video-sharing network revolving around short, meaningful videos, created for a younger demographic. TikTok is also becoming popular with other demographics and sharing instruction videos.
Determine which social media platform is the right one for your business. Then initiate conversations with your content to build brand awareness. Whichever social media platform you choose, you’ll need to stay active to engage with your audience.
Social media also makes it easier for fans, visitors, and customers to get in touch. You must check your posts and messaging multiple times daily to interact with your followers, fans, and customers and answer questions (and inevitably, complaints.)
9. Make it easy for customers to contact you
After the pandemic upended everything, many customers didn’t know if their favorite businesses were open. Make sure your customers know you’re now available and how they can get in touch.
In addition to a contact page, it’s a good idea to have your company’s phone number, email address, and social media information at the bottom of every page and very visible elsewhere. Again, have someone monitor the email and social media for customer contact. Include contact information within email correspondence.
Let your customers know the best number for them to reach you, and make sure someone will answer the phone when they call.
Social media tools can also come in handy. Facebook Messenger, Twitter chats, and Instagram messaging help connect you to the customers quickly in real-time. Deploy chatbots to answer routine questions before a live agent answers rapidly.
10. Upgrade your phone system
More sales can mean more calls to answer. Can your current phone system handle the calls? Are you missing sales calls because your phone system is outdated?
VoIP is the most powerful and least expensive communication tool on the market today. You can scale up or down as your business needs change. VoIP also offers more standard features than a traditional phone service for one low monthly price. Add more features like call queues, conference bridge numbers, and call recording as needed for a little more. And with a hosted VoIP phone system, you never have to maintain any equipment or software because it is all based in the cloud.
Switching to VoIP is easy and you can keep your current phone numbers. Most companies even offer no contracts and you can cancel at any time.
Contact Press8 Telecom today to talk about upgrading your phone system to a new, flexible VoIP-hosted phone system. They’ll give you a free quote on the system that’s just right for your company. Your business will grow, and your costs will go down. And, that’s how you run a sales-driven and innovative small business.