According to Forbes, small businesses account for 54% of all U.S. sales, which demonstrates they continue to be a cornerstone of the North American economy. However, many of those organizations are looking to gain an advantage over retail giants like Amazon and stay relevant in their communities. While it is an appreciable challenge, the good news is that boosting sales isn’t a daunting task – in fact, it’s easier than you think!
Discover 7 small business strategies that can boost your sales
The reason any business becomes successful and achieves longevity in their industry is simple: they can sell effectively and rapidly. Even if your product or service is miles ahead of the competition quality-wise, the inability to make a sale may leave your company in jeopardy.
That being said, it’s not a doom and gloom scenario. There are now more tools at your disposal than ever before if you’re looking to improve your sales numbers. Simple fixes that put an emphasis on informed decision-making can help take your company to the next level in the global marketplace.
This said, following are 7 recommended strategies to implement in order to grow sales at your small business:
#1 – Define Buyer Persona
Before you can focus on tricks to boost your overall sales, you must determine who you’re trying to sell to. Are you catering to a specific demographic, age or gender? What about people with a unique set of interests or hobbies? The bottom line is, if you don’t know this information, you can’t begin to target the right people who may become long-term customers.
Use your current client base as well as industry statistics to develop a buyer persona – a fictional profile of your ideal customer that emphasizes certain commonalities. By constructing one, you get a better idea of how you can appeal to the masses. We recommend you check out HubSpot’s breakdown of what goes into a buyer persona for more information.
Remember, this is a generalized mock customer you’re building, so constantly tweaking and honing the major points of your buyer persona over time is crucial. There’s definitely some trial and error involved but, once you’re sitting on solid ground, it will pay dividends.
#2 – Get Feedback
Building a buyer persona shouldn’t be a guessing game – you need to be seeking out and receiving feedback from your existing clientele. You’re looking to get a handle on the purchasing habits of those already engaging with your business and identify what’s working and what isn’t.
Getting this strategy implemented is as simple as sending out a short survey to customers and turning those comments into actionable items on your company’s to-do list. Even if something isn’t seen as going “badly,” you can use this feedback to take certain aspects of your company from good to great.
You can also use web metrics to analyze incoming online sales traffic, if that’s already a big part of your business. Once you have a sizable amount of data at your disposal, you’ll be one step closer to boosting your revenue and long-term growth.
#3 – Make Sure Your Website is Updated
Virtually all your customers will be checking your web presence before ever setting foot in a physical store. That means the most important piece of your digital presence – your website – needs to be in perfect shape. Investing even a few hours of your time into this project can make a huge difference on how many new prospects you attract and convert into customers.
Above all else, your website must be functional and optimized to deliver an efficient, pleasant customer experience. This means no confusing navigation tools, no convoluted copy and definitely no dead links or 404’s.
If you have an online store, make sure visitors to your site can easily complete the checkout process without any hiccups. If you don’t have one yet, 2018 is the year you should make that leap. Discover more reasons why your company needs an online store on the Amilia blog.
You also need to make sure that your site has gone through a thorough SEO audit. Ensuring that your organization ranks well on Google and other search engines are vital to attracting new clients into the fold and upping general visibility in your community.
Speaking of audits …
#4 – Do a Content Audit
Appealing to prospective customers online means you’re going to need some content collateral to share with them. Whether that means blog posts, short videos or beefier documents like an industry-focused buyer’s guide, updated and relevant content is a huge asset to any business.
Are you focusing more on product or service features rather than benefits? If that’s the case, it’s time to reposition your content messaging to put more of an emphasis on the latter. You need to demonstrate how you will make your customer’s life easier before you can start bringing up all the great features you offer.
Also, don’t let your older content sit there in an unattended digital wasteland. Never be shy about updating those resources, putting a fresh coat of paint on the design and repurposing it for your company’s audience.
#5 – Leverage Email and Social Media
Once you have your content sorted, it’s time to disseminate it using email and social media campaigns. By leveraging these assets, you can reach a much bigger audience than before and open your small business up to far bigger sales opportunities as a result.
Not sure where to start? One of the easiest ways to improve your company’s online presence is by building an email list. By driving traffic to a landing page where clients can sign up for updates, you’ll have valuable information that you can use in the marketing and sales processes. Creating an incentive (more on this later) during the registration process could also help grow your email list numbers significantly.
There’s also social media, which continues to be an amazing free tool that helps businesses connect with their followers and gain more notoriety online. However, with so many different platforms available to consumers now, having a Facebook page that gets updated a couple of times a week isn’t enough anymore.
Posting regularly on all your social media accounts will not only get your content seen by more people more often, but it will also help generate more of a buzz around your brand. Whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest, you can hone your messaging and, in some cases, use audience targeting to cater your product or service to a specific buyer demographic.
#6 – Run Promotions Regularly
A sure-fire way to increase your audience engagement and, by association, your sales numbers are by offering promotions, deals or discounts to your customers on a regular basis. Any peak into the sales cycle of many high-profile online retailers will show that, even if it’s just 10% off or saving a few dollars on a purchase, those little incentives can pay huge dividends.
A great trick to have buyers save big on your products or services is by bundling items or packages together to create added benefits for shoppers. It will make a difference for your bottom line as well, since the tried-and-true “Buy One and Get 50% off”-type deals actually mean that customers are buying in more volume, increasing your revenue by default.
You can also offer exclusive flash deals, usually lasting 24 to 48 hours total. By promoting these via your email list or social media, you’ll cultivate this air of anticipation within the industry, giving clients the knowledge that, the more they engage with your brand, the more they’ll save.
#7 Set up a Referral Program
Happy clients are your best tools for bringing in new sales leads, which is why referrals programs are such a benefit for small businesses, no matter what industry they’re in. It’s a win-win proposition for all involved: your current customers get to save money for promoting your business, their extended circle has the chance to become new customers and you get to enjoy a nice sales boost.
Offering discount incentives to existing clients can help give your referral program the burst of enthusiasm it needs to make a difference. At the end of the day, the best advertising that money can buy is positive word-of-mouth from real people. This extends to the online world as well, so try getting customers to leave you a great online review as part of the referral program process.
There you have it – 7 strategies that are simple to implement and are proven ways that your small business can boost sales in both the short and long-term. There is no “one size fits all” solution, so testing some of these concepts with different content elements or marketing approaches can help you strengthen your brand’s persona and playbook even further.
Most importantly, you cannot have action with getting feedback first; listen to current customers and do your homework before embarking on any sales revamp. As with anything else in the business world, details matter.
Bio: Alex G. is VP of Marketing and Customer Success at Amilia. His daytime passions include marketing and technology while his after-work passions include good wine and martial arts. With his black belt in judo, Alex applies his focus to growth with as much discipline as he does to armlocks and chokes on the mats.